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Living the Dash.

About two years ago, I attended a speech where the keynote speaker said something that has stayed with me to this day. He said, “When you die, your loved ones will go see you at the cemetery where there will be a slab of rock with your name on it, the date that you were born, the date that you died, and a dash. Live the dash.”

If you had one day left, what would you be doing differently?

We have roughly 28,835 days on Earth, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To illustrate this visually, performance artist Ze Frank dumped 28,835 jellybeans on the floor and spelled out how we are most likely to use this time.

For example:

8,477 days sleeping

3,202 days working

1,099 days commuting/driving

1,576 days doing chores

1, 635 days preparing food and eating

671 days bathing and grooming

720 days community involvement

564 days caring for others

Of course, these numbers will vary according to lifestyle and personal habits. It does illustrate two important things:

1. Our time here is limited.

2. When I am asked how I would spend my time today if it was my last day, I want to make sure it is somewhat congruent with how I spend my time in "real" life.

What I mean by this is, if your life is a drudgery of work and chores and it lacks a daily dose of joy and happiness, perhaps you could look at this and gain some perspective. Life is too short, and way too magical to be simply endured. We are creators of our worlds, and if you are not happy with yours, realize you have the POWER to change it to be whatever you envision it to be!

What is your vision? How would you spend your time if you knew you had, let's say, 5 years left? It's interesting how when the time of death is unknown, we tend to go through life operating from a place of fearful management/staying safe...and then, when we are given a definite date, we make more empowering choices. Think about how your choices would change.

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