Many years ago, I heard Lou Holtz speak at a professional conference. Lou was the popular football coach from Notre Dame who went on to become a motivational speaker. At this event he chose to end his talk by mentioning a poem he had read called the “The Dash”. Its premise stuck with me and many years later I researched the poem for my father’s Eulogy. Written by Linda Ellis, the poem talks about our date of birth and date of death as it appears on one’s tombstone. But while those dates represent our time on earth, it’s the “dash” between them that represents our life. Linda writes “For it matters not how much we own, the cars the house, the cash, what matters most is how we live and love and choose to spend our dash.” I love that idea. My wife was sweet enough to have a plaque made which I keep prominently displayed in my office. I look at it every day.
The idea of living your dash inspired me to backpack with my son through New Mexico, scuba dive in the Florida Keys and the Cayman Islands with 2 of my sons, and just recently to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming a pilot. The sign in my office reminds me daily to give back and be generous whenever and wherever possible. To simply be present with my family and be humble and grateful for all that I have. I like to think it guides the choices I make day in and day out.
How will you live your dash? What plans do you have to live your life to the fullest? Living your dash takes planning and sometimes resources. I would love to hear your ideas and help you get there. Having a life changing experience with your family or leaving a legacy is possible with planning. Let’s work together on helping you live your best dash.
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