Early to bed Hustle, Early to rise Rise and Grind
In the corner chair, lamp overhead with a blanket. This is usually how I start and end my days. Monday to Friday I try my hardest to get up early before the kids to set out the day, prioritize and get my hustle on. It usually begins with reading. 30-45 minutes at most and then on to journaling which is followed up by planning my day, scheduling and setting goals. It’s one of the more fulfilling parts of my day.
Prior to starting this practice, I’d find myself flying by the seat of my pants, doing everything and anything that was thrown into my path. Eating whatever, whenever possible, getting that super important thing done, forgetting all those other super important things I told myself I’d do. Yeah, I forget a lot these days. Cause, you know, kids. It’s one of those things that constantly defeats me and makes me feel at a stand still. In getting up early (I won’t tell you how early) I’ve found that I can have some time for me. Reflection, self-development, structure, and peace.
Where are you going with this?
I shared a link on Facebook the other day about “hustle” and how “too much” hustle isn’t good for you. When the boys were born (during my parental leave) I decided to go back to school for something that over the years had become very interesting to me. I knew I found it intriguing, I knew I was kind of good at it, but I didn’t yet know if I found it interesting enough to pay money for courses and become certified in it and potentially do it for the rest of my life.
Long story short: the answer became clear very quickly and I enrolled. It was around the 5th month of being off work that I knew it was time for a career change. I had grown so much in my new field and over the past several years had been involved enough and gained enough experience to confidently say that I could move forward full time. Fast forward to today. I’m still not in it full time and that’s okay. My days (though I work around my current full-time job) are filled and set up so that I can get the things I need to completed.
Where was I?
Right. Hustle. As a (working) dad of two 15-month-olds every day is a hustle and yes, I know I’m not the only person with kids out there working hard, but follow me for a minute. Starting with the 45 minutes to an hour I get to myself in the mornings all the way through to getting them to bed, making dinner with Thalita and catching up on the day or watching Netflix for 7 minutes before we inevitably go to bed – I’m hustling.
What really got me about the article was the fact that we are all in it. Parents, married, single, wherever you find yourself and the pressures from the outside world to perform, post, pretend like you’ve got it all together can be so overwhelming. I read a lot and listen to podcasts daily on my commute and it seems, for the most part, that all the media I am exposing myself to are all saying the same thing. If you’re not where you want to be it’s because you are lazy and you’re not working hard enough.
“You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce”
I know you are but what I am?
The stories of the guy that started his first internet company when he was 14 are endless and daunting. If I hear one more person say to me that Beyonce has the same 24 hours that I do or “what’s your excuse?” I’m going to hit someone (not hard, just a little tap). Though what they are all saying might be true in some circles, all these super successful people are not me. And that is the point of my post today. I’m writing to tell you that it’s okay to not be like the person next to you or through the screen. It’s okay to slow down.
If you’re reading this it’s most likely that you found your way to this post via Instagram. Oh, Instagram the Matrix-inspired Utopia where nothing ever goes wrong, everyone is “sooooooo busy” and the person running that account is so much happier and more successful than you are. “That person is on a boat”. “This person is driving that”. “That person’s house is so…”. You think it, someone has said it. We. need. to. stop. comparing. ourselves. to. other. people! Especially on the internet because you know what? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s not real. To add to that, they are not you and they are looking at the next person with their own list of “look what that person did” and wishing their life could be that way.
I’m almost done
Hear me out, I am by no way saying that you shouldn’t have goals and aspirations. I have 3 very specific goals and each day I have mini goals that I need to achieve in order to move the needle. But guess what, If I don’t get them completed (cause, you know, kids), it’s okay. I’ll move them and adjust to get them done in tomorrow’s schedule. Goals are important but you don’t have to achieve them all right now. I’m still working through this myself but I have to constantly remind myself (and my wife does a great job at this) that my number one not negotiable top priority goal each and every day is to be a father and husband. Nothing is more important than them. No-thing!
Just say “No!”
Saying “no” has become my new favourite thing to do. Whenever I say “no” it gives me more time with my family and more time to focus on my goals and what is important to me. Without saying no you’ll eventually end up like the light bulb, burned out. Be encouraged, friend, don’t stop moving but instead focus on progression. Any progression is forward movement no matter how slow. Your family should and always will be your biggest supporters and all the rest can wait. I wrote this for me because today, as I left for work, Thalita told me she loved me, my boys smiled at me and in their own one-year-old way told me they love me and are proud of me just for being their dad. No amount of likes could ever do that. As we move further into this age of “hustle” and “right now” let’s remember what’s actually important. Turning off the lamp and going to bed. Tomorrow is another day.
The Unfit Dad