Crush it, and rest; says Carl

Carl Richards, the Sketch Guy columnist from The New York Times, recently shared an enlightening view on our hustle culture. Online engagement has increased our stress levels by making work, social pressures and media agenda more invasive than ever. We can easily believe that if we’re not “on top”, we’re not working hard enough. We need to go out there and crush it until we make it.

But the reality is that we generally crush it until we crash. Here’s some of what Carl shared on

“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.

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.”

Before you sit down at your desk, check your diary or log in to that next online meeting, give yourself permission to take a walk outside. Go get some sun, fresh air, Starbucks or anything else that will remind you that you are in control of your decisions. Rest doesn’t have to be passive; active and intentional rest is healthy and brings balance to our hustle culture. 

Crush it. Rest up. Repeat.

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