Over Christmas break, a friend of mine posted a picture on social media of three new plaques he put up in his office. On each plaque is a powerful word with a short description. These words immediately grabbed my attention. They are three great words that are necessary ingredients to a successful 2021.

The first word is hustle: the only controllable pillar of success. I love this word and definition. As I look back on my 35 years since graduating from high school, I can give many examples of people who hustled and those who have not. I do not know of any successful people who lacked hustle. Talent alone is never enough. A few times in life, opportunities or breaks come your way. Hustle probably played a role in the opportunity opening, but it certainly will play a role in leveraging the opportunity. Without hustle the great opportunity will be missed.

The second word is grind: to perform repetitive tasks over and over in order to attain a goal. Goals are not reached in a day they are reached daily. Perhaps you are familiar with my favorite Teddy Roosevelt quote. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The third word is execution: stop talking and put in the work. Isn’t that great? Sooner or later, you must put in the work. There is no such thing as an overnight success. I have watched people for many years. There are those who are quick to talk but often lack on getting down to work. Then, there are those who may not talk a lot but what you discover is they simply consistently get the work done. They are not flashy or draw much attention; but wow, are they ever valuable!

I love being on a team with people who hustle, grind and execute. A lot of good can be accomplished with a team like this, far beyond the talent level. And that is fun.

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This year wore many of us down. At times, I felt a great sense of accomplishment by simply surviving. But I am ready for 2021. I will live with hustle, grind and execution. All three have been a huge blessing to me and my wife in the past. We do not plan on stopping now. It is Christ who strengthens us. We live for his glory not for ours. Welcome to 2021! God bless you!

Hauser is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at jon@growingforwardtoday.com