Been thinking a lot lately. And like I often do, probably thinking too much.
But thinking about life is always good. Thinking about who I am, who I want to be, and thinking about why.
There’s a lot of things that make up people and why they decide to do certain things. Why they act certain ways or what they want to become vs what they are or are becoming. Watching what is important to other people oddly enough puts your own focuses into perspective. This is especially true when you think about what success looks like to a person.
As a motivated individual it’s interesting to see what motivates others. To see what I would call “career goals vs life goals”. For some people success is a measuring stick that never ends. For some people career goals are life goals. I believe I used to think that is what success looks like. I believe I used to aspire to that same trail of thinking. But the more I’ve lived and the more I’ve grown, the more I see how sad that is.
I don’t say that as if I don’t have career goals or like I haven’t invested a great deal of my life in learning & growing so that I could be the best at what I do. I say that because I’ve learned there’s more to life than being that person who always has to out do everyone. Career goals are great, I have them myself and always will, but they’re different than life goals. And life goals will always be more important.
That’s the major disconnect I see with the “hustle generation” that thinks this way. The career goal of success doesn’t mean you’ve had a successful life. It helps you enjoy life, it helps you feel good about yourself, and it can help you accomplish life goals, but it doesn’t replace them. And to be perfectly honest, if you don’t have life goals then you aren’t living for anything. What do I mean by life goals? I don’t mean bucket list items. I mean life goals in the way you live.
It’s the thing I’ve realized is most important in this world. The way we live. And the way we live shows what’s really important to us.
The career goals & hustle culture miss this, because the focus isn’t those around them. It’s their lifting up. It’s their own success, for their own glory. Now I think you can have a mix of both, but I rarely see that. There’s a huge difference between “working hard to be better than others” and “working hard because that lets you be better TO others”.
It’s the difference between true humbleness and the humble brag. Between showing off your success and quietly going about your hard work because you just want to do the best job FOR someone else. It’s thinking you have something better to say instead of listening. It’s promoting yourself over letting your work & actions promote themselves. There’s a lot to what you show others, and don’t show others. If you have to continually show that you’re hustling, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
There’s a saying that “A rising tide lifts all ships”. I’ve always enjoyed this saying but recently I’ve realized there’s more to it then face value. If you’re going to say you are the tide, you still have to lift the ships. It isn’t residual, it isn’t a by product. To truly “lift the ships” you have to actively give, actively care, and it has to be the purpose of your tide rising, not the by product.
And that’s where I think where the real difference is.
Life is about balance. And there’s no balance in the Hustle Culture to value the things that truly mean something in this life. To actually enjoy the success you have and share it, or sacrifice it even so you can share light & love with others through your actions and way of life.
I believe it’s important to have career goals and work hard, but what you work hard for is what matters. And I’ve learned over my short life that the way I live daily is what truly matters in working hard. Being the man of quality that not only God expects but that I have come to expect out of myself. It’s the difference between setting career goal marks to try and achieve and just trying to be the qualities that will impact the world around you for the better.
In my opinion that is what matters most. Yes I want to achieve great worldly things in this life and have what society would say is success. But what’s more important is the legacy of who I am. Having contentment in my achievements and not letting success achievements rule my focus. I’ve realized I’d be much happier with a small home full of love & giving than to actually be able to purchase an island. That if my legacy is how I loved others and the impact I made on them for good instead of business or financial gain then I would have done it right.
I’ve realized that is what governs my actions. That’s who I am and who I want to continue to strive to be, because I am not as good as I want to be yet. There’s hustle in this concept too, but there’s hustle for joy sharing God like love, not for personal achievement. My personal motto will always live as “Be humble & be hungry.”
I used to think the “hungry” part represented my desire for success and achievement, and it still does to some extent. But it’s placed exactly where it needs to be, behind being humble. I’ll work hard for that island that I’m going to buy one day. But I also know I’ll sacrifice that island in a heart beat to make sure I live more for those around me and to leave this world a better place by my actions.
I want to be humble & be hungry in all I do. The most of which in how I live and what I show people. To me, that’s the most successful life I could have.