REVIEW: ‘To Hell With the Hustle’ challenges reader to quit cycle of working, wanting more


“We’ve been hustling, but hustling toward an empty grave. Lifeless. Less human. Because we’re busier. More frantic. More disconnected. Lonelier. But what if hustle is actually what got us to this point? What if it’s not the solution, but the problem? What if hustle is a contagion that is flowing through our veins in subtle, under-the-surface ways? Sooner or later, we’ll see symptoms.”

The above quote is from the introduction of “To Hell With the Hustle” by Jefferson Bethke — a book that’s essentially just one giant slap in the face/wake-up call to say “No” to the neverending hustle culture present in today’s society. It was also one of my favorite quotes from the entire book.

It posed the following questions: Why is overworking yourself the norm nowadays? Why is it so hard to say “no” to things, when our schedules are already full and we’re way past the point of stretching ourselves too thin?

“To Hell With the Hustle” was an easy-to-consume, refreshing and thought-provoking read. This book is heavily faith-based, but that’s not what drew me to it, and while it could definitely be seen as too religious or like the author is pushing his beliefs and spiritual agenda, I think the deeper meaning can apply to anyone, whether they are a follower of Christ or not.

This book put a lot of things into perspective for me. For one, I didn’t realize just how much I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I’m a full-time student with two jobs, about to graduate and enter a career. I’m involved in various extracurricular activities. I’ve been in a serious relationship for a really long time. I have a crazy puppy who is a handful. The list goes on and on.

I’m a busy person — but everyone is busy.

Busy. Why is being busy the norm? Why is having a full schedule something to take pride in? Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with working hard. But it’s so easy to get caught up in a lifestyle of nothing but work, work and more work. When will that cycle end?

“To Hell With the Hustle” challenges the ideas of hustle culture and shows the reader how to: “Quit the cycle of more, more, more; question the noise all around us; set boundaries and cultivate discipline; push back the demands of contemporary life; and rediscover the fundamentals that make us human.”

Bethke’s main ideas in “To Hell With the Hustle” are ones cultivated by his faith and spiritual beliefs in Jesus Christ. I’m definitely not the most spiritual or religious gal in the world, but I do agree with Bethke’s main point: there has to be more to life than this never ending hustle — and it’s up to us to call it quits on the cycle.

We have to reshape our lives to allow time for silence and rest. We have to learn to say “No” to things. We need to focus less on goals, accomplishments and reaching a finish line because life shouldn’t be lived as if it’s a race.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels overwhelmed, overworked and unsatisfied in a world so caught up in the hustle culture. It was well written, thought-provoking and used historical examples to display how our society has become overworked and less connected over time.

Bethke challenges his reader to quit the cycle of working more, doing more and wanting more. Despite the book being heavily faith-based, the deeper meaning can apply to anyone — we have to say “to hell with the hustle.”