My journey into Hustle & Calm

The first “self-help” book I read was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was 13.

At the time, I recall telling friends at school that this book really changed my life. While I’m unsure whether one’s life can really ‘change’ at the age of 13 years old, I’m certain that it was this book which launched me into the rewarding journey of self-help, and has brought me here, writing about personal growth.

After reading Gretchen’s book, two things happened:

  1. My mum and I created my first blog, which was called thinkofabluegg.com (no longer in use). I wrote book reviews, recipes, and reflections on occasions like New Year’s. I became a blogger.
  2. I developed a passionate, curious, and urgent interest in learning as much as I could about how to be better — professionally, physically, emotionally, spiritually — in an effort to, ultimately, become happier. So, I guess you could say that I’ve been tinkering around with what makes us “happy” since around 2010.

Fast forward to 2021I’ve read even more books, had tons of fulfilling conversations about meaning, purpose and growth, and yes — tried to launch even more writing platforms. To date, I think I’ve created 5 different blogs — clearly some were more successful than others! I currently write on www.imaanvirani.com (as well as on Medium and LinkedIn).

But as much as I enjoy writing about my own reflections, it shouldn’t stop there. There is so much power and value in the conversations we have and the stories we share — where you briefly get a glimpse into someone else’s pain, achievements, struggles and growth.

Even if you haven’t experienced something first hand, it’s by sharing those stories that we can all become just a little bit better, a little bit wiser. And why should those conversations and pieces of wisdom be restricted to just two friends?

I wanted to share these learnings — shout about it from the rooftops, so to speak.

Which is what led me to create Hustle & Calm.

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Over the past few years, I’ve observed that, among my circle of friends and family, we’re often drawn to or pulled by two seemingly opposing forces. One is Hustle, and the other is Calm.

Sometimes we’re in The Hustle. We want to move, and we want to move fast. The hustle is all about productivity, ambition, achievement and getting more out of your limited time and resources. Across the board, the hustle is what motivates you to set goals and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t stop at simply achieving the milestone itself; we strive to do work that is meaningful and gives us a sense of purpose. We want to improve our quality of life, save time through life-hacks and use our days and weeks wisely so we can achieve bigger and better outcomes. We’re in The Hustle.

Other times, we’re in The Calm. We want to stay still, or move slowly. The Calm is all about looking inward, and getting in touch with ourselves. Activities like meditation, yoga, or looking at art are all a part of the calm. The Calm is about how we find answers to life’s big questions, including whether we’re asking the right questions to begin with. It’s about wanting to figure out who we are individually and in relation to others. Sometimes, when we’re in The Calm, we temporarily reject our goals, routines and structure to just be exactly where we are, without trying to be somewhere else.

These two forces — Hustle and Calm — are sometimes pulling us in different directions. We want career success, but not at the cost of spending quality time with loved ones. We would love to meditate and get eight hours of sleep, but it’s difficult to fit in with our busy schedules. We want fulfilling relationships but sometimes get caught up in social media, and then hate ourselves for wasting hours scrolling away. We try to do both, and we try to do it all the time, and the whole thing becomes stressful in itself. We become tired.

There are days, weeks, months and years we might spend in the Hustle — only to realize that our souls really need the calm. And sometimes, we experience both Hustle and Calm on the same day or even in the same moment.

The thing about Hustle and Calm is that we can’t forsake one for the other. But what is also true is that we’re not going on this journey alone. All of us are figuring out the Hustle and Calm together.

Hustle and Calm, as a platform, is about sharing stories about how we’re all doing just that. It’s a place where new perspectives, tactics, life realizations and lessons aim to help like-minded readers drive their hustle and find their calm. Because we’re all on this journey of being human, and we can maximize our learning by sharing experiences, leaving pieces of wisdom from unique experiences and borrowing tips from people we may not know first-hand.

Hustle & Calm is, deliberately, wide in scope and in the type of stories we cover — and you, as a reader, may get something completely different from someone else. But if reading these articles makes your steps lighter, soul fuller, goals clearer — then that’s time well spent.

You will find stories, articles and interviews on Hustle & Calm right here on Medium. Stay tuned for our first official post coming very soon 🎉