When You’re Spread Too Thin

How often do we see, hear, or read about someone and their side hustle? Maybe you’re a part of this crowd.

Having a secondary or an additional part-time job is nothing new. I’ve done in my past. In fact, in my twenties I had four part-time jobs as well as attending university full-time. I remember how hard it was to find balance between work, school, and time for myself.

As I look back now I understand I was not kind to myself as a result. I was in the cycle of doing and acquiring and not really ‘doing’ as I would describe it today.

My definition of ‘doing’ in my fifties is more like The Beatles lyrics to know without knowing, to see without seeing and to do without doing. It’s about letting go to achieve more of what is truly important in life.

But let’s think about the word ‘hustle’.

A man smoking and playing poker

Unless you’re a product of the late 70s and are familiar with the disco dance of the same name you probably have conjured up an image of a game of three-card monte, a game of billiards or cards in a shady, smoked filled room.

Either way, the word hustle doesn’t imply peace, calm, or balance. In fact, it has the opposite meaning.

When we have more than one ‘hustle’ or ‘priority’ one tends to receive more attention than another. This situation may be manageable in both the short term and long term. But what about three, or four, or perhaps five hustles?

Unquestionably, your wellbeing will begin to suffer. Mindful attention will be lost. The purposeful quality you striving for in each task will be lost. The beauty of life will not be evident. The relationships you are trying to strengthen and provide for will begin to weaken.

When asked why a relationship is over, very seldom is it said because you are a hard worker and brought in a lot of money but more often the response is you are never here. All in the name of a ‘side hustle’.

In the Noble Eightfold Path we are taught about Right Mindfulness and Right Contemplation. When we find ourselves pulled in many, often competing, directions we lose both of these important qualities. We wont achieve the peace, joy, and ease of suffering without all of the steps in the Eightfold Path working harmoniously together.

If you are working one job while trying to start your own business, that’s perfectly fine. One must have an income to survive.

But if you’re working one job and have several different business ventures all the while why trying to balance a family, the quality in all will begin to diminish.

Woman presenting a proposal

Mindful attention in your responsibilities will be lost. You will not have the wellbeing you seek. There is also the possibility of losing all.

Instead to help return to the present moment return to the breath.

Breathe in and say ‘my happiness exists right here, right now’.

Breathe out and day ‘my wellbeing is built in the now’.

Remember, it’s fine to have wonderful intentions of where we’d like to be but not at the expense of today, the here, the now.

I wish you peace and ease,

Vladimir

Blue Lotus Meditation and Mindfulness Center is a registered 501(c)(3) religious organization.

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