Hustle is a choice

Make coffee. Get the computer out. Turn on my “hustle” playlist on Spotify. Shut all Internet browsers down. Set time for 60 minutes. Write.

The hardest step in my hustle is actually getting started. I get distracted on everything from cleaning up my kitchen while I’m making coffee to playing on social media before I shut down Safari, Firefox and Chrome. This morning, I even caught myself organizing the alarms on my phone when I set my timer.

I am not the only one.

People who want to start going to the gym more but they don’t because it takes too much effort to find all their gear, make the water bottle (or protein shake), drive to the gym and get started struggle with the same thing.

Starting is the hardest part. Once we are there and doing it, it normally naturally happens.

Most of us don’t fail at our goals because we don’t have the skills or the resources. Most of the time, it’s because we lack the hustle.

Hustle is when we do what it takes to chase our dream, even when it’s not comfortable or we don’t want to.

Hustle is about hard work.

Have you ever made the mistake of thinking, “when I get to my dream sweet spot, then I’ll hustle?”

Me too.

We are dead wrong.

If we are not willing to work in the trenches now, we won’t put the effort in when we are at the top.

There is no such thing as a dream sweet spot without hustling.

No successful person on the planet gets to never do anything they don’t want to do.

So what’s the trick?

Commitment.

I have often thought about being a writer. I have started at least a dozen blogs over the years. What I lacked was commitment. I never stuck it out past the initial excitement. This time, I am deeply committed. I have reminders all over my house. I talk about being a writer. I think about being a writer. I schedule my days around being a writer. I have reminders on my phone and authors telling me in the pages of their masterpieces I must dig deep and write, because I said I would.

Accountability.

Now that I have subscribers counting on me to publish something everyday, I have very little chance of getting away with not sticking this thing out this time. But I knew that wasn’t enough for me. I needed someone to contact me every single day and ask me how my hustle was. I reached out to a friend of mine and asked them to hold me accountable. Some days, we have 30 minute conversations. Most days, I just get a text that reminds me someone is looking for my words that day.

Rewards.

I have never been big on reward systems. But I am changing. I now have intrinsic rewards of confidence, success and accomplishment each time I hit the “publish” button. Hitting that “publish” button and knowing my words are instantly in the hands of all the people who care to read my stuff triggers an adrenaline rush that gives me the fuel to keep working on my hustle. Extrinsically, I had to invest actual processes to reward myself for working hard and chasing my dream. I know the excitement won’t get me started some days, so I have to be intentional about providing myself with rewards. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Coffee. I don’t drink coffee until I get started on my hustle. Essentially, if I don’t sit down and write, then I don’t get to have my daily dose of coffee. I also use going to coffee shops to write as a great way to plan my hustle out from day to day.
  • Reading. I know that reading is a huge trigger that keeps me from getting things done. It’s so easy to open up my Kindle app and get lost in the words of an amazing author I desperately admire while completely forgetting I am supposed to be hustling at being like them. In an attempt to break this bad habit, I read for 15 minutes as a reward for getting 60 minutes of writing done.

Start small. Just get up and do one small thing that gets you closer to your dream. Set up a blog. Make a budget. Join the gym. Clean one corner of your house.

Hustle is a choice.

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