hustle and bustles

There is some advice I hear a lot from creative professionals and other entrepreneurs: 

HUSTLE 

I will admit, it’s important to hustle, or, as many of them say, to have hustle. 

Many a creative has been known to drag their feet from time to time. This might be due to a insecurity, anxiety, distraction, or just plain old laziness. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to avoid the creative things we know we ought to do.

On the flip side, when we hustle, we keep the magic of momentum moving in our favor. We get things done and it feels good so we get more things done. In that case, we’ve got to keep the hustlin’ and bustlin’ cranked to the max.

But could there be a drawback to this frantic break-neck pace we adopt? Shouldn’t we also slow down, relax and take in the moment or something?

I remember seeing an interview from a writing business course where the guy being interviewed, who was skyping in on his cell phone, was also doing a workout, gathering things around his hotel, scheduling a meeting, hailing a cab and then riding off to his other meeting.

Some may say he was a living example of what it means to hustle—he was certainly a proponent of it based on his advice during the interview. And sure, he did give some good advice in his hurried talk, but I also found the whole thing stressful. I know it’s something I would never do.

If someone personally invited me to an interview for their business course, I would schedule the time to talk with them as a person ought to: one on one, with some measure of respect for the other party and for the potential listeners. I don’t care how “big” I get, if I don’t have the time for that, then I just wouldn’t do the interview.

The hustle mindset can be helpful at times: it keeps us productive. When you’re constantly on the move, you don’t have time to stop and worry about your shortcomings or feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got things to do, after all. There’s no stopping you now.

But here’s the drawback: when all we do is hustle, it’s very easy to leave other people behind. 

Often I find my pursuit of a creative writing career is at odds with my role as a husband and father. It is almost impossible to do both at the same time and if I attempt that, my performance for each of them suffers. 

I’ve learned (and am learning) each requires their own appropriate time and each deserves my full attention. 

For me, family always comes first. I have to be ready to stop whatever I’m doing and give my wife or children the care and attention they deserve from me. This extends to the other people in my life as well.

Creativity, after all, is for others to enjoy. If we are too busy following our creative pursuits, we can trample over the very people who might appreciate our creativity or help us along the way.

Notice hustle and hostile are almost the same word? Maybe there's a reason for that. Our speedy approach to life can eventually lead to other's hurt.

So yes, you should hustle when the time is right, but make sure you take time to pump the breaks now and then and share some quality time with the people in your path. Often that little chat with a friend, or word of encouragement will be all the motivation I need to get back on track and hustle some more.

Alright, I admit it, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the female dress-wear known as bustles. So sorry to disappoint you all. In case you were wondering, it also lacks anything about the Belgium city of Brussels or the sprouts they are so famous for. Well, what can I say? It’s probably not easy to hustle while wearing a bustle in Brussels, but maybe you should try it and let me know how it goes.

A.P. Lambert

A.P. Lambert is a creative professional who helps others live with creativity and purpose.