Living in the Dash

I was asked one day, “What are you doing with your dash?” For obvious reasons I had no idea what this man was asking me, and frankly was a little annoyed at the random, irrelevant question.  He went on to explain the dash.

On a gravestone, there is a birth date and a death date.  In between the two lies the dash.  Ahhh, I now understood the question completely and actually it was indeed very relevant to my current pursuit of self-discovery.

In looking retrospect on my accomplishments and life, I can, with a fair amount of pride, say I’m happy with the life I have lived.  I have successfully raised two wonderful (if I do say so myself) children of whom I’m tremendously proud.  I have had the great fortune to live a year abroad in a completely different culture and offer the experience to my children as well.  I have traveled, loved, felt tremendous loss and basic disappointment, been successful, had my failures and generally enjoyed a great life.

So if I’m happy enough with the path I’ve been on, why the whole big push to change what has been working?  It’s the dash.  Happy enough is just not what I want my dash to signify.

This year I have done something I’ve never done before; I hired a life coach.  This journey of self-discovery has been fascinating.  I have learned what I’m good at is partly who I am, but mostly what I have been good at over the years, is a product of what I had to become good at to make it to where I am today.  I had a bit of a tumultuous childhood and became a product of managing the issues presented to me as a child.  I now find out, I get the chance to live a life while not managing those same issues.  Now I know you think this should be obvious – but once on autopilot, apparently I couldn’t discern what was survival and what was me.  Fascinating!

I am stripping away surviving from living and heading toward thriving.  This is where the person, whom I was born as, gets to run the show.  I slip in and out of surviving and thriving, I have self-doubt that I have to talk myself out of time and again, but those instances are becoming less.  I hope I have a long dash, but regardless I am more concerned that my dash is all that it can be.  I am working on making that happen – already feeling happier on a daily basis, happy enough just isn’t where I want to be.

What are you doing with your dash?

-E

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Sweat Equity

On my way to a meeting last night, after a regular day with regular accomplishments, the weather was warm and sunny and I was happy.  Sitting at a traffic light I saw people crossing the street from the commuter train station.  One gentleman really stood out to me as he was crossing the street, holding the hand of his lady with an absolutely jubilant glowing smile radiating from him.  I couldn’t help but give him a big smile and a thumbs-up sign which he happily returned.

This gentleman was extra sweaty and feeling extra accomplished, I could tell because he had a Boston Marathon runner’s number on.  Generally speaking, running the Boston Marathon is quite an accomplishment, however, this year at the finish line it was about 86 degrees which is not what anyone expects in Boston, Massachusetts in April!!  This was an extra ordinary accomplishment for all the runners this year.

While watching the beaming smile on this individual I got very emotional and could almost feel his pride and the success he appeared to feel.  It made me reflect on times when I have been able to experience a similar feeling.  Those times when I think to myself, “Am I crazy to think I can do this?” and begin to move forward anyway.

I wonder why I don’t look for more ways to feel that rush, that incredible, “I’m on the top of the world” feeling.  Why don’t I search out more challenges to accomplish or overcome – opportunities to exceed my own expectations of my capabilities?

Time to shed the safety of that which I know I can accomplish – I want that Rock Star, feel-like-a- million-bucks feeling from my life.  Imagine the life I will live if I constantly live beyond the false limitations I’ve set for myself!

What gives you that lift – that “I-feel-like-a-million-dollars” feeling?  If you do not have an answer to that question, I urge you to seek it out.  It is a wonderful feeling, even if only for a short while – until the next time.

Habit of Success

I woke up the other morning at 5:30am – which I believe is an ungodly hour – and thought to myself, “Why the heck am I getting out of bed at this time?”  The answer was pretty simple, I had made a decision about a month ago to join a morning bootcamp exercise group to jumpstart getting back into shape for the Spring.  I probably made this decision some afternoon about 3pm over afternoon coffee (certainly not thinking about the 5:30 mornings!), but the bottom line is I had made a decision and commitment to myself and the program.

There was clearly no choice to be made on this morning, I had made it last month, the decision had already been made that I would be getting out of bed heading out to the field to exercise.  I knew on my drive home later that morning I would be proud and happy I had followed through on my commitment and ultimately my goals would be reached by such dedication to the original intention of this decision.

This got me thinking on a larger scale to my life and what I had accomplished by simply following through on a decision made at a contemplative time that removed the “in the moment” decision to do, or not to do something I really needed to do in order to accomplish a goal.  I noticed that most of my successes have been simply due to this one little habit; follow-through.

Anything worthwhile I have accomplished has begun with a decision, some easier than others, but a moment always came when I had to decide how I was going to address a situation.  Once I made the decision, the follow-through was, in effect, already decided based on the decision.  I have never been one to give up without giving my all, and I was brought up to do something if I said I was going to do it; so once the decision is made it is inevitable I will complete to the goal by follow-through.

Maybe this is over simplification, but simple is sometimes the best way to go – especially at 5:30am!!  Simple has also made me pretty successful to date, and now that I have the clear instruction before me, I guess the hard part is now, what is my next decision to make?

What is your habit for success?

Triple-Scoop Life

I was watching a video from T. Harv Eker explaining the theory of the universe’s rule of obtaining wealth.

The theory is shared in the story of the ice cream scoop on a cone –ice cream always makes lessons more interesting!  The story goes to tell about a parent that brings their child to the ice cream parlor and gets the child a one-scoop cone, sometime during the course of the event, the ice cream falls off the cone onto the ground.  The parent goes back into the parlor to replace the ice cream and the child suddenly sees the poster for the triple-scoop cone and requests it.  The parent, being wiser, wishes success for the child with one scoop before venturing into two and three scoop worlds, so provides only what the child might be capable of handling, however it has yet to be demonstrated.

This lesson serves as a parallel that the universe is not going to give you more of something, when you have not yet demonstrated your ability to handle smaller amounts of that which you desire.

So this got me to thinking…what is it that I am desiring more of that I have yet to demonstrate I can do well with the first step?  Then I got to thinking, what am I desiring more of that I have yet to even begin the process – I’ve not even taken or discerned the first step?  If the ice cream rule is true, all the desiring in the world won’t bring this to me until I successfully and drip-free handle my first single-scoop cone.

I have a friend who has a dream.  He has made his dream come true once, and for reasons I won’t explain here, his scoop dropped on the ground.  I met him post “scoop dropping”, but it has been quite apparent to me that he is capable of at least a double scoop.  Now I watch as he is “returning to the ice cream parlor” and getting ready to order, and successfully manage a triple-scoop cone;  I couldn’t be happier for him.  I know this will be work, but I am certain he can accomplish his goals and do it well.  Heck, he might even turn out to be a banana split guy!!

I, however, feel as though I am still standing outside the window trying to figure out what flavor or flavors I want.  I haven’t even gotten up to the window to place my order.  Maybe this blog is turning out to be my single-scoop – not sure yet.

I do know that I want a triple-scoop life, so I better make that decision and work my way through the first scoop!

What does your ice cream cone look like?