The recent advent of the hustle culture has given rise to mindless drones pretending to love their work while loathing weekends. This is perpetuated by increasing numbers of popular personalities preaching the benefits of loving the struggle.
Those people want to increase productivity amongst young, ambitious workers who want nothing more than the success they were promised during their childhood. What it ends up doing, is quite the opposite.
“Follow your passion and you will never work a day in your life!”
“If you long for the weekends, your life is messed up.”
“Let’s get this bread.”
How many times have you heard these? Recently, there’s been an explosion of such quotes on all my social media news feeds. The youth are searching, relentlessly, to find the perfect fit. They want to continue their hobbies but they also want to make money. If they can’t monetize their passion, they join jobs which are far from their interests and become depressed with the notion that they are a failure.
Life is far from that, in fact.
These people speculate that the lives of professional photographers, e-sports players, Instagram influencers, etc. are perfect. Whereas, they go through a lot of bad days when they have to exert an immense amount of effort just to stay relevant.
Your life is not a cacophony of endless keyboard clicks and people stomping on the way to meetings. It is so much more than that.
Think about it. If you’re a professional photographer, you cannot take pictures the way you want to and expect someone to come and buy them for money. You have to get yourself out there, set up a presence in the form of a social media account, approach clients, accept low-paying jobs to get your street cred up, follow strict guidelines, and do them all over again the next day.
This is the ugly reality that most people subconsciously ignore. The same applies for almost any job that pays.
This lack of insight is what triggers people to make their own passion fit the job that they are currently engaged in. They convince themselves that analysing credit ratings of thousands of customers is what they wanted to do all their lives.
And they fool themselves.
These people toil away for hours well beyond their designated office times expecting a life of fulfilment and happiness if they love their work hard enough. Thus, the hustle culture claims its next victims.
The sentinels of the weekend-hating order push through with their unnatural levels of productivity, ultimately living a life devoid of meaning.
People pretending to love something that they absolutely despise. Pushing themselves into crippling depression.
But let me tell you why your life does not have to be this way at all.
People are allowed to have multiple interests
The fact that you have a job doesn’t mean it should be the only thing in your life. It’s not a crime to have interests outside of your work. I work in a telecommunications company and I love to write, take photographs, and play video games. When do I get to do all those things? In the weekends, of course. Yes, I love the prospect of an approaching weekend. It’s my reward for working so hard for 5 days. It is not a crime to get to different things in your life.
That being said, I love my job. But there are days when the pressure just gets to me and I need a break. Weekends are just that for me.
Your productivity actually decreases
If you keep looking forward to your 5-day or 6-day work routine, chances are you leave yourself no room to take a breather. The human mind is not designed to work for such a long time at a stretch forever. That’s why a lot of companies have amazing leave policies and provisions for weekends. You will burn yourself out and you won’t be able to focus on the next project with as much vigor as you did before.
If you truly love your job, pace yourself. Admit that you can get exhausted as you are a human being.
Relax for a bit and come back rejuvenated. It’ll work wonders for your performance consistency.
Regret is the worst feeling in the world
A lot of successful people who have sacrificed their lives to their work, found themselves on their death beds regretting not spending enough time with their families, not enjoying that one last drink with the boys, not making time for friends, and so on. They never think about that one project that they were working on or those Excel files they compiled. Thing is, life is comprised of a myriad aspects. As I’ve said before, your work is not your life. It is a quintessential part of your life but a part, nonetheless.
Your idea of success is skewed
Success is not defined by how many hours you put in. Success is defined by your own aspirations. Do you want to become a leading marketing consultant? Learn about the profession but don’t give yourself to it. Kick back, relax, and look at it from another perspective. Maybe you’re not so excited about it when you think about its pitfalls. Maybe you are willing to accept the cons and follow through with it. Or maybe, your true idea of success is not related to work at all. Success for some can be raising children, getting a thousand followers on their Instagram smartphone photography page, the possibilities are endless.
Don’t start planning your life with the notion that money and status are everything.
Most people who attain both soon end up realising that those things were never destined to make them happy.
Enjoying weekends does not mean you are lazy
Here’s the real kicker. People who want to enjoy weekends are perceived as unhappy and lazy. That is absolutely false. I have seen people who work like machines on work days, meeting deadlines, absolutely smashing targets to bits, and excelling in everything related to their work. Even they love the weekends, as they can take some time off from their intense work and come back fresh. People are different and they do the same things differently.
Someone who is lazy will always be unproductive, even at work.
Great people also take breaks and distance themselves from work when they need space. It’s an essential part of what keeps them from becoming mediocre.
All in all, do not listen to the heralds who bring you shame and self-doubt when you are enjoying other things during your weekends. Live your life on your own terms. Do not give in to the exploitive system of overworking. Love or hate your job, but never loathe your free time.
This article was first published on Medium.