From the dictionary:
1: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed sustainable energy resources; a sustainable water supply
2: involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources sustainable agriculture/farming/techniques
3: able to last or continue for a long time sustainable development/growth
Have you ever noticed the hustlers around you? You know, the people working two or three side gigs, driving Uber Eats every evening, and staying incredibly busy? Some of these folks get little sleep and are very proud of their ability to work excessive hours and multiple jobs. They seem to have infinite sources of energy and an amazing ability to keep going. These ‘hustlers’ don’t really HAVE to work that much, it’s just their path toward having enough money (whatever ‘enough’ is, see Episode 20: Enough for more on that).
You have probably also noticed the folks who have to work that hard and for that many hours JUST TO GET BY. I have a lot more sympathy for this second group because it’s not their choice. See Episode 13: Slavery for more on THAT.
Regardless of the motivation, be it surviving or thriving, you probably see many of these people doing or achieving seemingly impossible things during the same 24 hour day you and I have.
This is what I’m getting at with this Episode.
To these people I always think to myself, “This isn’t sustainable”.
At first I thought maybe I was just making excuse for why *I* couldn’t achieve as much as these folks in my 24-hour day. These levels of achievement and work hours can make one feel inadequate. But this goes beyond jealousy or envy. My concern is for the long-term.
Because, sure, anyone can hustle on the short term. We have all had short periods in our lives where we have to work extra hard and extra long. The first six months of raising children, for example. That time at work when you’re working toward a promotion. Writing your book.
But with these efforts, we believe the struggle is short-lived and will END in the not-to-distant future. This makes it ok.
What I’m talking about is the people who don’t get this.
So many things are UNSUSTAINABLE. Meaning, they are too SOMETHING (intense, demanding, heavy, difficult, strenuous, etc) to be continued for a long period of time.
Sprinting up a hill
Carrying heavy weight
It’s just physics. Yet many of us try to beat the system. And not only does this concern me, for our individual and collective welfare, but it’s CHEATING
You heard me. Long-term, life threatening, dangerous sustained effort is CHEATING. It’s Gaming the System (and for more on THAT, see Episode 3: Gaming the System).
When something isn’t sustainable, it is a signal that you’re doing something wrong. Or, you are making a sacrifice over a short-term.
You can’t sacrifice continually. It doesn’t work like that. Once demand exhausts supply the game is over. There is no ‘going into debt’, only bankruptcy.
These are the basic principles of physics, ecology, and economics.
Yet, everywhere you look you will see people undergoing intentionally unsustainable activities. To get richer, prettier, healthier, or more powerful.
We think we are gaming the system, but we are really harming ourselves and others.
I hope you enjoy this episode and choose to like, subscribe or follow. The best place to stay up to date is by following my blog, subscribing to the podcast or the YouTube channel.
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YouTube video: https://youtu.be/zeGCtwBmpL0
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