July 22

Reject Perpetual Hustle

I was recently readingTitan, the biography of John D. Rockefeller, and came across this quote from the iconic oil tycoon: “It is remarkable how much we all could do if we avoid hustling, and go along at an even pace and keep from attempting too much.”

Now, to be clear, Rockefeller certainly did not heed his own advice early in his career. That said, there is much truth in what he said. When you are in a state of perpetual hustle, you often find yourself becom- ing increasingly efficient at doing decreasingly effective things. You think you’re making progress, but in reality, you’re only running in place.

Hustle drives you, but rhythm sustains you.

You are not a machine. If you don’t care for your mind and your body, sooner or later, something is going to give. You have to build infra- structure into your life to support your ambition, which means taking time to think, cultivating relationships that help you see the world in new ways, and managing your energy so that you are able to perform at crit- ical moments throughout your day. However, when you are in a state of perpetual hustle, you may miss opportunities to shine because you are simply stretched too thin.

Hustle yields incremental results, while rhythm facilitates intuitive leaps.

Yes, work hard. Of course you need to put your full effort into what- ever you’re doing at any given time. However, be careful not to fall into the hustle trap.

You might find you’re only sprinting on a treadmill rather than making true progress.

Reject the cult of perpetual hustle. Build rhythm instead.


is there any place where you are striving for results, but no matter how much you hustle, you can’t achieve a breakthrough? Could it help to step back and approach the work differently?

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