Sleep is for the weak. Just keep Hustling. You can sleep when you’re dead. Rise & Grind.
These are all things that I used to repeat to myself day in and day out for the past few years. I had to. I had to survive and push for my dream to come true. I couldn’t stumble and let the mountain of work defeat me. Being an elite athlete dedicating life to our sport we all just had to let our feet hit the pavement, close our eyes and keep pushing forward – no matter how tired, sore or in pain we felt. There would be sessions and days on training camps when I would have to turn off. Turn off and force my human-ness away and think like a machine. There was no time to consider my thoughts, feelings or anything other than the task in front of me. Luckily amongst the moments of utter exhaustion my teammates and I would sit down and let our inner child shine, we would laugh until we couldn’t breathe and chat for hours on end. We kept each other going. But most of the time it was just – Wake up. Eat. Synchro. Sleep. Repeat.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a single moment of all of that. It’s just what we had to do to achieve our goals. But through all of that I would have moments where I would sit back, stare life in the face and swallow the fact that if I want to “succeed” in life – this would be my reality.
There are so many people out there shouting to the heavens about “the hustle”. That to achieve want you want to achieve only comes from years and years of endless, repeated, exhausting hard work. And of course those people are right to a degree. My teammates, myself and so many people are the proof of that. But if that is your life 100% of the time, is that really living?
On the other hand there are the ‘hippies’, the new age, new world modern flower children promoting meditation, yoga, the art of slowing down and living in the moment. The people that advocate against the glorification of busy and promote a lifestyle of time and committment freedom in our cluttered and restless world. They seem to have lives filled eased peace and presence. But how do those people have time for presence if they want to strive for something impossibly great?
I don’t have the answer. I don’t know what method is better or worse. If both paths make people feel fulfilled at the end of the day then I guess it doesn’t matter. But what I have learned is that neither extreme of the spectrum is how I want to live my life. I don’t want to get to my last day on this earth and wish I had worked harder for my goals, nor do I want to reflect and realize I didn’t take time to stop and smell the roses.
So in the meantime, I plan to keep working hard while allowing myself the balance to have off days of complete un-productivity. I plan to keep striving towards the massive goals I have in my life and grasping my potential while making time to slow down and enjoy the present, watch the sunset and spend time with those closest to me.
But that is just me. What is the answer for you?
And remember – don’t let the world tell you how to structure your path, go out there and pave it yourself.