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Hustle and Grind?

Hustle. Grind. Wake up at 4am to get a jump on everybody.

Watch below or scroll down to read

These are ubiquitous advice crafted to motivate us to work harder so that we can all achieve our dreams, usually financial freedom. On the surface, they seem reasonable. Just work hard and you’ll get the results you want because if you grind with your sweat, blood and tears you’ll get there in the end.

But is it a guarantee that putting all the effort in will result in victory? What if it’s invested into the wrong process or have gone down the wrong path? Does everyone function the same way at 4am?


The assumption of these motivations requires that you have to know exactly where and how you’re going to get to a destination. Your plan must be as close to perfect as possible, like a simple input output model with limited variables in between.

If there are variations, it assumes that you’d know how to navigate yourself back on course.

What happens to those who have broken their backs trying to achieve what they set out to do while following these advices religiously yet still failed? 

It is always easier to reduce everything to some catchy phrase to pass along from groups to groups. It’s got a fantastic ring to it. It’s simple and easy to remember. However, in that simplicity, a whole gamut of caveats are omitted.

Do we assume that people have the cognitive ability to understand the intentions of the full advice?

It’s not literally just grinding and hustling but a reminder, like the key words of a longer message. This reasoning may be plausible if not for the instant gratification that most people crave for when listening to their favourite influencers. They are in the moment and the atmosphere or excitement narrows their cognitive ability to discern and extrapolate the breadth of the message.

Their focus is on the influencer giving them life-changing advice on how they can also achieve greatness. Forget the small details, who’s got time for that.

Anyway, it would be uncool to be lengthy about a punch line- like explaining a joke to someone after you’ve told it. Brevity is the key otherwise, it’s no longer funny!

So what happens to the people who follow these advice blindly, the ones who wakes up at 4am and not have any clear idea of what their days should entail?

Or those who are so amped up to get going that they’ll reach out and do whatever they can just to feel productive, even if they’re heading in the wrong direction? What happens when they get to their wits end, burn out and have no results to show for?

Would it be fair for them to feel bitter about the process, but more so a realization that they’re not good enough. For someone to follow the advice of those in a position of power and influence so religiously and ending up, spinning their wheels would be a tragedy. They would blame themselves for being stupid or thinking that there’s something wrong with them with little realization that they’ve been gas lit the whole time.

The underlying danger with these simplistic and reductionist advices is that it pervasively places the blame on those who follow it. It takes no responsibilities for its incompleteness and just like a narcissist, lashes out and destroys the host for not achieving what they wanted.

What about those millionaire influencers, they’ve hustled and ground and they’ve achieved greatness. These cases do exist, but what you don’t see is the myriads of advisers, coaches and people that supports them, that analysed all the options and guided them in the right direction.

Why should the influencers mention their support network if their whole spiel is for you to work hard and grind?

At the end of the day, these advices are not false, however they are misleading at best because they’ve missed the other half of the core component, telling someone to grab the opportunities with both hands when only allowing them to use one arm.


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