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Outsmart the Hustle

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Jill and I like to take mini-vacations.

We pack up the Winnebago (Shorty), grab the dog (obviously), and head for a nearby oasis to slow down give ourselves a break.

In fact, we’re sitting at the beach right now!

Does it ever feel like we have the time to be doing such lavish things? Absolutely not!

Is it absolutely necessary? Nope.

Then why do we bother?

Because our sanity depends on it.

If I had to guess, I’d bet that you’re over there hustling in your corner of the world today, with 10,000 things in your head, and your wrists are sore from typing, your ass is sore from sitting, and your brain is sore from thinking. And maybe you’re freaking out because the mortgage is due, and so is that heinous tax bill you’ve got, and you can’t even think about taking five minutes, let alone giving yourself a seductive little escape for two days.

And if I had to guess, you’ve probably told yourself that next week you’ll ease up. Next month you’ll take a break. Next year things will calm down. Soon you’ll find your balance and get back to a more sane schedule.

Buttttttttttt, I think you know that’s a crock of shit just as well as I do. But then again, maybe you don’t. Because maybe you’re like me. My scarcity mind tells me to hustle, hustle, hustle, and then after the first eight hours of the day, I should move onto something else for the next eight. My monkey mind tells me that I should keep working. That it’s go, go, go, until I’m done with just one more thing …and then onto the next, and then the next, because there is always something else.

And you know what will end up happening?

There will always something else.
And then something else.
And something else.
And you will lose years off your life before you know it.

Not because you’re dedicated to your work, but because you’re addicted to going through the same motions. And let me tell you what. All those motions don’t add up to some grand finale. In fact, they don’t add up to anything, because you can’t remember anything. Days blur into nights, and nights blur into days, and the next thing you know, years have whizzed right on by, and you didn’t enjoy a single one of ‘em.

I’m telling you this because it’s one of the most dangerous plights for us entrepreneurs in this hustle-all-the-time, work-until-you-can’t-see-straight culture we live in.

I love you, and I want to see you do well. And because I want to see you at your very best over the long haul, I’m happy to slap you with a little tough love while letting you know that I have the same struggles as you. Because we all know that when you work for yourself, every hour you’re not working is money that you could have made. And that can be so, so dangerous. It can be a slippery slope and downright addictive. And if you aren’t careful, you can end up really causing yourself harm or regret.

So why do Jill and I step away from the day-to-day? Because it affirms something VERY important. That unless we make time to play together and have fun, it probably won’t happen. It’s a reminder that life is more than work. And – this is important – it’s not just some nice-to-do thing whenever we have time, but an actual physical act of slowing down and unplugging – an interruption of the best possible kind. Something that allows us to put fuel back in our tank and not slip into a state of exhaustive routine. And it’s one of the biggest secrets we’ve got when it comes to keeping sane with this entrepreneur stuff.

What’s one specific way that you can unplug yourself from the hustle and insert a little adventure and fun back into your life?

  • Maybe it’s a walk to your favorite coffee shop with your partner or a friend.

  • Maybe it’s reading something that interests you for an hour.

  • Maybe it’s an impromptu hike, run, or swim in the river.

  • Maybe you turn it into a game and make it a point to visit places you’ve never been before and take pictures of what inspires you the most about that place.

  • Maybe you rent a vintage RV for a night (it’s a thing) at the coast or in wine country (I highly recommend this one).

  • Maybe you surprise a friend with an impromptu day trip.

  • Maybe you indulge in a local farm-to-table dinner (these are also a thing).

Whatever you do, make it totally fun (for you). Make it totally indulgent. Make it yours. And make it happen.

It will give you some sense of play in a life and career that can otherwise make you feel like you’re constantly drowning. And also serve as a cue to take things a little lighter along with helping you feel less resentful about all the hours you do put in because you’ll be assured that no matter what, you can ALWAYS make time for PLAY.

Sometimes, doing what doesn’t make any sense is just the thing you need.

Sometimes, indulging in a spontaneous adventure – just for the hell of it – IS the most important thing to do, because we can always come back to our work later.

And know that everything will be okay.

Live bravely,
Michael

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