The Study Dude—Dig up Your Passions

Do you whittle away half a day on social media?  Boob tube for hours before guilt knocks?  Or go crazy on tasks that crimp your goals?

Focus instead on what counts: your main hustle.  For many students, studies mark the main hustle.  Nail down a hustle that inspires passion.  But how do you pinpoint your passions?  Bring them to light!

Before entering AU, I felt on fire about art and design.  I hunted for online design schools, praying student loans would cover them.  But I couldn’t scout an institution that qualified.  So, self-study sounded like the simplest solution.

Over the years, I’ve dabbled in passions: documentary filmmaking, event coordination, politics.  We strike gold when we dabble in new things, don’t we?  At first, that is.  After the initial high, the thrill crashes into tough effort.  When dabble turns into grind, either it fashions our main hustle—or we quit.

Don’t dabble.  Instead, morph passions into hustles.  Natalie Wise helps you dig up your passion in her book The Self-Discipline Handbook: Simple Ways to Cultivate Self-Discipline, Build Confidence, and Obtain Your Goals:

  • What is a main hustle? “A hustle is what you put your energy, your heart, and your passion into, be it work, a side gig you’re trying to get off the ground, your family, or your research” (location 640, 32%).
  • How do you pinpoint your main hustle? “List the interests that take up your time.  Cross off the things that you do halfheartedly, the things you aren’t really passionate about.  Then cross of the things that just don’t seem to be working for you.  What’s left?  It’s probably your hustle” (location 648, 33%).
  • Find a main hustle that inspires passion: “Self-discipline will never make any progress without passion” (location 783, 39%).
  • If you can’t finger your passions, bring them to light: “It seems like some of us are born with ingrained passions … The rest of us, well, we might need to spend a few decades defining our passion” (location 791, 40%).
  • How do you unearth your passion? “Write down some dream skills and activities you’d love to try …. Once you’ve got your list of current and potential passions, it’s time to pursue them each with all you’ve got for a little bit” (location 803, 40%).\
  • Peer at your list of passion: first, focus on your current interests, then on your dreams.
  • As for current interests, “take the things you’re already interested in and [see] if you can polish them … to passion level” (location 803, 40%).
  • If none of your current interests fire up passion, look to dreams. “We get to go to the ‘dream’ side of the list … things we’ve never tried our hands at ….  Try it.  If you can, try it through a class or low-cost investment” (location 815, 41%).
  • Once you spot your passion, “take the plunge …. Apply for the loan.  Sign up for the class.  Sign on the dotted line of the contract” (location 837, 42%).
  • Avoid dabbling: “What is dabbling? Dabbling is doing a little of this, a little of that, half-heartedly …” (location 616, 31%).   “Dabbles are fun for a little while.  They may give us a surge of adrenaline that we’re missing in our hustle grind.  But make no mistake, dabbles are foes” (location 701, 35%).
  • Embrace hobbies during downtime: “A hobby and a dabble are two totally different things. A hobby is solely for pleasure and practiced in our free time ….  A dabble, however, is a side project done during your hustle time” (location 690, 35%).  “Hobby on, my friend.  But dabble don’t” (location 701).

I chalk up eight hours of productivity each day.  For three of those hours, I dabble.  Instead of dabbling, I hope to hustle.  Or awaken idle time.

So, after picking through old LPs, I chose to “do the hustle.”