In order to bounce forward from 2020, you need to R.I.S.E. in 2021.

What are you looking forward to in the New Year?  2020 has been quite a doozy. Some folks are overworked; others are looking for work. Some are feeling well, while others are physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually sick. Some are feeling desperate and heart-broken, and others are feeling blessed and sometimes guilty. Where are you right now? What are your plans for 2021?

In these uncertain times, some folks have stopped planning. I can understand that no one (especially perfectionists) likes to be disappointed when things don’t go according to that plan. 

I believe that while the events of 2020 pushed some of us away from where we thought we wanted to be, it also pushed us toward bigger and better experiences. Let’s continue moving forward from wherever you are now to where you want to be in the future using this simple framework.

(Don’t yet know what you want? I did a webinar on that earlier this year that you might want to check out.  Click here:

We are going to be better in 2021 as long as we R.I.S.E.


The first step in the process is to REACH. Reach for new goals, try new things and reach out to others… yes, even those who voted for someone you don’t like. 😉 We need to connect more with one another. While we have differences, we have sooo many similarities. I know that diversity training is huge right now and important in so many ways. I also believe we need uni-versity training. No, I don’t mean that we need to go to colleges and higher learning institutions. I mean, we need to focus on what UNItes us. How are we similar to one another?  How are our goals aligned? We need to reach out and unify, and that doesn’t mean we have to conform; we simply have to connect.

Use of word unite over time

Look at what’s happened with the use of the word unite over the last 220 years. It’s steadily declined. Let’s not look to explain why this has happened. Let’s simply look to change it. That starts with you.

“Unless we move beyond what’s behind us, we cannot reach out to what lies in front of us.” 

– Dr. Prem Jagyasi

• Who do you want to reach?


The 2nd step is to inspire. I don’t mean that you have to be flamboyant or over-animated with enthusiasm. Just go back to the meaning of the word. Inspire comes from the Latin inspīrāre, which means to breathe life into. As you talk with others, give them inspiration. Allow them to inhale optimism, hope, and belief.  My college basketball coach, Kim Jordan, inspired me with 4 simple words. At a difficult time in my life when I was struggling with going away to college, struggling to pass enough classes to stay on the team, and trying to figure out who I wanted to be, she wrote me a note. I have no idea what that note said, but I will NEVER forget how she closed it: “I believe in you!”  Those 4 words breathed life into me.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” 

– Mother Teresa

Kim’s words will always live on (endlessly) in me.

• Who do you need to reach?

• How will you breathe life into them?


The 3rd step is to turn your words into deeds and actions. This step is as much about you as it is about those that you serve.

Many folks believe that you must be altruistic in order to serve. I don’t believe that at all. I believe every few people are truly altruistic.  Sure many, many people sacrifice their time, energy, and money to help and serve others. I have my favorite charities and organizations. And I’m not afraid to say that I volunteer and help others for ME (and for them). I serve others because of how it makes me feel. When I serve, I feel connected, helpful, courageous, empathetic, generous, and even vulnerable. These are all part of how I see myself and my future self. When we are honest about why we serve, I believe that we serve others better.

Serving may be lending a hand or lending an ear. It may involve sharing your resources or taking care of a chore, or taking an action that will lift a burden from their shoulders.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Ganhdi

• Who will you reach?

• How will you breathe life into them?

• What will you do to serve them (and you)?


The final step is sometimes the most important. You’ve reached out to someone. You’ve inspired them and given them hope. You’ve served them and helped them to take their next steps. Now, you must engage. 

Engage comes from the French adjective engagé (ahn-ga-zhey). It means to choose to involve oneself in or commit to something… in this case, someone. It means to stay involved. In sales, this is about the follow-up after the sale. It means to stay in the conversation. After you send the condolence card and flowers to the funeral, it means giving the grieving person a quick call next week and sending them a ‘thinking of you’ card that next month. Engaged means to become involved. 

• R: Who will you reach?

• I: How will you breathe life into them?

• S: What will you do to serve them (and you)?

• E: How will you stay engaged with them?

This is where you will truly see the RISE. You will be lifted as you see yourself becoming the person that you were born to be. This is where you will see those around you also be lifted and move from overlooked and overloaded to a better outlook and shared load. As they say, the rising tide raises all ships.

We rise by lifting others.

– Robert Ingersoll

I look forward to being a part of that rising tide and I hope that you will join me and practice RISE-ing in the New Year.

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