What’s your legacy? And are you living it now?

Consider your dash.  I refer to Linda Ellis’ poem, The Dash, in which she describes a eulogy read at a funeral, where attention is drawn to the dash that separates the year of birth from the year of death, and suggests that everyone might consider how they would like to spend that period of time.

The dash can represent many concepts: seize the day; consider what’s really important to you;  do what you want to do; make a difference; feel the fear and do it anyway; do something that surprises you….the list is endless.

The only think we don’t know for sure is when the time on the right hand side of our dash will be up.  Now, this is far from a blog about gloom and doom.  As a coach, I want you to be future-focused in your thinking, and live very much in the spirit of The Dash, which encourages us to consider how we would like to be living our lives, and how we would like to be remembered.

A small word of warning about the message though: I’d suggest that if we live our lives only so that others will think well of us, we may not be being entirely true to ourselves.  It’s always good to receive positive affirmations from others, but some choices and decisions are ours, and ours alone.  We can certainly learn lessons from the past, and use these to help us in the future, but dwelling on what has come and gone can hold us back, make us fearful and cloud our perceptions.

So, how would you like to live your dash?  I think it comes down to 3 key elements:

Look after yourself and those around you

You’re the one living your life, so take responsibility for ensuring that you’re able to do so with enthusiasm, positivity and a twinkle in your eye!  Pay attention to your health: both physical and mental.  If you’re in a good place, you’ll be better able to support and enjoy being with the ones with whom you’re close.  Aim to make a difference in their lives.

Do something that fulfils you

For many of us this means work: the day job. Whether this is paid or voluntary work, doesn’t matter.  If what you do for the majority of your day does not fulfil you, change it and do something different, or extra.  Make each day count.  Daily questions help…”Did I do my best to…?”

Connect and communicate positively with others

Whatever you do, keep the lines of communication open and connect with people.  Meeting and talking to others, both in person and through other media opens our minds to different outlooks, different possibilities, different cultures; it’s an enriching experience.  Communication is vital to us all as social beings, and we thrive when making connections  with others.

What would be the most useful way for you to spend your dash?  Ready for a change?  Go for it, and don’t forget to let me know what you’ll be changing, or get in touch if you’d like some help….

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About Marianna Beckwith