Work isn’t meant to be escaped

Entrepreneur Curtis Jackson, also known as recording artist 50 Cent, writes in Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter:

One of the most important realizations I came to early in my business career is that I’m running through an endless tunnel. What I mean by that is I came to understand that there’s no “happily ever after.” No matter how many records I sell, cases of liquor I move, and hit TV shows I create and executive-produce, there’s never going to be a moment where I say, “Okay, this is the end of the road. I’ve finally made it,” and then take my foot off the pedal. 

I know there’s going to be another challenge right around the corner. And then another one after that. 

Some people might find the endless-tunnel idea overwhelming or even depressing. They spend their entire lives working toward finally seeing the “light at the end of the tunnel,” so it can be difficult to accept that there won’t ever be one. But there isn’t. 

I actually find it liberating to know that I’ll be hustling for the rest of my life. Accepting that I’m going to be working just as hard (though maybe a little bit slowly) at seventy as I am now makes me happy. In many ways that knowledge gives me the freedom that I’ve always been looking for.

I noticed a similar passage in artist Yayoi Kusama’s autobiography, Infinity Net:

I feel as if I am driving an endless highway, all the way to my death. It is like drinking thousands of cups of coffee cranked out of automatic dispensing machines.

Psychologist Phil Stutz describes three aspects of reality: pain, uncertainty, and constant work (which Cristiano Ronaldo has shared). 

I don’t see this being antithetical to antiwork, which is a movement rightfully seeking fair compensation for work. 

I see it more as a call-to-action against the notion that the dream is you don’t have to work at all and can still make money (some label this “passive income”), or that work is somewhat escapable and meant to be resisted.

A job is a job.

P.S., Working on Christmas used to be illegal. Here’s my friend Rameez Tayyabi’s father, entrepreneur Azhar Tayyabi, making history, fighting for the right to work, and providing for customers over the holidays. If you’ve been called to work on Christmas, thank you. I hope it’s prosperous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *