Jonathan Simcoe Jonathan Simcoe

The Only Hustle is Against Yourself

It is very easy to get competitive about the career space we operate in. Much of our daily lives are spent with the occupational calling that we operate in. We often care deeply about it and are heavily invested. But if we’re not careful we can look around us and see other people creating inventive, original things, and then turn inward on ourselves with loathing:

«I suck. I wish I could create something cool like _______.»

«Argh! I can never launch anything!!!»

Or the passive one that makes me recoil whenever I hear someone say it:

«That’s such a cool creative thing you made! I wish I would have thought of it.»

The narcissism inherent in statements like these (especially the last one) are a reflection of something broken in the way we view ourselves and others.

First, narcissism draws us inward constantly and keeps us from being able to appreciate the gifts of others, and celebrate them.

Second, we view others and their creativity as a threat to our well-being, instead of contributing to it.

Unfortunately, social media amplifies both of these in negative ways. Our inward focus and critic rages and we disconnect from meaningful friendships and praise because we feel competitive with others.

We should really be competitive with ourselves. Instead of beating ourselves up for what we haven’t done, what we’ve procrastinated, or the ways that we’ve failed in our professional pursuits, we should instead chill out and realize that we have a unique work to do that only we are called to do.

We need to embrace our limits and work within them to contribute meaningful and beautiful things to this world.

I will close with this: the world needs you to be you. Nobody else can be you. The world needs me to be me. Nobody else can be me.

Look at others and their creativity and work as gifts to be celebrated. Take time on social media to call out the good you see in others.

It will start to change the way you engage in your own good work.