top of page


You Can't Hustle Your Way to Eternal Happiness (why burnout is not the prize)

It seems like only a few years ago, the word “hustle” seemed to show dedication, resilience and strength in character. But somewhere along the way, we realised that this grind culture was doing nothing but grinding us down.

Have you ever felt like you've been working non-stop, grinding daily, and feeling like you're not getting anywhere? If you're reading this, I bet this is probably most of us. You may have fallen into the trap of believing that hustling your way to happiness is the key to success. Fortunately for all of us, that couldn't be further from the truth. I don't want a world which tests our resilience at every turn. And if we are creating that in our work environment, we have a problem.

The Problem with hustling is that it can be tempting. It promises quick results and the thrill of a clear payoff in clear markers of achievement. But, in reality, it often leads to burnout, exhaustion, and a feeling of emptiness.

Here's why: hustling is a high-stress way of life that can take a toll on your body and brain. When you're constantly in a state of stress, your brain's stress response system stays activated, making it difficult for your brain to relax and recharge. Over time, this can impact your physical and mental health and stop you from being able to switch off, which can lead to decreased happiness, and life expectancy*, and ironically can lead to reduced productivity. And if you're not drawn to the decrease in productivity part here, this is something we need to look at. Because of all the things I've listed, if it is, the decline in productivity there worries you most. It implies that you need more rest than you're allowing yourself. Working yourself to death is not the future any of us should be striving for.

And, of course, rest is a privilege not all of us currently have. The state of it all, economy included, means many of us are only just about making ends meet. But you don't need to exhaust yourself by telling yourself that your worth is based on your output because then we're exhausting ourselves with both our body and with our brain.

Another issue with hustling is that it assumes that external factors, like money, status, and success, will bring you happiness. But the truth is that happiness can't be bought after your core needs are met, despite what the billboards would have. Happiness is an internal experience that is dependent on your thoughts and attitudes. In other words, no amount of success or material wealth will bring you lasting happiness if your thoughts and attitudes do not align with your values. We can all think of examples of people who won the lottery (literally and metaphorically) who ended up right back at square one. Even if we secretly think this wouldn't be true, chances are. We'd still be taking the same brain with us, as well.

And hustling is not a sustainable way of life. It's a never-ending cycle of working hard and achieving goals but never truly feeling satisfied or fulfilled. It’s living a life of changing goalposts. At some point, you'll realise you've been chasing mirages and realising this can be devastating but also very liberating. Because the truth is, for all of the hard work you've done so far in your life, chances are that is not what has brought you the happiness and fulfilment you sought.

So, what is the key to happiness? The key is to focus on what truly matters to you. To do this, you need to start by asking yourself some important questions:

· What do I want in life?

· What brings me joy and fulfilment?

· What are my core values?

Once you clearly understand what you want and what truly matters to you, you can start to make changes in your life that align with your values and goals. This might mean making a career change, spending more time with family and friends, or simply taking time for self-care. Whatever it is, the key is to focus on what truly matters and make changes that align with who you want to be, not what you can get done.

Hustling your way to happiness is never the answer it is a trap that leads to burnout. You deserve better. We all do. Let's build it.


bottom of page