Living Life in the DASH


Recently, I spoke at an NFL National Meeting to Directors of Player Development. I thought some of you dads might be able to use some of these thoughts and share them with your kids.

In my remarks, I talked about the “DASH.” I mentioned that when you look at a tombstone you see a name, something nice about the person, the year they were born and the year they died… and a small dash in between. The dash is what we do with our lives between the time we are born and the time we die. It’s who we are and it will one day be our legacy. Here are the highlights of what I shared about living life in the DASH:

The “D” in DASH stands for:

Determination.  Live your life with determination. You will be an influence on a lot of people whether you want to be or not.  The only question is whether you will live your life in the DASH as a positive influence or a negative influence. From this day forward be determined to live life in the DASH as a positive influence.

The “A” in DASH stands for:

Awareness. Live your life with awareness.

  • Be aware that everything you do and say has consequences far beyond what you can see with your eyes.
  • Be aware that “Bad company corrupts good character.” Be careful who you hang out with.
  • 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 in the DASH?

The “S” in DASH stands for:

Service. Live your life in service. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

The “H” in DASH stands for:

Humility. Live 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. Remember, humility does not mean that we think less of ourselves, it just means that we think about ourselves less…and others, especially our spouse, our children, our co-workers and our friends, more. Want to be a great leader?  Want to be a great influence in the lives of others? Then live your life with humility.

When you live your life in the DASH with determination, awareness, service and humility, you will positively influence the lives of other people…and the lives you touch will be changed forever. And guess what…your life will be changed forever as well.

The ideas in this blog were inspired by The Dash, a poem by Linda Ellis.

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