Why Initiative Should Be Your Theme for 2021
By Andrew Downing
As a tough year comes to an end, it’s important that we focus on moving forward. 2020 is over. Now it’s up to us to decide how we’re going to respond. Are we going to pull back or keep striving forward? Are we going to take what’s easy or reach for more? Are we hoping to return to normal or working to expand our horizons? Let’s come back strong and make 2021 the year for MORE! Make this a year to do more, expect more, grow more, learn more, serve more, and listen more. Make 2021 the year for thinking bigger and setting bigger goals.
How many times throughout your life have you thought, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this?” Yet, you made it through. That wasn’t a fluke! The limits we assign ourselves – our potential for success, our capacity to push ourselves, and our capability to thrive – are all arbitrary restrictions. They are self-imposed and not based on what we can actually do. There’s always a gap between what we are doing now and what we could be doing. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.” So let’s see what we can accomplish when we push ourselves to do more.
To bridge the gap between where we are and where we could be it takes Initiative. That’s why INITIATIVE should be your personal theme, or mantra, for 2021. Initiative is one of the most powerful forces in leadership. Those that take initiative are turning intentions into actions. They are being intentional, expanding, and getting out of their comfort zone. They are saying to the world “I want more” and doing something about it. Because no matter how good your intentions are, you won’t get anywhere without taking that first step.
Of course, this won’t be easy. In order to grow, you have to be prepared to pay the price. Whether it’s taking more risk, investing time, reducing leisure activities, getting out of your comfort zone, risking rejection or shame, or just reprioritizing – every time you grow, it costs you something in return. And when you run into an obstacle, be prepared to pay the price, fight through it, and keep going. It won’t be easy, but you have to stay focused. Be intentional, and always keep in mind why you want to grow and what happens if you don’t. In order to push through the tough times, your “why” has to be stronger than the discomfort of paying the price for growth. So figure out why you want to grow, what it will bring you, and how it will help you avoid pain in the future. Write these out and think about them every day.
Nobody is denying that this has been a difficult year, but five years from now you don’t want to look back at 2020 and 2021 and see them as lost years. Instead, you want to look back and see how 2020 spurred you to make 2021 your biggest year of growth ever. This is your year for MORE. Challenge yourself to make bigger goals and go after them with renewed energy. This is your year to take INITIATIVE!