I recently heard about “Own The Dash”. Dakota Meyer is an American Veteran who’s spearheading this mission. The concept is simple, though it may have somewhat of a morbid undertone. When you die, your tombstone will read DOB-DOD. The two dates listed next to your name are the only ones you live with less than 24 hours in them. The days that contain a full 24 hours are the ones summarized by a single dash. What are you going to do with your dash? What will you do to leave an impact on people? In order to have a positive impact on others, you need to have a positive impact on yourself. What do you need to do to be your best self? How can you make the most of this day? Or month, or year? Extend that to your whole life. It might be something simple like drink more water. Eat the cake. Or DON’T eat the cake (again). Maybe take an art class, join a gym, bake something (and share it), or read a book. Maybe get your ass out of bed and in those runners!
We should also think about how we treat ourselves through external environments. How can we filter external influences in a way that best serve us and in turn those we love. Evaluate how you spend your time. We all know social media has a huge impact on our mental health, so filtering or limiting this is a good first step. If you scroll through negative tweets all day – quit. Both our physical and mental health requires a diet, so make sure it’s a healthy one. How and with who you spend your time affects your dash. Be with those who deserve you company. Spend time with people who make you better and happier.
Now the 2nd part of this is how do you leave a positive impact on people around you? I’m talking about your spouse, kids, family, friends, co-workers, and community. I’m also talking about people you meet one time. The kid you see at school drop off who is always by themselves. The person next to you in line for coffee. The new guy at the office. The person you see at Church once a year. What will you do for those people? How will you make them feel? I encourage you to be kind to them. Give them a smile. Ask for their opinions during meetings. Invite them to your kid’s birthday party. Take an extra snack to share. Tell them a classic Dad-joke or about your favorite episode of The Office. Lend them a book or buy their coffee. Join a volunteer group (or SYL *cough*). Hug people you love an extra second longer.
We need to be thankful for our dash. Look around; what are you grateful for? Not just one time, do this every day.
Your dash can make a difference.
Pamela Anderson, CPA, CGA