You are more than your work


Ananya Zharotia

The world progresses at a faster pace every few years. Maybe we can go as far as saying it becomes faster every year. But we have to keep in mind this progress cannot be equated to growth. 


What is Hustle Culture?

Media everywhere is filled with “Hustle Culture” or the unhealthy belief that you need to earn the right to be respected by overworking yourself to exhaustion. 


What’s wrong with Hustle Culture?

Although there is nothing wrong with productivity or hustle itself, the idea of productivity that has been shoved into us is what creates an environment that makes people push themselves but doesn’t allow them to thrive. The media glorifying the “hustle” that got people their fortune and fame from several public figures, successful business owners etc and trying to encourage people to try and do the same can make people feel unproductive, unsuccessful or like they aren’t working hard enough. It is bound to affect their self worth, and that in turn affects that same productivity that the world is trying to increase. It’s a vicious cycle.


Why is Hustle Culture unrealistic? 

Living in the 21st century, the overwhelming amount of media that surrounds us helps us realise that if everyone could win that fortune and fame from simply “working hard” then things would be very different in ways that we can’t predict.

It’s not always healthy to identify your productivity with your self worth because it’s not just about working hard and achieving goals. There are a lot more mechanisms at play than that,  but not limited to how your mind works, the kind of environment you live in, your privilege, any obstacle you face whatever the nature is. People like the idea of achieving a lot, but things are more complicated than that because not everyone lives in a condition nor do they have the resources to achieve that level of productivity that everyone says you should have. 

Going beyond the conditions under which you can be productive, not everything is about being productive. It does not define your self worth nor is there a need to make your whole life about hustling and achieving the definition of success prescribed to us by society. 


Why shouldn't you conform to Hustle Culture?

Personally, I too am very affected by the whole idea of hustle culture and productivity being raised by really hard working parents. But even if it takes time and effort, we can undo that conditioning that compels us to follow that path of excessive productivity. At the end of the day, what you achieve only has as much power as you give it. This Is easier said than done because we’ve been conditioned into this pattern of “earning respect by working” so it isn’t going to be easy to change that. So, in all honesty, all you should do is make your own definitions, and your own boundaries- because while working is good and there is nothing wrong with it, too much of anything isn’t good for anyone. The same applies here- excessive work can lead to burnouts which can make restarting “the hustle” even harder. This can lead us down that very same “I’m not doing enough” spiral. 


The bottom line is….

You are deserving of respect, love, happiness and all good things regardless of how productive you are. As a human being who is trying their best, that is your inherent right and no one can take that away from you. You are not just the amount of work you get done- you are what you believe in, what you stand for, your laugh and smile, your humanity, your hopes, your dreams. Your work isn’t going to take away any of that.

Media everywhere is filled with “Hustle Culture” or the unhealthy belief that you need to earn the right to be respected by overworking yourself to exhaustion.