This is not a post about Hustle & Flow, the 2005 Terrance Howard movie, although Jon Stewart’s zinger of “For those of you keeping track at home, that’s: Three 6 Mafia, one Oscar, Martin Scorsese, zero” after the former won for best song is one of my all-time favorite Academy Award jokes. (Marty won the next year for The Departed.)
It is more a musing on trying to find the balance between Hustle Culture and the Flow states that seem to come more often in stillness. I started out wanting to write about the struggle of coming up with a plan only to stray from it when I run into the first roadblock or my energy is low. I think the question of knowing when to quit (or pivot) and when to keep going is one of the more fundamental ones in life, and it is insightfully discussed in Seth Godin’s quick read book, The Dip.
The Dip looks like this:
Godin describes it as: “…the long stretch between beginner’s luck and real accomplishment.” I don’t want to turn this entire post into a book review, so I’ll leave it at saying: for challenges that follow The Dip curve, you want to decide if it is worth it before starting and then not give up in The Dip; or, decide in advance that it isn’t what you really want and quit before you get there. (Much of the book also goes into making that decision.)
This may turn into a particularly FBR post, but in thinking about Hustle, Flow, and ways to get through The Dip, I come back to the idea of push vs. pull motivation. I’m sure I’ll do a much longer post on this subject later as I spend a lot of time thinking about it, but essentially I think of push motivation is getting yourself amped up to take on a task, while pull motivation is where it would be harder to not do it than to do it. Push drives Hustle. Pull guides Flow. While at my desk, much of the time I’ll have French rap in my headphones because it is upbeat enough to energize me but the lyrics are too fast for me to be distracted. But, mostly since I didn’t want to pay for Spotify premium anymore, I was searching for study music on Youtube and came across this:
Basically it is the same tones on repeat for six hours. Today I was struggle-bussing hard to find the energy to do some high-level planning, but for whatever reason combing that with a Pomodoro timer almost instantly put me in a calm and productive state that I’m not sure I would have achieved otherwise. I have no idea why this particular study music seems to work, and I’m sure there are many ‘woo woo’ theories as to why, but I may keep it for the near future and switch out my Hustle for some Flow.