The lesson I learned in the shower.

Recently, I noticed that Jenny purchased a body wash called “Hustle.” I laughed when I saw it because I’ve made a habit of overusing that word.

I stopped laughing though when I saw the yellow callout on the bottle.

“Compare to Old Spice Swagger Body Wash.”

They clearly meant you were supposed to compare the products. They expected you to to analyze the texture, cleanliness and ability of each body wash to make you smell like an 8th grade boy who has run out of Axe Body Spray. In that respect, I assume they are equal.

But what happens when you compare Hustle to Swagger?

Those words are often thrown around together by fake entrepreneurs who love posting watches and yachts they don’t own on Instagram with terrible motivational statements.

Are they really the same? Here’s what I think.

Hustle is quiet.
Swagger is loud.

Hustle is humble.
Swagger is proud.

Hustle believes in work.
Swagger believes in words.

Hustles lives in the future.
Swagger lives in the past.

Hustle competes against itself.
Swagger compares itself to others.

Hustle knows rest is part of creativity.
Swagger thinks rest is for the weak.

Hustle thrives on intention.
Swagger thrives on attention.

Hustle asks strangers for friendship.
Swagger asks strangers for favors.

Hustle is vulnerable enough to hope.
Swagger is too cool to care.

Hustle knows when it’s enough.
Swagger doesn’t even believe in that word.

I could go on and on, but we’ve both got things we need to hustle on today.

Hustle is not the same thing as swagger. Not even close.

Want to learn how to hustle? Read pages 207-262 in my book Do Over.

Don’t have it yet? Let’s fix that today.

About Author

Jon Acuff
Jon Acuff

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  1. I have an amazingly long list of books I intend to read before the end of the year, but I want to read “Do Over” too! I might check with the local library and see if they have a copy, because it’s free. 🙂 Also, since I can only have it for two weeks, it will motivate me to finish the thing instead of reading half-way through and then adding it to the pile. (It’s hard for me to keep with non-fiction, unless it’s a thrilling story.)

    Hustle is getting serious stuff done, like career dreams.
    Swagger is trying to hit on the ladies…unsuccessfully.

    • Emily Brown Reply

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  2. So I have to ask. Does that mean that Jenny won’t be buying you Walmart brand body wash anymore?

  3. “Hustle asks strangers for friendship.
    Swagger asks strangers for favors.”

    If this doesn’t sum up authentic vs. inauthentic relationships, I don’t know what does. It’s easy to let culture dictate our values, and this line challenges the old paradigm of ‘people as stepping stones.’ Thank you for this great gem of a line.

  4. Do Over was a game changer, especially the concept of hustle. In itself hustle is a skill that I think needs to be learned, not just a mindset. We can start thinking appropriately, but if we don’t learn the skill, we can easily fall into the world of “swagger.”

    That’s a fun reflection on deodorant, Jon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Pat Reply

    You are a poet, too!

  6. Oooooh, YESSSSSS…all of this!! I drove a some college students to the Passion Conference a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed like every speaker hit this theme: hard work, endurance, perseverance, resilience, humility, the good in suffering, overcoming hardships, ministry vs. celebrity… all of these same core values that separate the genuine from flashy knock-offs. Love it. I’ll probably use it to fulfill my job as Official Humiliator of my Teenagers and post it on their instagram and Twitter feeds.

    Home run, dude. ??

    But can we also give Axe Body Spray its due respect, because I’m not letting my son get in my car after middle school basketball practice without it.

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