Yesterday, in the midst of an embarrassingly bad bout of writer's block, I slapped on this "hustle" temporary tattoo from Tattly. This was one of the many inspirational tats that my friend Alex and I included in a gift box for our first ever Next Creative meetup. I've been saving it for a special occasion, a creative emergency of sorts, and yesterday was exactly that. As I pressed a warm rag against my arm and peeled back the waxy layer of paper, suddenly I felt invincible.
Hustle. It's a word that really resonates with me. Whenever I hear it, my mind is immediately transported to my days of Little League softball. I'm nine-years-old, and my coach is hitting grounders in my general vicinity. I make feeble attempts to field the balls. "Hustle!" my coach bellows. "Hustle! Don't just stand there. Hustle!" To be fair, he's got a point. For the most part, I am just standing there. He calls out again, "Hustle! Hustle hustle HUSTLE!"
Truth be told, I had no business ever being on a softball field to begin with. Back then, I'm honestly not even sure I understood what the word "hustle" meant, no matter how loudly it was screamed in my direction.
But today, when I'm feeling particularly lethargic or I'm struggling to get moving on my writing, I find myself chanting "hustle" like a mantra in my head. Something about it really motivates me. It's one of those words with a sound that seems to imply it's meaning. Its Dutch origin word, hutselen, means "to shake." I love that. Here's my definition though:
Hustle: to work hard, to move with haste, to put your whole self into what you are doing.
While I may not have hustled much on the softball field, I'd like to think I'm hustling now. The thing is it's hard to hustle for something you don't care about. It feels futile to waste energy on something that doesn't really matter to you. But for something you love, it's essential.
Today, I have a lot of things to hustle for. This blog, my readers, my community, my family, my friends, my future -- these are things that make me want to move and shake. There is room for grace, forgiveness, and sometimes a touch of laziness, but at the end of the day, these are the aspects of my life that I want to pour my whole self into.
So today, even though it's a Friday and all I want to do is close up shop and watch a million episodes of Breaking Bad in a row, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to stare at my sweet temp tat for a quick second, and then I'm going to hustle.
What makes you hustle?