I was confused about the term “to hustle” for quite a while, probably because I’m non-native. I found it in various books about startups and solopreneurship, and from the context I deduced it might have something to do with marketing. Shawn Blanc was the first to make sense of this: it usually means to do a lot of work. To break a sweat working towards your goals.

Now there’s nothing wrong with this. “If you want to succeed as hard as you want to breathe, then you will succeed.” That should by no means entail you stop sleeping at all and wear your body down. After all, you and your body are one.

That’s why I’d like to add a few items to Shawn’s list:

  • Start eating real food and stop swallowing garbage.
  • Give yourself the chance to detox; remove everything that may affect your brain for a while – porn, social media, coffee, tea, sugar.
  • Exercise and move every day. Walk for 30 mins if you can’t muster the strength for anything else.

A lot of people I met in tech are interested in body-hacking, life-hacking, and the like. Optimizing sleep for example. Or ditching processed food because, you know, better focus and stuff. This is the search for technical solutions (stuff you set up once and then do it like an automaton) when the underlying challenges are those a corporeal life itself presents.

The fundamentals are the same no matter if you want to be a healthy over-performer in tech or a professional athlete: push your limits and swing the pendulum back and forth from stress to relaxation: Fast and eat; exercise and rest; work and meditate. Your performance is not only about how quick you can throw together a working app. It’s also about how long you can excel at what you do before wearing out.

So take care, don’t overwork, don’t underwork, and push yourself on all frontiers in life at once.