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Life is way too short not to do something that matters. Hugh McLeod from gapingvoid shares his wisdom on the subject.

“Never before have so many people on this planet have had so much choice about how their time is spent. And how do we choose to spend it, those same 24 hours in the day that the gods also allocated to the Da Vinci, Einstein and Picasso? Well, some of us try to stand on the shoulders of the aforementioned giants. Others would rather upload cat photos onto social media sites. Alrighty then … “But there’s nothing wrong with uploading cat photos”, I hear you say? No, there isn’t. Not unless that’s all you have to show for it at the end of your days, lying on your deathbed. We can’t all be the next Da Vinci, Einstein and Picasso. But while we’re here, I think we should try to walk with the giants. Even if we get trampled on occasionally.”

Picking up on the same theme, at the end of the presentations I facilitate for nonprofits and their donors ( I often close with a picture of a tombstone. After the nervous laughter subsides I ask the audience to imagine that this is not just any tombstone but actually his/her own. I then say, “When it comes to your tombstone, what matters most is not the year you were born or even the year you died, but the dash between those two dates. Think of that small dash as representing everything, EVERYTHING you have done while walking the earth. So I encourage all of you to reflect, in all your actions, what do you wish your dash to stand for?”

I’ve never heard the answer to this question expressed in monetary terms as in, “I want my dash to be worth $10 million!”. Overwhelmingly the heartfelt responses focus on purpose, significance … and impact.

“For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.” – Linda Ellis