I’m writing this email from a lovely cafe in Heidelberg, Germany. I’m here with some friends on a bank holiday mini-break - we’re trying to take full advantage of our 3 weeks left as medical students before doctor-life starts and we become slaves to our rota.
I’m having a bit of a conundrum that I’d love your help with. It relates to the balance between hustle and chill.
On the one hand, we hear advice that goes like you have to just keep hustling and even if you don’t feel like it you should do it anyway and even people like me espousing the virtues of just showing up (as per the last email). Then on the other hand, there’s the idea of take a break and don’t burn yourself out, which seems to run contrary to the hustle mentality.
For the past year, I’ve carried my vlogging camera rig to every interesting location and holiday I’ve been on. I’ve made these into vlogs that I’m really proud of and know that I’d like to look back on in the future.
However, on this Heidelberg trip, I vlogged the first day and realised that it seemed almost a chore. I was struggling to say interesting things on camera and part of me just wanted to relax and not worry about capturing every fun moment in smooth buttery slow-motion. This led me to a conundrum - do I battle through the slight discomfort, do I just show up and vlog the trip anyway? Or do I tell myself it’s okay to take a break from vlogging once in a while?
How do we resolve this conundrum? I’m not 100% sure, but I have a few thoughts and I’d love to hear yours (just hit <reply> and let me know what you think!).
I think the key thing is to define our goals, and let our attitude towards hustle vs chill be dictated in the first instance, by those goals. In medical school for example, if our goal is to come top of the year, we should probably be doing much more hustle and much less chill than someone who just wants to pass the exams. Of course, we can question the merits of aiming for rank 1 all we like, but my point is that it’s for the individual to titrate their level of hustle/chill based on the goal that they’ve set for themselves.
In my case, I want to be successful on YouTube, but I’m not planning to make it a full-time job. My goal is to make videos that I enjoy, that resonate with and help people, and that help build up my ‘personal brand’ as a legit medical + educational / lifestyle vlogger. This goal requires a certain level of hustle, and I think I’ve been doing that pretty well, making around 10 videos per month for the past year or so. But the goal doesn’t require me to be hustling 24/7, and vlogging literally everything about my life. Therefore, I can 'afford’ to take a break every now and then, and enjoy quality time with my friends, without that being incongruent with my overall mission.
There’s a lot to be said for consistency, and just showing up and doing the work even when we don’t feel like it. But I think that when we do have moments of thinking 'argh I can’t be bothered with this’, we should pause for a moment and think about our wider goals. Would taking a break be congruent with those particular goals? And are those particular goals even still relevant to us? If we can answer those, we’ll be more self-aware and we’ll be able to make an informed choice to hustle or to chill.
For what it’s worth, I’m going to take a break from vlogging this trip. I’ve got some footage from day 1 and some drone shots that I’ll edit into a short video and I’ll maybe film a segment about this hustle vs chill stuff. I’ll spend the rest of the time enjoying the banter with my friends and taking pics for the gram to satiate my camera addiction.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have a great week!