BS Files #20: you gotta hustle and grind

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there.

Case #20. You gotta hustle and grind to make it. Bullsh*t!

I think we all learned during the pandemic that there is another way to live besides hustling and grinding it out. It wasn’t an easy adjustment at first, but we got there. But now that things are changing, the hustle and grind culture seems to be trying to make a comeback. It’s not taking hold just yet, but I see it poking its head up every now and then. It’s a bit like playing whack-a-mole to find where it’s gonna pop up next, so I want to take a couple of minutes to point out the fallacies so that we don’t fall into the mole hole.

What is hustle? Besides being a dance from the disco era, hustle is pushing forward energetically to get things done. Hustle is a behavior that’s not so bad on its own.

What’s grind, then? Grind is the belief that you get recognition, rewards or just further in your career by being always on. Always working. Always available. First in, last out. Never off.

Put them together and you get the hustle culture, or the hustle and grind culture. This culture has been described as a lifestyle where you put work and career first, above everything else.

Hustle and grind culture is a toxic combination of a belief and behavior: you can’t be successful unless you hustle and grind, so you do. But…

It leads to burnout. You feel guilty if you aren’t working (and we all know that guilt is toxic, right?) It’s not good for your physical, emotional, or mental health.

You forget to focus on your long-term goals – for yourself, your family, your life. And if you work for someone else, it can lead to exploitation, because your own goals take a backseat to the business goals.

If we’re distracted by hustle and grind culture, a lot of stuff can sneak by us without noticing. Things like life milestones. Vacations. Um, elections?

It can really be confusing to our identity. If we are hustling and grinding, we’re too busy to have or make time to stop and figure out who we really are, what we believe in, what our own dreams and goals are. We can also use hustle and grind to avoid dealing with any issues, emptiness, or dissatisfaction – we simply don’t have time! So, who are we, really?

Truth: We can’t let hustle and grind back in. We can’t give it a foothold or even a toe or finger hold. We used to scream for work/life balance, but screw that. Let’s not settle!

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,


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