Maybe you haven’t heard, but there is a new trendy way to motivate the self-discipline of an underwhelmed society of millennials. It’s the “H” word.
Like a 1950’s high school football coach screaming in our ears, motivational artwork in trendy letters bogs down our feeds with a lie. One line quotes tell us to work harder, quit thinking about it, do it now, find your value in it, never sleep, and perform constantly.
Hustle is disguised as a hipster with a more laid back swagger, but it’s the old age “do more” measure of worth; once made over.
While the seemingly innocent, smooth talking, well designed push for motivation leaves us grasping for more; a darker side hides and waits. It whispers, “Nobody cares, keep going.” We idolize a performance based self-value. We feed a monster that will never get full.
Don’t let me fool you. I have been caught up in this lie before. I sat in a counselor’s office and shared this hurt, “I have done everything I could to be perfect: the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect daughter, the perfect mother and the perfect leader in my job. Still, it wasn’t enough.” She told me a truth I will never forget, “It will never be enough.”
Doing more isn’t the point. It will never be able to feed to satisfaction the lie of performance-based value as our greatest worth. This type of messaging actually fuels a sickness in us. A lie that says, “People will only love you if you perform. Don’t trust anyone. Just perform.”
I am putting my foot down. I am stopping the hustle. I am learning the difference between healthy self-discipline and unhealthy self-deprecation through allowing the definition of my worth to be determined in what I do. I will not add more, but breathe more. I will trust God enough to know it will all be okay.
My mom recognized this high achieving dependence in me early on. She used to tell me, “As long as you do your best I am proud of you, no matter what.” She repeated these words over and over to me growing up and I now repeat them to my daughter. I think it’s about time I start believing them.
I will rest. I will worship through leisure. I will think. I will just be.
What if our purpose isn’t found in the doing, but in the being?