7 Sneaky Benefits Of Hustling That Have Nothing To Do With Money, Success Or Power

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I’ll just say it.

I think every person should hustle for a few months or years or even decades at least at some point in their lives. But it’s not for the commonly propagated reasons like success, power or money.


Those might be the wrong reasons to hustle — and can affect your mental health negatively. However, I truly believe that if you hustle for the right reasons — the reasons I’m going to be talking about in this article — you can improve your mental health significantly.

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Here are 7 sneaky benefits of hustling that have nothing to do with money, success, or power:

1. Hustling can paradoxically help you live a slow and mindful life

Hustling is about maxing out. In terms of time, there’s always a ceiling to how hard you can work. You can work only a certain number of hours even if you squeeze yourself to your limits.

But since you’re obsessed, you get frustrated when you reach a ceiling. That’s when the question of efficiency comes up.

For instance, when I started hustling, I slowly built up to 8–9 hours a day of studying deeply every day. And that’s where I hit my ceiling. I had no more time to give in a day. But I wanted more and more. So I started figuring out how to improve the value of my one hour of studying.

I asked myself — is there any way I can increase my efficiency to the point that my one hour of studying equals my batchmates’ two hours of studying?

Answer: Yes, I could. I started learning memory tricks deeply. I figured out the best ways to study. I ironed out inefficiencies in the traditional learning system and now I believe that my one hour of studying equals someone else’s two, three, or even four.

And this is reflected in my scores on mock tests. My scores shot up by an insane margin.

What I’m trying to say is that hustling helped me understand the core principles of smart work. And these will stay with me my whole life.

So let’s say in the future I want to live a slower and more mindful life — a life opposite to that of a hustler. I’ll be able to do that better because I can use the principles of smart work to save a lot of time and chill out. Paradoxically, I’d be able to live a more mindful life than a person who thinks that hustle destroys your ability to live slowly.

2. You prevent emotional exaggeration

Here’s a theory that I’ve been working on: I believe that emotions expand to fill the space they’re allotted in your mind. It’s similar to Parkinson’s Law: the old adage that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion.

If you allocate a couple of hours for some task, you might complete it within that time frame. However, if you allocate the whole day for the same task, it will take you the whole day.

Similarly, if your mind is empty, a negative emotion will expand to occupy your entire mind. However, if your mind is occupied, the negative emotion will occupy only just as much space as it should.

People mistake this for distraction or emotional numbness: concepts that seem unhealthy to people. But in reality, having an occupied mind just prevents your emotions to swell up and taking over and hijacking your mind.

After my breakup last year, I was screwed. I wasn’t a hustler, and the breakup hijacked my mind because I didn’t have much else going on.

But then, after reading the book Can’t Hurt Me, I set out to reach my max potential in life. And since then, I’ve been much better mentally because my breakup only occupied just as much part of my brain as it should have — no more, no less.

But it’s not because of my hustle being a distraction. It's solely because the pain from my breakup had no place to swell up — and hence it remained contained.

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3. You have higher self-awareness

Believe it or not, I do believe that hustling might be nothing short of a spiritual experience. Why? Because to hustle, you have to figure out what makes you tick the most.

Hustling needs you to have more energy than a normal life might require. So when you make a firm decision to start hustling, eventually, you’ll figure out how to tap into your reserves of extreme energy.

For instance, I’m so f***ing desperate to have extraordinary experiences in life, that I’ll push myself to any lengths to achieve that. I was able to figure this out only after I started hustling — because, before that, I never needed so much energy in life.

To simplify: hustling creates a desperate need for energy, and to find this energy you explore your inner core to find your reserves of energy, and you eventually find it.

4. You learn to differentiate between escaping life and truly enjoying life

Hustling makes you highly aware of the value of time as a concept. This makes you repeatedly question the worthiness of anything that requires your time. This doesn’t happen in a non-hustle life.

This leads you to make an important distinction between the two reasons for doing anything: doing something because you want to escape life, or doing something because you truly enjoy doing that thing.

For instance, when I was not a hustler, I used to say yes to anything that seemed better than being bored at home — which is basically everything. But after I started hustling, I only said yes to stuff that made me truly alive.

For instance, I stopped meeting with people who I hung out with just to hang out because I was bored. I only hung out with people who made me truly alive.

This distinction was so important because now, I started appreciating the important people in my life more than ever. And I stopped escaping life and started enjoying it to the fullest.

5. You become a pro at sublimation

Sublimation is a mature defense mechanism that helps you convert undesirable emotions and energy into productive outlets. For instance, you convert your frustration into a drive to finally change your life.

As we talked about earlier, you need high emotional, spiritual, and physical energy to hustle in life. This need for energy will make you a pro at sublimation.

Energy is just that. Energy. Just like in physics heat can be converted to electricity and vice versa, one type of energy in life can be converted to another. And while hustling, the only energy that matters is your drive.

You learn to convert your insecurities, fears, desires, frustration, pessimism, and all other emotions in your life into motivation for change. Obviously, this has a couple of benefits:

  • You tame the disadvantages of the negative energy.
  • And you get the benefits of your drive.

And being a pro at sublimation can truly improve your mental health.

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6. You have immunity to everyday frustrations

When you’re hustling to chase an impossible goal, you’re so focused that everyday trivial matters don’t pull your attention.

You don’t worry about that person complaining about you. You don’t have time to gossip about what that person did. You’re just out of craps to hand out to stupid issues.

After starting to hustle, I realized how much attention people around me gave to trivial issues that did not matter at all. It was so clear to me.

And I was glad that I was out of craps. It’s because all my craps were reserved for the task at hand. It’s what Mark Manson talked about in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***.

When you don’t have something immense to devote your attention to, you won’t be able to control where you spend your attention. Having something to hustle for allows you to meticulously control your attention. And that leads to immense peace in life.

7. You enjoy an amount of self-respect you’ve never experienced before (which leads to more peace)

People think that hustling destroys your peace. I call bulls***. For me, hustling has led to incredible peace. Here’s why.

Think about it. You don’t hustle when you have a mediocre goal. You hustle when you have a goal as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bicep.

But here’s what is interesting: you don’t actually have to achieve your goal to benefit from it. Just the process of setting a big goal makes you respect yourself more.

When you truly set out to achieve a big goal, it’s you telling yourself that you’re capable of achieving it; that you’re capable of achieving anything.

That makes your confidence go through the roof. Your self-respect rises as well. Your insecurities are crushed. And this brings immense peace in life.

That said, I do realize that hustling can also take a toll on your mental health. But like anything in life, you have to learn to do it better.

I truly believe that you can hustle more mindfully and reap the benefits of it while at the same time avoiding its disadvantages. I know because I’ve been doing it for the past 9 months. And I honestly want you to reap those benefits.

All I’m saying is don’t reject the concept of hustling because you’ve heard that it’s bad, selfish, or leads to mental health issues. Don’t reject it without trying it out for yourself. You never know what you might gain.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.