Sunday, February 18, 2018

You Have Only One Life - So What Are You Going to Do About "The Dash"

A little over two weeks ago,  I attended the MA World Conference in Miami like I do every February.  It is a time of learning, positive energy and of course that warm Florida sunshine.  Every year there is that little nugget that sticks with me after the event and this year it was no different.



My nugget this year was during Market America CEO, JR Ridinger's epic closing presentation.   During one part of his presentation, he had a few tombstones scattered in one section of the stage, with the name "Joe Nobody" on it.    A first glance at this, and you though, what the heck is this all about?   As JR's presentation went along, it had a deeper meaning that you could imagine.


JR was making a point that you only have one life and it is detailed on your tombstone.   You have your name, your birth date, your death date, and "The Dash" in the middle.   JR stressed that you have complete control of what you do during the dash. like being a Joe Somebody, including building your own legacy after your life is complete.    JR also made it clear to the 25,000 entrepreneurs in the audience is that you have one dash, unlike a cat with nine lives.

There are different ways you can view "The Dash"
- How you take care of your health and well being
- How you take care of your own financial well being
- How you related to people including your family and friends

First, your health.

We all have bad habits, including eating the wrong foods, not exercising or not getting enough sleep.   Every time we do something not good for our body, we are shortening the dash on our tombstone.   You always hear if you have a diet of sugar, smoke or you don't exercise, chances are you will have a life-shorting disease.   So why do people do that?   Do they feel invincible or are they lazy?    Most of the time it is lack of focus and not realizing that they are only shortening their dash.    When someone reaches middle age, if they change their lifestyle to be focused on a healthy diet, exercising and avoiding drama and stress, they will in fact extend their dash and build their own legacy.

How about your financial well-being?

For those who know me, in addition to my IT career, I got a few side hustles going on and invest on a regular basis so I will never have to suffer from the "45-year plan".   So what is the "45-year plan"?   It is you go to college, get in a lot of debt, then work at some company or multiple companies over the course of 45 years and then hope you got a little retirement saved up to continue your life as it should.    Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore.   You need to treat your career as if you are the CEO of yourself.  I recommend having a few side hustles to ensure your own financial well-being, especially if you live a healthy life and extend your dash.   If you don't think about yourself,  other people make the decision for you and who knows what that can lead to.  Believe me, living check to check or not living the life you want sucks.   So next time someone is offering to help you or has an opportunity to share, listen, since you never know what it will lead to, including extending your dash.

Finally, the most important of all, how you related to people.

We all live one life and being miserable, self-centered and generally negative, will definitely shorten the dash.   Why, since stress is known to cause health problems and even financial problems.   You see it a lot on social media today, especially Facebook.    A political post here, another controversial post there and everyone is up in arms if there is disagreement.   Avoid the drama and think of the good in people, be happy and positive and you will not be stressed and will enjoy your dash.    I get a kick out of people that complain about where they live.   If you don't like where you live, move!   Or, they complain about a negative person they see at a coffee shop they go to.  Go to a different coffee shop!  At the end of the day, it is all about who you hang with so, stick with people that are positive and are enjoying their dash and you will enjoy your dash too!


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