Being Mindful Of Your Trade-Off’s Between Hustle & Health

Although we are no longer hunted by preying tigers, our contemporary selves are still ruled by strong primal reactions in case of perceived threat. Evolution is not going to catch up to this anytime soon, and I think we’ve all had a moment in which we realized how counter-productive some of our survival responses can be in the context of modern civilization.

If you’re actively and independently pursuing your goals, you will encounter these moments more often than those who go along with whatever, and the consequences of your responses may be magnified. In order not to hurt our lives, our careers, the people around us, but most importantly ourselves and our well-being, we must learn to keep our cool in these (inevitable) crisis moments, and handle them mindfully. To breathe through our survival reflexes, and get back to a place of reason – as it is only from here that we can make conscious choices with our own best interest at heart.

This is far from an easy practice.
But it surely is one we must master if we plan to live life like bosses.

At times your goals will suffocate you. You will feel as if you’re drowning in to-do’s, lost in challenges that need solving, paralyzed by insecurities about what you’re producing and pressed by the minutes ticking away on the clock. On top of that you might be running low on sleep, lacking nutrients and human contact and neglecting the limitations of our human brains and refusing to truly allow them a break.

If you’re hustling hard, these moments are inevitable. On your road to financial and emotional autonomy, there will be moments of stress, doubt, even desperation. Although posing no physical threat, your body may very well interpret your spike of adrenaline as a sign of danger. Your body can not distinguish between the stress of physical danger and the stress of perceived danger. As a result it can react as fiercely to a social rejection as it would to a life threatening situation, and this stress comes at a price.

There is a very thin line between employing this temporary survival mindset and being stuck in a prelonged state of severe stress. Where one will fuel you to get your shit done and deliver in the moment, one will slowly but surely break you down and dim your magic over time.

Crisis moments are inevitable, but crucial. What matters is how we handle these moments.
Although we must manifest our hustle, we must always honor our health.
From where I stand, finding my balance between both seems one of the greatest challenges in (girl/boy)bossing.

These moments actually offer us a unique opportunity to reflect, and to take a stance on what this balance means to us. How often will we sacrafice our peace for productivity? For how long? How do we determine when it’s enough? When is it wiser for us to give up on our task? How do we cope with short-lived stress spikes? How can we come down from them after? How can we make sure the severity doesn’t linger on? How may we make sure that this doesn’t affect our long-term health?

I believe we all have a different natural place of balance when it comes to these factors, and it’s a lifelong learning. But I believe the key for all of us is to be aware of the trade-off’s. To witness our bodies’ survival reactions and then decide at each single instance whether it’s more appropriate to exploit the stress spurt or to tend to our anxieties and find a place of calm. Ultimately, it’s only us that can determine our boundaries to maintain a balance between our hustle and our health. And so we should.

Let’s try be mindful of our trade-off’s.
Breathe through the crisis moments.
Hustle hard, stay healthy, and boss on.

Posted by Nadia Piet

New Zealand-born, Amsterdam-bred terrestrial being, practicing the art of living in a digital age, and help others do the same. Passionate about shaping the future of work, education and life and helping people and organizations navigate the many challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Because I believe "the best way to predict the future is to create it”.