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Hustle Culture Is Killing Your Greatness

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hustle, grind, innovate, grow, work more, get more, make more …These are the words we constantly hear spewed at us on a daily basis via our TVs, smartphones and “hustle culture” as a whole. Founders and employees alike are drowning in tasks they need to complete on fast-paced apps like Slack and Asana. The world is constantly becoming faster, and with that has come the incessant need for humans to keep up with it.

With all the innovation and fast-paced work environments our modern world has yielded, there are certainly costs that must be observed and avoided in order to not only survive, but also thrive. In 2021, “burnout” is a word that has become increasingly popular. With over 126,000,000 Google search results, it’s safe to say that it’s a condition affecting more people than ever before. So, why have the words “hustle” and “grind” become so popular in today’s world? Why do we feel we must grind our way to succeed at any cost, including our health and relationships?

These are questions and experiences I’ve struggled with deeply on a personal level as I have built multiple six- and seven-figure companies from a relatively young age. I have found myself burned out on a myriad of occasions, leaving myself to wonder how and why I let myself get to such a state. After deeply analyzing myself as well as some of the top performers of our lifetime, I have developed three solutions that I think our world needs to hear now more than ever.

Related: Why Hustle Culture Might Be Toxic to Your Business

1. Continuously ask yourself the question “Why?”

Most people never question their actions and fall victim to the “following the herd” mentality. They unconsciously take actions based on what they think others would approve of, without ever questioning if it’s truly the best route to take for themselves. One thing I’ve learned from my own life as well as studying billionaires and other ultra-successful humans is that they all are incredibly self-aware and know their “why” at all times. This allows them to essentially block out all the noise from the world and avoid the countless hamster wheels most of us fall into, which inevitably leads to burnout. Before starting any new venture or task, ask yourself “why” before deciding if it is truly essential to your values and success.

2. Treat your mental health as your most valuable asset

Mental health is quite a buzzword these days, but there is still a lack of understanding regarding its true power in our lives. Our mental states quite literally determine the quality of our decisions and therefore our destiny. Think about it: When was the last time you made a great business or life decision when you were fatigued, anxious or scared? Most of us put our mental health on the backburner or even deliberately neglect it in the hopes that “one day” we can rest and deal with it. But this is an entirely backward approach. How can we possibly be our best and reach the pinnacle of success if we are constantly battered down, tired, stressed and burned out? There’s a reason high-performers make time every day to meditate, read and thoroughly care for their mental health. It’s the foundation for all great success.

Related: 3 Lies That the Side Hustle Culture Leads You to Believe

3. Find success in who you are, not what you have or do

The main driver that leads to burnout tends to be the notion that we are not good enough now, and that in order to be good enough, we have to have a massive company, a lot of money, power, nice things and more. The truth is that there will always be “more,” and if we constantly look to “more” to find our worth, it will never be enough because of its very nature. The truth is that we are all enough right now. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to work towards something, but it means that we can change the narrative as to why we work. Rather than seeking validation at the end of your life, find validation now in who you are. Realize that you’ve always been the source of greatness in your life and know that you are and always have been enough now. Now that you have that understanding, you can create success rather than chase it. You can love the journey rather than see it as a means to an end that never comes.

The technological innovations of our world are changing more than just how businesses operate: They’re changing how we as humans operate. With technology essentially unlimited in its capacity to produce and scale, it’s becoming harder and harder for humans to “catch up,” so to speak. It’s only when we realize our true power is not to do more but to do better that we regain some of that control. And to be better, we must be able to think creatively, forge new paths, innovate and inspire — all of which are impossible if we hustle ourselves into burnout.

Related: Why the Hustle-and-Grind Entrepreneurial Mentality Is Unhealthy