Less Hustle, More Life: Slow Down & Simplify (Part 2)

To hustle, or not to hustle…that is the question.

A Life Driven By Purpose, Not Hustle

As I mentioned in a previous post, it can sometimes feel like we are limited to one of two options:

  1. “opt in” to hustle and continue to push, and strive, so we can claw our way to the top…or…
  2. say “no” to hustle and forfeit stepping into our “full potential” while others claim the success we desire.

Well, I believe there’s a better way. It’s a lifestyle choice that involves less hustle; but also results in more abundant living.

There’s another option that allows us to step into our potential, exercise our gifts, pursue our passions, and make a difference in this world. All while pushing back and fighting against excessive hurry and hustle so as to experience more peace.

And in case you’re wondering? No, this way of living does not involve “settling” for less than our best. In fact, it provides enough space to breathe and recharge so that we can maximize our talents and experience our best life.

What is this option that perhaps sounds “too good to be true”?

Well, it’s an alternative lifestyle I will be referring to as “Option P.”

Note: If you haven’t had a chance to read my previous post, go ahead and check that one out first. I think this post will be more meaningful for you to first read about what Option P is NOT. Then you can dive into this post and read about what Option P actually IS.

Option P: What it IS

So now that I’ve explained what Option P is not, how about we jump into what it actually is?

Option P is a life driven by purpose, not hustle.

“P” being short for purpose, of course. How cleaver. 😉

Now, I know “purpose” can be a loaded word. I can almost hear you thinking, “Ugh…’purpose.’ Here we go again with that woo-woo word.” In fact, I think I may actually sense your eye roll as you read these words.

I know, I know. I get it. “Purpose” is thrown around excessively these days. But, hold on…hold on. Before I lose you… let me explain a bit further.

What I mean by living with purpose may differ from how you have previously heard others describe “purpose.”

How “Purpose” Is Often Presented

I’ve often heard people speak about purpose as if it’s this magical thing we need to set out and find. Like treasure at the end of a rainbow. Many passionately proclaim, “You were born with a unique purpose. Step into your purpose, and begin living out your destiny.”

So, I don’t know if you can relate… But personally? When I hear purpose described like that, it sounds overwhelming. What I hear is something a little like:

“You better go find it…or else you’ll end up missing it and your life will be meaningless.”

It makes me feel like I need to drop everything and go to extreme lengths to “find” my purpose (if I’m lucky and ambitious enough, of course).

As if I need to tap out of “real life” and embark upon my own “Eat, Pray, Love” self-discovery journey. Or perhaps follow Reese Witherspoon’s example in the movie “Wild,” and go off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail to go “find” myself.

Then, I can finally gained clarity and understanding around the meaning of my life.

Then, I can discover and step into my purpose.

No…my destiny.

Mmmm…this is not what I mean by purpose.

In my opinion, purpose is not a destination. Purpose is not something at which you “arrive” or discover once and for all. I also think purpose (and our missions in life) are not fixed. Purpose can look differently throughout our lives and the various seasons we go through.

My Thoughts on “Purpose”

I don’t think of purpose as a stationary target we need to hit. Instead, I like to think of purpose as a way of living and being in this world.

  • Purposefully choosing to live each day as an opportunity to make an impact.
  • Purposefully living in agreement with the fact that God placed each of us here in this world with intent. Each with specific talents, unique stories, and special gifts only you and I can each offer this world.
  • Purposefully striving to live more present each day and every day.
  • Purposefully living as the person God intended us to be. Standing firm in our own uniqueness. Not striving to be who we think we “should” be in order to “fit in.”
  • Purposefully seeking out opportunities to bless others. Even small acts of kindness (like locking eyes with a stranger and gifting him or her a smile).
  • Purposefully deciding to change the meaning of our past. And not allowing past mistakes to determine the trajectory of our future.
  • Purposefully choosing gratitude and joy (even in those less than joyful moments).

Purpose: Intentional Living

The above list illustrates a few of the many characteristics that I believe mark a “purposed” life.

I like to think of “purpose” as intentional living. Beyond living solely for oneself, satisfying one’s own interests, or even making a name for oneself.

A purpose-driven life is so much deeper, richer, and full of meaning than a life driven by self-gain. It focuses on and strives after the things that matter in life…the things that truly matter most.

I like to think of purpose as a heartbeat. A heart that is filled with purpose pumps gratitude, love, joy, peace, hope, and contentment through the body, mind, and soul.

A purpose-filled soul holds an abundance mindset. Which causes joy to overflow as love in action: a life of intention and kind actions toward others.

A purpose-filled life reflects God’s love and brings forth a piece of Heaven here on earth.

Each of Us Has Unique Purpose & Potential

I believe each of us was created just the way God intended.

Each of us has been gifted so much potential to make an amazing impact in this world. In a very individual-specific kind of way. Specifically for this time and place in history.

Each of us has unique gifts to bring to this world.

However, potential does not automatically equate to impact. Unfortunately, many of us leave a whole lot of potential for greatness on the table because we’re so busy “doing” life.

Barriers to Stepping into Purposed Potential

We’re incredibly busy nowadays. There are so many things to do with what feels like so little time. So, it’s incredibly easy to fall into auto-pilot in an effort to “be more efficient.”

There’s nothing wrong with being more efficient, don’t get me wrong. But our lives have become filled with one hurried moment after the next. Multi-tasking. Rushing from one thing to the next. Striving to speed up each daily task in an effort to “save time.”

All this “hurry” (labeled as “efficiency”) can cause the tone of our lives to become rushed, dissatisfied, and unsettled.

We become obsessed with the “doing” of life…and “doing the doing” as efficiently as possible. Which often causes us to forget about the “why” behind all of our doing.

We’ve become expert “doers.”

Which has detracted from our ability to just “be.”

Purposed Living Requires “Being” and “Doing”

To live step into our potential, of course there’s “doing” that’s required. Potential can only become purposeful impact if we take action. But a purpose-driven life involves more than just doing.

It requires us to just “be” at times. This place of “being” is where we are able to connect with God and gain clarity around our why.

When we’re clear about our “whys,” it allows us to be more mindful about our actions and how we live out each day. Also, it helps us bring awareness to the times life takes us off-track, allowing us to readjust.

It’s important to use our whys as our compasses; otherwise, we may find ourselves wandering aimlessly through life…busy getting nowhere fast.

To live with more purpose, it requires us to be more mindful about how we are living and spending our days. It requires us to learn to step away from the constant doing for a beat and be better at just being. It requires us to be more consciously “awake” to our present lives, rather than living 10+ steps ahead.

And how do we start living this way?

It starts with weeding out some hustle from our lives so we can begin practicing, and ultimately adopt, a less hurry-driven and more purpose-focused way of living.

How to Embark Upon The Purposed Path

Remember: purpose is not a destination; but rather, a way of living and being.

A purposed life is one driven and motivated by a bigger why, which ultimately impacts how we live.

To remain focused on our whys, it’s important to intentionally plant guideposts along our life paths.

These markers serve as directional aids to help us remain on the path toward purpose. And also, help us stay grounded and forward-moving as rough terrain and unexpected twists are encountered along the way.

Two Guideposts that Mark the Purposed Path

In my opinion, there are two primary guideposts that mark the path of Option P.

The two guideposts read:

  1. Slow Down
  2. Simplify

Slowing down and simplifying helps us fight against the hurry and distractions surrounding us. When we are less distracted, we can remain connected with God. It also allows us to remain focused on our bigger whys and walk with more purpose throughout our days.

Slowing Down and Simplifying Points Us to Purpose

Slowing down allows us to create space to connect with God. It allows us to become more attuned to the present moment, practice gratitude, awaken to opportunities to do good, and squeeze more meaning out of each day.

Simplifying helps highlight the many blessings we already have. Which often leads to more gratitude for the things God has already provided us. And also, motivates us to be more intentional about how our resources (e.g., time, money, etc.) are used in the future.

Slowing down and simplifying helps us gain understanding around God’s unique purpose for each of us.

Which helps us discern how our days ought to lived out…day-by-day.

So then, where to begin?

How does one begin cranking the brakes on “hustle” in order to slow down and simplify?

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna leave you hanging, left waving the white flag of defeat to hustle.

Oh no, Friend. I want to help you build up your Purpose Tool Box, so you can live your days with more intention and purpose.

In my upcoming post, I’ll be addressing some tangible ways to slow down and simplify. Options you may wish to consider implementing as you begin challenging hustle and leaning into purpose.

Stay tuned for more on that in my upcoming post.

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