Hustle Porn

2 min

Is being ridiculously busy the key to success or just a recipe for being miserable? Anita Lowe Taylor has this Perspective.

I recently discovered the world of “hustle porn," an op-ed genre in which powerful and hyper-busy people detail the schedule of their sleep-deprived lives. It’s a voyeuristic view into the world of the super-successful and their manic lifestyles. Addicting, compelling, these stories never fail to make me feel terrible. They make me question why I’m seemingly the only human who doesn’t survive on kale smoothies, who needs a biologically sound amount of sleep, and who would only get up at 4 am to meditate with a gun to my head. Even then, I’d be meditating about my warm bed.

Yet beyond making us mere mortals feel inadequate, I wonder if these articles aren’t normalizing a truly unhealthy lifestyle. Little sleep, constant stress, virtually no freedom or flexibility, beneath their polished veneers these people seem kind of miserable.

I’m reminded of a cartoon. A man is sprinting after dollars floating in the wind. He grabs fistful after fistful until finally, his arms full, he stops short at the edge of a cliff, which of course represents death. What exactly are we chasing? And when, in a world in which the internet is literally strapped to our wrists, is it okay to say enough is enough?

I realize I’m intrigued by hustle porn because I too am guilty of idolizing its fast-paced, achievement-oriented lifestyle. My own hypocrisy is not lost on me, but like any addict, I’m struggling for remission.

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So with that I’m going to close my laptop, turn off the treadmill, and go kiss my husband. After all, that cliff ain’t getting any further away.

With a Perspective, I’m Anita Lowe Taylor.

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Anita Lowe Taylor is a resident physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford.

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