What Comes First: The Purpose or the Hustle?

March 29, 2021

Making a change in this world requires really hard work. It requires long hours, strategic scheduling and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone regularly. It requires taking chances that may feel ridiculous. But more than anything, no matter how hard you hustle, to truly have a positive impact in the way that only YOU can, you need PURPOSE.

Purpose-Less Hustle

Our purpose is what grounds us, and it should be what drives our work.

I often see or meet people who are working hard day in and day out, taking on new commitments and projects, stretching themselves to new limits, but they aren’t satisfied with where their career seems to be going. They don’t feel a sense of connection or belonging with what they’re doing. Their work is not aligned with who they are at their core. They have gotten away from their purpose!

This is a scary feeling, to know that you’re giving everything you’ve got to a goal that is totally undefined. It is not sustainable to keep up a hustle when you don’t know what you’re hustling for. Eventually, it will feel like it’s not worth it, and you will burn out.


Identify Your Purpose, Then Let It Guide You

Before you get too deep in your hustle, it is essential to root down in your purpose. Being able to name what you are uniquely positioned to do based on your talents and passions will help provide direction with the decisions you make.

Knowing your purpose will help you keep it at the center of how you spend your time and energy. When choosing whether or not to take on a new project, you’ll be able to vet it with your purpose and make a choice that feels true to you.

Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. It may not be aligned with your purpose, which means that you’re not going to make the biggest impact that you could.


Your Purpose May Change With Time

You may not know exactly where you’re going, and your purpose can and should evolve over time, but having that driving force guiding all your decisions will help you feel less lost. I promise!

Since having a strong sense of purpose is so crucial to effectively creating positive social change, it’s worth it to allow yourself the space and time to reflect on what your purpose is.

The Purposeful Hustler knows that if they don’t stay vigilant about who they are, how they are showing up in the world, and what impact they are or aren’t making, they cannot be on top of their game.

Make the time to pause and reflect on your skills, experiences, gifts and passions. Think about how you are spending your energy, how you are hustling. Is it aligned with who you want to be in the world?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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