There are several sobering parts to every funeral or memorial service I’ve done over the years. I speak about the fact that we all die. It’s one appointment we won’t miss. I also talk about the fact that life is short at it’s longest. It always seems too short. The dash between our date of birth and death is awfully short.
That little dash between the beginning and ending dates of life represents an entire life. Whether it is three decades or nearly a century, that dash is diminutive. It goes by fast. It’s over before you know it. That small dash is what we do with our lives. It will one day be our legacy
I follow Mark Merrill of Family Minute. He recently gave a new slant on this thought of living life in the dash when he wrote about having spoken at a National Football League event using the word DASH as an acrostic. It fit perfectly the tone of what I try to communicate as I seek to inspire others to transformissional living. Here are the four words he used.
D – Determination. Are you living your life with determination? You will be an influence on a lot of people whether you want to be or not. The question is, are you living your life with a positive influence or a negative influence?
A – Awareness. Are you living your life with awareness? Be aware that everything you do and say has implications beyond what you can see with your own eyes. Be aware that you are living in the dash and one day it will be set in stone. What will others say about how you lived your life?
S – Service. Are you living your life in service to God and to others? Winston Churchill said it well, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” What do you want to be remembered for, your greed or your generosity? Do you want to be remembered as a taker or a giver? A servant’s heart will long be remembered by the generations behind you.
H – Humility. Are you living your life with humility? In the best-selling business book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins found that all truly great leaders have two things in common. First, they have extreme personal humility. Second, they have an intense professional will to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Make sure you understand that humility doesn’t mean that we think less of ourselves, it just means that we think about ourselves less. To be the finest leader, we think more of our spouse, our children, our co-workers, our friends and our customers.
When you live your dash with determination, awareness, service and humility, you will have maximum impact on the lives of others around you. Then you will leave a legacy worth remembering for generations to come and their lives will be changed forever. And ironically, your life will be changed forever as well.
QUESTION: What other insight about living your dash have I missed? I’d love for you to share it below. Thanks!