For several years I have chosen words to help guide a new year. Sometimes it will be a phrase that is important and addresses what I believe God wants to do in my life. Last year the words were “speak life.” Every day I looked at those words and challenged myself at the beginning and end of each day to how I practiced them.
This year I have chosen three words: hungry, hustle, and humble. I am evaluating every decision, goal, and plan through the lens of these three words. I am asking questions like
Let’s talk about what it means to be hungry, hustle, and remain humble.
Hunger is a driving force in people’s lives. Physical hunger will push people to work, hunt, kill and steal. Desperate enough, people will risk their lives to solve their physical hunger. But hunger drives so many other areas of our lives. Hunger drives our desire for knowledge, self-improvement, sex, money, and power, among other things. We will even call people “money hungry” or “power hungry” when that hunger seems misguided or overpowering other needs. But hunger can be a proper motivator as well. Occasionally I eat when I am not hungry. Food is present, so I eat. I am stressed, so I eat. But it is not eating from hunger. This year, I want to ensure the opportunities I pursue are things I am hungry for, not just something convenient or present.
The next attribute is Hustle. Hustle involves putting in the hard work and dedication needed to get things done. Those who hustle are willing to go the extra mile, push themselves further than they need to, and take on tasks that may be out of their comfort zone. They understand that success doesn’t come easy, and they focus on the results instead of the effort. Hustle also means being proactive in finding growth opportunities through networking, attending industry events, or even self-educating. Lastly, hustlers must have resilience and persistence, as some tasks can take long to bear fruit. If I am not willing to hustle, I don’t want to try it this year.
The last attribute is Humble. If we are hungry and hustle, we will accomplish more than the average person. However, success will challenge our ability to remain humble. If a particular achievement eliminates your ability to stay grounded and humble, it is probably a goal not worth pursuing. Those who possess humility can stay grounded and recognize their limitations — no matter how successful they become. They understand that there’s always something new to learn, and they should never take success for granted. They are quick to admit mistakes and welcome criticism as a tool for improvement. Additionally, humble people can share credit and recognize the accomplishments of others. It is possible that a lack of humility can negate any goal you have been hungry for and hustled to accomplish.
These three words have already affected some of the things I am focusing on this year. It has altered some goals and adjusted my thinking. Do you have words for each year? I would love to hear what they are and how you apply them. Make the most of 2023.