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Four Side Hustles of Highly Effective Humans


“I will win. Not immediately, but definitely.” ~Unknown


So, you’ve found your main hustle? You’ve discovered your wealth? You’ve got all your ducks in a row? Hopefully your wealth is in alignment with your three loves: the three things that make you come to life.


As Stephen Kotler said, “Passion exists at the intersection of three or more things you’re really curious about.”


Whatever those three things are (it’s entirely up to you), those are your main hustle. They are your wealth. They are the tip of the spear, the triangular spearhead aiming you toward your best life.


The following four side hustles are meant to sharpen your main hustle (your wealth: your three loves). They are the whetstones to your spearhead, the forerunners to your blazed trail, the sparks that light your torch-bearing potential.


Side hustles are little pockets of solitude that can launch your main hustle into the stratosphere. They can also be steppingstones to discovering your three loves if it so happens that your main hustle is not in alignment.


As Arthur Schopenhauer said, “Great men are like eagles and build their nest on some lofty solitude.”



1.) A side hustle to keep in shape (health):

“The comfortable life lowers man's resistance, so that he sinks into an unheroic sloth.” ~Colin Wilson


This is the most important side hustle. Exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet are foundational for greatness. Without these, you are without—full stop.


As Martin Seligman said, “The problem with psychology today is that we focus too much on neck up, whereas most of what happens to us is neck down.”


Health comes from a state of pre-established harmony between the body and the world. Running, swimming, meditation, martial arts, yoga, HIIT, weightlifting, backpacking, parkour, hiking, these are all forms of pre-established harmony creating health in the body.


Health is a whetstone. You are the blade. Sharpen yourself. Then use it to cut the world.


To cut with the body is to cut through entropy. To cut with the body is to use health as a sword that slices through entropy, inertia, idleness, laziness, and even death. Where entropy is the ultimate state of inert uniformity, cutting with the body is the absolute state of engaged harmony.


To cut with the body is to breathe. Breath is the lifeblood of the cut. This is the importance of meditation. Breath is the primal source. To breathe and to be present with breath, is to become one with the cosmos, in the moment, fluid, non-attached, and in a state of absolute emergence.


Establish harmony between you and the world. Become a force to be reckoned with. Cut with the body! There is life to be lived.


As Leon from Truth Mind said, “A man has to forge himself into a weapon or he will be forged into a tool.” If it’s a choice between becoming a tool or a weapon, choose a weapon.


2.) A side hustle to build knowledge (stealth):

“We live in a nightmare of falsehoods, and our first duty is to clear away illusions and recover a sense of reality.” ~Nicolas Berdyaev


For this side hustle to work you must be able to get out of your own way. How might you be in your own way? Cultural conditioning, religious indoctrination, political brainwashing, to name just a few.


In order to build new knowledge, you must first be able to destroy untruth and stop taking yourself too seriously. Allow yourself to be imperfect, fallible, and prone to mistakes. And then flip the script on that shit. Take a leap of courage out of belief and into faith. Be curious, not certain. Be creative, not convinced. Be eccentric, not conformist. Be humorous, not full of hubris.


Free yourself to unlearn what you have been deceived into learning. Unwash the brainwash. Dig up your humanness, your wholeness, your primal providence, which has been buried under multiple layers of cultural conditioning.


As Camus said, “The greatness of man lies in his decision to be stronger than his condition.”


Wield the mighty question mark as your sword of truth. Use it to cut through delusion. Use it to shed the superfluous. Use it to chop through the forest hidden by the trees. Use it to clear the road less traveled. Use it as a spearhead that keeps the Truth Quest ahead of the “truth.”


Use it as a chisel for the hardened beliefs within you. Use it to humble yourself. Use it to destroy illusion. Use it to unsettle your settled mind, to shock your chakras, and to reevaluate all your values. Use it to practice self-overcoming.


Be vulnerable. Full surrender. Full disclosure. Before you can learn anything, you must shed your expectations of everything.



3.) A side hustle to stay creative (art):

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw


Even if your main hustle happens to be creative, there is still need for another creative side hustle. Your main hustle supports your life. It pays the bills. It puts food on the table. It keeps your life stable.


But, as Ruben Dario said, “Art exists because life is not enough.”


Life is not enough. Human beings need more. We are between worlds like no other animal. We are pinched between birth and death. Art is a relief from this pinch. It can even be a rebirth.


Painting is an escape. Music is an escape. Poetry is an escape. Cinema is an escape. When you are able to create thus, you build bridges out of the so-called “real world” and into Reality.


For as Iris Murdoch said, “We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.” Art helps us find reality. It gets us out of our own way. It gets cultural conditioning out of our way. It gets indoctrination out of our way. It puts us face-to-face with God. No wiggle room. Nowhere to hide. Full-frontal absolution.


Art resurrects the soul which has been hijacked by a humdrum culture. It lifts the artistic spirit out of the doldrums of the daily grind. It revives the heart that has lost the path. It opens the third eye that has gone blind.


As Anais Nin said, “We do not escape into philosophy, psychology, and art—we go there to restore our shattered selves into whole ones.” Indeed. Our art is less an escape and more a transcendence, an overcoming, a catharsis, a providence. We trip into the masterpiece in order to come alive. We rearrange the nightmare in order to stay ahead of the curve of nihilism. We creatively side hustle in order to sharpen the main hustle of life.


4.) A side hustle to expand spirituality (existentialism):

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


You are a walking paradox. You are both individual and interconnected, both a part of the world and isolated, both a pocket of solitude and a member of the human race, both stuck inside your own head and forced to perceive the “seemingly different” world outside.


Use this paradox as a spark that lights the fire of nonattachment. Own it by no longer lying to yourself. Honor it by being so utterly interdependent that your independence balks and your codependence is nothing more than a shriveled dead thing like Voldemort under the bench in Harry Potter’s afterlife.


There’s only one thing to do with such terrible freedom. Revolt! Dance with the paradox. Rebel against despair and nihilism. Rebel against the absurdity of it all. Become a dissident to dissonance. Become the paradox flashing across the stage, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” but becoming something through the blood-and-bone knowledge of your own existential fury, your own unblinking ability to “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”


Such rebellion unburies God. It reignites the Phoenix. It lights up the dark. It shines a blacklight into the blinding light of culture. It reveals the primordial truth: energy cannot be destroyed only transformed.


Thus, you transform. You transform pain into providence, shadow work into luminescence, wounds into wisdom, death into rebirth. You get above it all by becoming it all: The absurd, the paradoxical, the transformable, the infinite.


Your spirituality becomes a firebrand so red-hot that the outflanking universe has no choice but to take it right on the flank—seared and sealed, and put on notice that you’re not just a speck in the universe, you are the entire universe in a speck. You are God awake, and you will no longer pretend to be asleep.


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About the Author:

Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.


This article (Four Side Hustles of Highly Effective Humans) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.

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