Everyone has an opinion and everyone is quick to offer advice. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else, but this inevitably lends itself to two very troubling issues. First, it’s a lot easier to give advice than it is to follow it. Second, a lot of advice you get will contradict other advice you had previously received. And this is how we arrive at the problem of the hustle.

The “hustle” is a mindset and a manner of living that is increasingly championed by people who we perceive as successful. That’s a real go-getter right there. We should all aspire to be like him. Or should we?

Serving from an Empty Vessel

In stark contrast to the life defined by the hustle, we find an entirely different set of advice. You’ve probably heard some variation of it before. You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

As you scroll your way through social media, you’ll likely encounter reminders of the importance of “me time.” Take a moment to enjoy your cup of coffee. Curl up with a good book, draw yourself a bubble bath, or even indulge in a spa day. You deserve it.

I see this a lot in parenting circles, where moms and dads feel compelled to take on the role of martyr. We sacrifice ourselves for the good of our children, because it’s no longer about us; it’s about them. It’s for them. But you cannot serve from an empty vessel.

You Can’t Stop the Hustle

If you want to be successful, you have to put in the hours. You need to eat, sleep and breathe the work that you do. It’s not about work-life balance, because balance is for losers. You want life-work integration where your life is all about your work, because that’s the only way you’ll ever achieve greatness.

Have you heard this before? Particularly in this age where entrepreneurship is at an all-time high and just about anyone can launch a business on the Internet, it’s all about that hustle life, right? These are the individuals who feel an unbridled compulsion to go places, both literally and figuratively.

We now live in a culture where if you don’t fetishize the hustle, you’re enabling a life of mediocrity. And laziness. Why aren’t you out there, making the most of who you can be? Why aren’t you passionate about what you do?

Success or Serenity Now?

Neither vision is complete. While you may achieve a greater sense of inner peace with the former, you may also be riddled with guilt over what could have been. While you may have a greater shot at success with the latter, you’re also much more prone to burnout. And when is “good enough” actually good enough?

There’s no winning here… unless you make the conscious decision to redefine what “winning” means in the first place.