Sunday 12 June 2016

Weekly wisdom #17

However much satisfaction you might (or indeed might not) get from your full-time occupation – be it studying, working, or somewhere in between – the thrill of a side hustle shouldn't be underestimated. Keeping something for yourself, your thing, provides a kinda inner contentedness and fulfilment that outwardly-imposed work just can't compete with. But the two needn't be mutually exclusive; they can co-exist! With a conscious mindset shift, there's nothing that should stop you (or me) from those little passion pursuits. 

By side hustle, I'm referring to the inwardly-motivated ambition that truly sets your heart aflutter – and doesn't need to be monetised or get you "seen" to be considered a success. Quite the opposite in fact. In focusing on the soul stuff first, those things might well come, but the results will be a whole lot more authentic when superficiality isn't the stimulus.

Don't get me wrong, I make no claim to have mastered this. If anything, what you're reading now is an exercise in personal accountability; I have note pads (and note pads and note pads) filled with the side goals I wanna hit, but have up to now been putting off with inexcusable excuses. Speaking as an eternal perfectionist and imposter syndrome sufferer, too, there's a certain vulnerability and fear tied to deeply personal projects; a self-imposed pressure to fully do them justice. After all, they're a reflection of "you" in the realest sense. 

But I've resolved to make the things happen – step by step. Here's a little line-up of ways that might just help you with your side hustle too, whatever it may be:

  • Don't see your full-time job as an obstruction. If anything, see it as an enabler; the stability that allows you to schedule in out-of-work time to do what brings you pure, unmitigated joy. Though it's easy to idealise working for yourself – which of course still isn't out of the question – in reality it's a luxury to be able to do stuff that's wholly for you, without it bearing the burden of paying bills and other adult things. No pressure.

  • Be focused and intentional with your 24 hours a day. There's so much we do out of habit, that our knee-jerk excuse is "I'm too busy" or "I just don't have time." But by being aware of and prioritising what's truly important to us, we can free up space and take (see: make) the time to do the things we wanna do. If you can't make the time for it, it's obviously not a priority right now. And that's ok

  • "Don't compare your hustle to their highlights reel" – I came across this quote through Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal and #Girlboss, who I believe got it from this article. In short, social media often warps the BTS hard work and sh*ttier, sweatier, messier moments, neatly curating and mediating the process and final product into minimalist, flatlay, VSCO-filtered form. But let's be clear: we're all winging it and self-doubting, but we're also – each and every one of us – full of more potential than we know. And we owe it to ourselves to realise it.

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