The Dash

by Stephen Mills on August 29, 2009


“Someday.  One day.  When.  If.  Then it’s over.  When are we going to wake up and realize this is life?”  — Kerry and Chris Shook

On your tombstone there will be two dates.  On mine I hope it will be something like this 1961 – 2061.  It might look like this 1961 – 2009.   The first date and the last date are two things you have no control over and really don’t matter.  All that really matters is the dash in the middle.

“So when your eulogy is being read…
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say…
About how you spent your dash?”

I’ve tweeted this really short and really inspirational video multiple times.  Recently a reader suggested I use it for ideas.  I decided I would just link to the dash and let you watch for yourself.  It only takes a couple of minutes.  The Dash

No matter how long or short the dash, there is one thing you can be sure of and that is it will seem short.

“You get to choose how to spend that little dash of time between the two dates of your earthly existence.  What are you spending yours on?  Are you living the dash, knowing fully who you are and why you’re here?  Or dashing to live, hurriedly spending precious time chasing things that really don’t matter to you?”  — Kerry and Chris Shook

What do you think? Leave a comment below.


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Is everything an illusion? | | Ramblings of a non-conformist | Tomasz Gorecki
August 31, 2009 at 4:36 am

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Flash August 29, 2009 at 10:26 am

My dash will say, “What a long, strange trip this has been.” — Grateful Dead
.-= Flash´s last blog ..10 illustration stumbles =-.


Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Flash, I love it! Thanks for commenting.


Robin Easton August 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm

You must know I LOVE this. It speaks so strongly to me of the ESSENTIAL need to live every moment as fully as we possibly can. The more we can be in this one single moment the richer, fuller, more delicious our lives become. As trite as it sounds, this moment is ALL we have, and contained with this one single moment is….EVERYTHING!. We just have to slow down enough, focus enough on right now so as to see it.

Thank you Stephen. I like this one. Well…..actually….I like them all. LOL!!!
.-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Emotions: Portals to Soul =-.


Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Robin, yes I knew you would love it. 🙂 Thanks for your support!


Lisis | Quest For Balance August 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm

My dash will be in flashing neon… one helluva dash!! I love this idea, that only the dash matters; I’d never heard of it. I used to think about how my eulogy would read. Now I’ll be thinking about how my dash is going. 🙂

Awesome shift in perspective, Stephen!
.-= Lisis | Quest For Balance´s last blog ..Inspiration from Brenda Short: Thank You =-.


Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Lisis, I’m glad you are thinking of your dash now 🙂 Thanks for commenting.


Positively Present August 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Great post! One of my very first posts on Positively Present was about the concept of “the dash” and it’s something I try to keep in mind as I’m living my life. Thanks for writing about this! It was great to read your thoughts!
.-= Positively Present´s last blog to be beautiful from the outside in =-.


Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Dani, I need to go find that article of yours. Thank you as always. 🙂


ZuzannaM August 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Hello, Stephen

My dash is full at present and at times overflowing, always been was no room for a waste of time. It is definitely a personal choice how one chooses to live their life. Mine was productive and fulfilling. Thank you for the wise articles that you always present. Your blogs are wonderful, thought provoking and educational. I love them all!

Thank you,
.-= ZuzannaM´s last blog ..BIG BROTHER =-.


Stephen Mills August 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm

ZuzannaM, thank you so much for the kind and supportive words. I’m so happy for you and your overflowing dash! 🙂


Daphne @ Joyful Days August 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm


I love the dash concept, and my favourite response is Lisis comment for her dash to be in flashing neon. What a life! I think I’d like my dash to have had an impact on other dashes…
.-= Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog ..My Baby Turns One =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:04 am

Hello Daphne, and I like Lisis comment too. Flashing neon indeed! 🙂


BunnygotBlog August 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm

She dared to be different and believed in her passions.
.-= BunnygotBlog´s last blog ..Lost In A Sea Of Identities =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:05 am

Hi Bunny! I love it!


Lance August 29, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Ever since the first time I saw this, it’s moved me deeply – just how much that little dash means. If our dash is spoken from the heart, I don’t think it matter at all what it looks like, because what counts is what that dash meant to us. For me, I love what Daphne is saying, about her dash having an impact on other dashes. What a beautiful thought, and one I hope I’m doing too, here with my time on this earth.
.-= Lance´s last blog ..The Jungle of Food Choices =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:06 am

Hello Lance and thanks for commenting. Your points are well taken. I agree that what it means to you is most important. At least from my perspective you are indeed making a difference with your time. Well done!


Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills August 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm

What a great consideration of that simple little dash. In the greater scheme of things, that’s about the size of it. And yet, from our personal perspective it’s the whole ball game. Thought provoking, thanks Stephen.
.-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Anatomy of Personal Change =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:09 am

Hi Jonathan, I love it! In the greater scheme of things that little dash may be too large 🙂 What a beautiful thought you left here. Thank you!


Zeenat(Positive Provocations} August 30, 2009 at 11:54 am

Wow Stephen, This is in its true sense the jackpot of all posts i think. I had never thought of A Dash or even heard of it. Now i think i am gonna….I hope my dash reads “Lived and Loved with all her heart”….:)
.-= Zeenat(Positive Provocations}´s last blog ..Peace&Happiness{Inspirational Quote of the Week} =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:09 am

Zeenat, thank you! I love that you have discovered “the dash”. Thanks for all your support.


Vin - NaturalBias August 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the inspiring video! I think I need to spend a little less time working on my blog and a little more time enjoying the “dash.” 🙂
.-= Vin – NaturalBias´s last blog ..Health Care Reform is Not the Answer! =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:10 am

Hiya Vin. I’ve had the same thoughts lately 🙂


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now August 30, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Loved the video. Made me think of Pennslyvannia in early fall.

It’s true the dash is what we should be worried about because if we can create the type of life that makes us happy now then the end, when it comes, will be welcomed. I hope. 🙂
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last blog ..What Do You Think of These Videos? =-.


Stephen Mills August 31, 2009 at 4:12 am

Hi Karl, and thanks for joining in the conversation. Don’t hope just wonder and read my latest article 🙂


Lakshmipathy G. September 3, 2009 at 2:07 am

It was worth watching. I liked it. Thank you so much 🙂


Lawrence Sykes September 15, 2009 at 3:57 am

Hi Stephen, great article and very inspirational.

I have posted a very similar article about fear and how it holds you back from maximising on life, in particular to leaving The Rat Race and your comfort zones.

My article is similar to yours and is based on what will read on your headstone, and more importantly how long the grass will be after two generations (very long, unless you leave a legacy!)

I’m hoping readers find it equally as useful as your great post.

.-= Lawrence Sykes´s last blog ..The Best Ways To Make Money Online =-.


Chanel April 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

Very good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by
chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!
Chanel´s last blog post ..Chanel


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