I have made only one resolution this year, and that is to hustle. You may have noticed that, unlike losing ten pounds or running twenty-five miles per week, this is unquantifiable. The precise meaning is also unclear.
Definition of HUSTLE
transitive verb2a : to obtain by energetic activity <hustle up new customers> b : to sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity <hustling the suckers> c : to sell or promote energetically and aggressively<hustling a new product> d : to lure less skillful players into competing against oneself at (a gambling game) <hustle pool>intransitive verb3a : to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business b : to obtain money by fraud or deception c :
to engage in prostitution
4: to play a game or sport in an alert aggressive manner
Let’s assume that, aside from becoming a hooker (out of the question, as I’m a regular blood donor), my resolution can refer to any or all of the above.
This isn’t about self-improvement per se. I accept that I am most apt to exercise every day if I don’t vow to run every day, that I hardly ever eat crap unless I determine not to, that sometimes I read five books per week and sometimes one book per month, that sometimes I will update this blog a lot and sometimes it will languish. I am okay with all of those things.
But I can be lazy on a much deeper level. I like being comfortable and comforted. I got no less than eight hours of sleep every night in December, but I didn’t come close to posting here on even half of those days. If I keep busy and am making a decent amount of money, I stop looking for new challenges — even if my work is highly unchallenging and most of my days are spent going through the motions.
None of this is a huge problem. I don’t think it reflects that poorly on me as a person, nor will it cause cancer or heart disease. I’m not unkind or lacking in compassion; my house is usually pretty damn clean. I have a good work ethic. But when I come to the end of my days, am I going to look back and say, “Hell yeah! I was a pleasant, well-rested person with a clean house who could rattle off the works of Jane Austen by heart!”
So boring. Being comfortable just isn’t worth it in the long run. It’s a surefire recipe for that most depressing of phrases, “could have.”
I’m not an aggressive person by nature, which means that when I’m at my most pushy, other people seem to think that I’m being tactfully assertive. If doing excellent work that I’m really fucking proud of means that I have to pull an all-nighter once a month, won’t that be worth having a meltdown the next day? I’ve had meltdowns before and I’m here to tell about them. And if I want to write books and expose injustices and have more than a dozen friends read the movie reviews that I write, I will probably have to engage in some level of self-promotion. I might even have to — but I really hope not — network. I don’t think I could actually engage in fraud, but I’m not above a tiny bit of deception from time to time (“Uh huh, I know that style guide like the back of my hand”).
As for shoving, I’m not going to do it. Not unless it’s to get some children or grannies out of my way as I flee a burning building. But I will work on being less deferential, less passive.
It’s not that I’ve never done these things before, but I’ve never consciously decided to do them consistently, to take on the challenge of being uncomfortable, to bust my ass after I’ve just finished busting my ass. In short, I’ve never been a hustler. So this will be my experiment for 2012. To find out if it’s worth it.
Oh yeah, I’ve decided to go back to reviewing movies! But this time, I’m going to care if people actually read them, more people than my circle of (very loyal) friends. Because it’s not just about getting paid.