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Taking the ‘Hustle’ out of a Side-Hustle: Work Charms Series

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In the past several years, I have had to think about putting in extra time and doing extra projects outside of traditional work hours to get where I want to go with my career and my life. My husband has as well. This recently brought up the term “side-hustle.” We both agreed that we dislike the term. I mean, what does it mean to “hustle” anyway? I asked Marriam-Webster:

Hustle (V): a to crowd or push roughly

                     b to convey forcibly or hurriedly

                     c to urge forward precipitately

I mean, I get it. Money is tight, the middle class is shrinking, and small businesses are only getting more competitive.  If we have something we are passionate about that we want to develop into a career, we may find ourselves putting in some extra hours outside of our traditional work to make it happen. Or, we may find ourselves taking on something extra just to pay the bills. But- is “hustle” really how we want to describe a business prospect that we want to cultivate? Do we want our deepest career dreams and passions to be forced, hurried and pushed-through? Do we want our life to be a “hustle?”

When I am cultivating a career prospect outside of my primary job, I try to do so with a little TLC- tender loving care – both to myself and the project. I like to take my time. I like to plan it through. I want to think of how my side project will help with my primary career. This blog, for instance, helped me get a job working in literacy last summer and has helped me to improve my writing in the workplace. My husband edits a Youtube channel which helps him to improve his editing skills and also helps him to network in his field, in addition to bringing in a small revenue. Furthermore, we both greatly enjoy these projects. While it’s unrealistic for every second of every side project to be filled with joy and passion, shouldn’t it be something that fills us with greater meaning and helps us to grow as individuals and as professionals?

Simply put, we may have to put more energy into our careers at some points than others to get where we want to go, but at the end of our lives, do we really want to look back and see a “hustle?” Is that really what we think we owe ourselves?

So, let’s reclaim all those additional hours we have put in. Let’s have side passion-projects. Let’s have side growth-generators. Let’s have side money-makers and side career-boosters. Let’s dip our toes in the water, try new things, enjoy each step of the process in a mindful way, and be awake. Let’s remember when we have to put in more hours than we would like that we are rock stars. Let’s embrace those parts where the project gets sticky as a learning opportunity and celebrate every step of the way. Let’s treat every obstacle as an exciting challenge we can overcome. Let’s pat ourselves on the back for going above and beyond, for being innovators, for daring to dream.

But please, let’s not hustle.

Why I Don’t Depend on Concrete Goals

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There have been many times in my life when I wasn’t sure “how far” I wanted to take something. This has especially been the case with things that are a challenge. Blogging is a perfect example. I would love nothing more than to sit around blogging all day every day. The fact is I’m just not there yet. I don’t have the knowledge, the time, or the means to make that happen… yet.

Still, I get a lot of enjoyment from working on my blogging skills. I like honing the craft. I read blogs about blogging. I try new things. I enjoy thinking up new topics to write about. I take feedback seriously.

It can be very comforting to have a defined goal in life, to know exactly what we want to do and where we want to go. However, when that goal doesn’t work out, it’s tough. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of what we want. Personally, I prefer to look at every day as an opportunity for growth. I have been trying to be open to different options in life, because you just never know when something will come along that is the perfect opportunity.

This isn’t to say to not ever have goals, but rather to be flexible and to enjoy the journey. If we learned something new today or we got a little farther along in the direction we wanted to go than we were yesterday, well, isn’t that success? If we tried our hardest, failed, and decided to find another door that was open for us, well, isn’t that a success, too? To me, success is being able to stand back up and try again, or to move just a little bit farther, having faith that we are right where we need to be at that moment.

Was there ever a time when you had a failure that ultimately resulted in a success?

 

 

What would YOU like me to write about?

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It just so happened that my 200th follower coincided with my 50th post, which coincided with my 500th like. Wow, what a surreal day.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my readers. While those numbers might not be much in blog terms, they mean the world to me. To have a platform for my writing is something that I have dreamed about since the first grade. It is finally happening for me, and that is thanks to you.

So, in light of this, I was wondering, is there anything in particular you wanted me to cover in regards to finding life’s magic? Maybe a book or film you would like to highlight, a concept you would like me to clarify, a question about me, or a favorite topic you have interest in? Please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks again for the stopping by, and happy reading!

 

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Three Word Swap Charms to Change Your Life

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I’ve been thinking a lot of language choice lately and I decided to share three of my favorite word swaps. These are simple changes we can make in our language which make huge changes in our perspective.

 Swap “Can’t” for “Don’t”

I found this one online; it was confirmed through a study done by Boston College. This one is particularly helpful if you are having trouble with boundaries, with telling people “no” or having trouble sticking to a goal. Instead of “I can’t go to the party,” try “I don’t go to parties.” Instead of “I can’t have soda” which can feel like depriving yourself of something you want, try “I don’t drink soda” which incorporates this into who you are: you are a person who doesn’t drink soda. In this way it affirms your own willpower.

Swap “Should” for “Want” or “Will” or “Feel”

This is one I learned from a counselor years ago. Is there any word that makes us feel more guilty and less in control than “should?” It brings to light the gap between all the things we aren’t and all the things we wish we were. Swap “I should work out” for “I will work out.” Swap “I should visit my family” for “I want to visit them.” If that doesn’t do the trick, connect to the reason you want to do those things with “because”, i.e. “I will work out because I love being healthy” or “I want to visit my family because I love them.”

And then finally, “feel.” Are you “shoulding yourself” because you are avoiding difficult feelings about obligations that you need to confront? Maybe you are telling yourself “I should hang out with this person” instead of admitting, “I don’t feel good around this person.” Being honest with your feelings can help you live your happiest life.

Swap “Spend” for “Invest”

I mentioned this one in my New Year’s Resolution. This is probably my favorite swap. To spend is to pay out money. To invest, in contrast, carries with it the expectation for growth. You spend money at a fast food chain. You invest in healthy foods at home. You spend money on new clothes you don’t need, but you invest in a quality wardrobe. Before I make a purchase, I like to ask myself, “Is this an investment?”

These words are all a work in progress for me, but I encourage you to try them and see just how much your perspective can change from these three simple swaps.

 

On Writing

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I’ve felt very inspired lately. I always keep a notepad on my bedside table just in case. It sure beats tripping over stuff in the middle of the night trying to find paper.

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

 

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Well, I was trudging through a pretty dreadful Monday this week when my phone buzzed and I received a notification that Marigold Blooms of By the Wayside had nominated me for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award. What a lovely surprise!

The Black Cat Blue Sea Award is given to bloggers who have written something that appeals to a wide audience and has had the power to move a reader, inspire or just make them smile.

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The Rules Are: 

  1. Anybody nominated can nominate up to eight other bloggers.
  2. The nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator.
  3. The questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions.
  4. If any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award.

 

My Answers:

1. What in the last month has touched or inspired you the most?

Michelle Obama’s speech on women. I almost didn’t watch it because I knew it was part of a campaign speech, but I decided to give it a listen after a good friend promoted it and I was deeply moved. Sometimes great wisdom can be found in unexpected places.

2. Is there a book you read recently that you especially enjoyed?  Share!  Or what is your favorite book or author?

“Enjoyed” is an interesting word. I’ve recently pulled on some galoshes and sludged my way through Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. And boy am I glad I did! It’s one of those books that I knew “in theory” but had never sat down and given a close read. It’s a dense but incredibly insightful look at the power of storytelling and the psychological impact it has had for thousands of years.

3. What advice would you give your younger self?

It is never wrong to stand up for you. You own your own boundaries. You are the author and main character of your own life story.

My Questions:

  1. What book in your life has influenced or shaped you the most?
  2. What is one silly thing that has the power to make you truly happy?
  3. If you could be doing anything anywhere in the world (or elsewhere!) right at this very moment, what would it be?

My Nominees:

No pressure on responding to the questions; just know that I have really enjoyed your content and wanted to share your work:

Anonymously Autistic

The Wishing Well

Little Big Things

Belle Pappillon 24/7 

Be sure to check out what these folks are up to and thanks again to Marigold Blooms; be sure to check out her blog as well. She writes about life’s journey, changes, and how important it is to get off the beaten path.

 

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