Written by Dave Gannaway
Something happened the other day that suddenly made me stop and look back at my life. I am passionate about being motivated, about getting excited and hitting out for that home run. But just stopping for a moment to think . . . should that truly be my most important priority?
Visiting a very old church in England recently I was fascinated by some ancient tombstones some as old as the year 1600. Each stone revealed the date of the person’s birth and death. The two dates separated by a dash, 1656 – 1697. I recalled the Linda Ellis poem ‘The Dash’. That motivated me into thinking how the whole of a person’s life is reflected in that single dash!
Have you ever been motivated to consider what will be said of you when they read your obituary? Have you achieved and done the things that are important to you? Will you be proud of the story they tell of your life, of what happened in your ‘dash’! I wonder if it would inspire or be an inspiration to others?
Does it really matter how much we own, the size of the house or the balance at the bank? Does that compare with how we have lived and loved and the hearts we have touched? How do you think you will be remembered? What highlights will they recall about the trail your life has left in your dash?
You still have time to change things because your dash is not yet complete. But there’s no time to be complacent, we never know how close we are to that second date! So what are the things you would change in your life?
I have had the privilege of counseling with many people whose time in this physical world was drawing to a close. And almost without exception they each, in their own way, said the same thing . . . they wished they had spent more time appreciating the love of their family and friends—the beauty around them and the things that really mattered. They craved more time to stop and smell the roses. All those years of being motivated to accumulate more material ‘stuff’ all paled into insignificance in that moment of reckoning, that ‘dash’ moment!
When you begin to understand and reevaluate your priorities something very strange happen. Life becomes simpler and much more fun. Happiness prevails, relationships flourish and harmony begins to flow into your life. But the strangest thing of all is that many things you were so motivated and preoccupied to obtain or achieve before just seem to flow into your existence with uncanny ease. Yes, it’s a total paradox yet makes perfect sense.
Just letting go of the desperation and urgency of own stuff releases the subconscious barriers that were previously restricting the flow. It makes complete sense of the saying, “Do less and achieve more . . . do nothing and achieve everything!” What a dash good idea!
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