In 2017, I remember being tired. Really tired. And I remember being tired of being tired. In fact, it felt like I’d been tired ever since I read Andrew Grove’s book “Only the Paranoid Survive” back in the early 2000s.
That book was the beginning of a sea change in my thinking about work, business, hustling, and survival itself—so much so that I’d been working like a fanatic ever since.
Up at five in the morning? Tried it! Daily workouts? Yep. Paleo, bulletproof, gluten-free, cold showers? Check. Build a business, start a side hustle, dominate Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? Yeah, all that, too! Make my family a priority? Of course. Serve in my community? Definitely.
For 5,478 days, I’d been hitting repeat. And it just about killed me.
I know I’m not alone.
It feels like we’ve been in the “Crush It Age.” Every time you turn around, somebody is crushing something. Gary Vaynerchuk became the Godfather of this Age. He wrote a book on it, in fact. According to him, people “need to work harder. And faster. There’s really nothing else to it. I’m exhausted every day, but I’m making all sorts of things happen in my 18 hours.”
And he added, “And I’m prioritizing what’s important and what’s not.”
So, there we have it. We can add “exhausted” to words like “cynical” and “busy” that we wear as badges of honor. As crazy as it sounds, I have to admit to having believed it.
Some dark corner of my mind used to whisper to me: “This is all true, Carl. If you don’t keep hustling, you’ll end up falling behind, and no one will listen to you. Ever. Again. Then, you’ll just be another failure, left to crawl under a rock, cold and alone, to die!”
But then I appointed myself King of Permission Granting. And my first act as king was to grant myself—and everyone else—permission to declare the Crush It Age finished.
So, what comes next?
The Age of Work Hard, Rest Hard.
In this Age, we’re still hustling. But we’re also resting. In fact, we’re trying to be as good at resting as we are at crushing things.
We’re becoming pros at turning off social media, getting great sleep, working less, and living more.
We’re making being rested cool. So when people ask how you’re doing, you can say, “Sit down. Let’s talk about it for a minute because I have time for you, my friend.” At a minimum, you should be able to answer, “Rested, and how are you?”
I know this sounds like crazy talk, but we can do it. Let’s make it a priority to be human again—to work hard and rest hard without buying into the idea that we’ll fail at life if we rest.
P.S. As always, if you want to use this sketch, you can buy it here.
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