You’ve been told a lie.
And because of that lie, you are overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out, time-deprived. You may even be depressed or burnout. Because of that lie, you sacrifice your health, your relationships, your worth, your productivity, and your identity. Even your life.
So you can buy more things, for which you don’t have time for. So you can impress more people, you don’t even know. So you can create a life that’s not even your life, but it’s what society says your life “should” be.
You hustle. And this is partially my fault.
The lie? The lie is that success is defined by the zeros on your paycheck, by your title, by the hours you put into your work, by the size of the house you live in. I used to believe in the lie. I used to believe in the “success trap. I contributed to your “retail therapy” addiction. As someone who spent 20 years in marketing and advertising, I know a little bit about how to get you to pay attention. I know how to get you to take action. But now the only action I want you to take is to take a really good look at your life and in the words of Mary Oliver:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
You suffer and sacrifice everything for the hustle. You work endless hours to achieve “success”. Meanwhile, your health, happiness, and fulfillment are missing. You are exhausted, overwhelmed and depleted. You put exercise and taking care of yourself last on the priority list. You tell yourself that “someday” you will take a day off. “Someday” you will go on vacation. “Someday” you’ll get to the gym. You tell yourself that you are doing it all for your family. When in reality, all they want is for you to be present. All your family wants is you.
When I realized that I need to make a drastic change in my life, I went on a 10-day “digital detox” trip to Baja, Mexico. One thing led to another and a few years later, Unhustle was born. You can read the full story here.
Sitting in our Baja home, watching the sunrise the other morning I wrote down the things I have lost and found in my journey so far. Here’s my list.
Lost and Found
LOST: The belief that Success = Money
FOUND: Courage to design a life based on my values
LOST: Thinking that my work equals my worth
FOUND: Defined my worth outside of work
LOST: Being glued to a screen
FOUND: Experienced the feeling of freedom and connection with nature when out in the ocean kitesurfing
LOST: Social media addiction
FOUND: The joy of being unplugged and taking time each morning to do yoga, meditate, write
LOST: Daily distractions resulting in working more and accomplishing less
FOUND: Intention and flow resulting in being able to do less, and make more
LOST: Endless mental chatter
FOUND: Consistent mindfulness practice
LOST: Ego driven mindset
FOUND: Commitment to doing what feels right in my gut and not my head
LOST: Saying yes to everything and everybody that pushed my business further
FOUND: Saying no to everything that doesn’t align with my values or purpose
LOST: Doing because society says so
FOUND: The art of being and slowing down
LOST: Stomach pains, hospital visits, and broken relationships
FOUND: Being present, practicing gratitude daily, creating a community, and listening to what my body needs
LOST: Finding momentary satisfaction through shopping
FOUND: Contentment from living a simple life
LOST: Working evenings and weekends
FOUND: Being present for my family on evenings and weekends and living in paradise
LOST: Fear of what others are doing
FOUND: Slowing down and watching the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez from our bedroom window
LOST: Getting lost in a sea of competition
FOUND: Finding my purpose in life and creating my difference
If you had a list like this, what would you put down?
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