• Maryam Salman

Finding a work-life balance, why hustle culture isn't the gold standard we think it is-Maryam Salman

Work to live or Live to work?

Which one are you?

If I asked people this question a century ago, they would probably choose the prior. However, in today’s world, everyone will opt for the latter without even a hint of hesitation. Because that’s what humans have become: robots. We don’t think; we operate.



Lately, the idea of hustle culture has emerged, which probably best describes the situation of humans today. The culture of always working, always checking and rechecking e-mails. The culture of always trying to be the best is leading to stress more than our heart can even handle. The rise of this lifestyle could certainly be one of the key causes of anxiety in the modern world.


The major backlash of the chaos created in one’s lifetime is that all the other aspects of one’s life, for instance, our physical and mental health and our relationships, suffer. We put all of our energy into working and at the end of the day we have nothing left to expend on ourselves. Today's life requires a person to run in loops. Man was not created to only work. Work is simply a part of life. With time, this turns a person that was always radiating energy to a robot that is bound to perform monotonous tasks everyday. Exhausted and consumed, a person returns home and starts to prepare themselves for the run of the next day. Worrying too much will lead to sickness and then what? You’ll be stuck in bed for days. This adversely affects our spiritual growth and wellbeing.


Not discussed widely, another reason for the emergence of hustle culture is the perpetual rat race going on among humans. The desperate need to be at the top, to be the best, to outgrow your companions. The wild fire of hustling is fueled by the concept of overtime. While bosses enjoy seeing their employees work overtime to get more credits so they can be considered for promotion, they do not acknowledge that it is actually harmful for the employees’ productive capability. From a sociological aspect, the bourgeoisie are pushing the proletariat into the chasm of anxiety and depression.


Moreover, it is the thinking of some people that pain can be replaced by work. People drunk in depression and anxiety, desperately try to find a cure for their pains. And they often find it in work. They overwork themselves so that their mind would exhaust so much that it wouldn't have any energy left to think about the problems of life. They completely abandon their social life.


A woman named Jennifer started working 60-70 hours a week to overcome the emptiness in her life as she was single and childless at 35. Increasing illnesses like chronic disorders, extreme fatigue and the fact that she even grinded one of her teeth, was a matter of growing concern to her. The worst part was that she had started to become an alcoholic. To overcome this, she did therapy which helped her to reduce her work hours to 40. She then realized that work addiction , like the other forms are fatal and results in the development of the feeling of misery.


Despite being so intelligent, humans fail to understand a simple thing that constantly working too much only slows your productivity and reduces creativity. While practice makes a person perfect, excess of anything is a disadvantage. Too much chronic stress leads to diseases like blood pressure and may also lead to psychological disorders. Long hours can also cause burnouts. To avoid burnouts, you must take short breaks between work, build resilience and practice self-compassion.


One’s relationship with themselves is the most important. Hustle culture is a trap that every other person on this earth has fallen into. But it's never too late to correct your behavior. Many people struggle hard to find a perfect balance between work and life, nonetheless, even the minute changes in an individual’s behavior will help them eradicate the influence of the commotion in his life. We should initiate by spending evenings in parks or art galleries or a place where you can find true joy. We should never hesitate to seek help from a friend or even a professional if we need it. Speaking from experience, the best way to tackle the addiction of work is to find a hobby you enjoy.


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