The significance of a little dash

Funny how stories stay with you isn’t it? I remember listening to a speaker many years ago, probably on an audio cassette, as they described the significance of the little dash on a grave marker. That little dash that is traditionally placed between the year a person was born and the year when they left this, their earthly home. When you think about it, that little dash is probably the smallest mark on the grave marker and yet it is the most significant. All that it holds in a person’s lifetime journey.

The past year has been very much like that little dash I just described. One year ago today was the day that the most of the United States, at least here in Indiana, began to shut down for the then “…fifteen days to flatten the curve.” Little did we know then that most of the next year would pass and still to this day most of us would be in some sort of controlled shut down.

There was so much and there is still so much that we don’t know about, let alone understand about the dreaded virus. Sadly, many have exploited its presence in the attempt to get some kind of political gain while others have been sequestered in fear waiting until It’s safe to venture out and to go out and about. To many, the uncertainty and isolation have been as devastating as the virus.

One interesting thing that happened as a result of the pandemic and that it happened to us all. We were and we are all on common ground in the experience.

Many things changed as a result of the pandemic and unfortunately very few things have stayed the same. The way we gather to pray, to celebrate, to associate have been a few of the many things that have changed probably forever in some cases.

The way we communicate is one of the changes that has come upon us all. The new method to communicate is that of video meetings. These became the mainstay of communication for families and business. I know of some who rejected this method and I am afraid in the long run at their own business peril. The video meeting has proven itself to be a viable, convenient and reliable method to communicate, demonstrate, sell and train for both personal and business use.

I predict that business meetings of the future will be more and more online via video. My advice, get used to it and get good at it. Invest in some proper lighting, a good microphone and learn how to navigate the online meeting space. I went through the rigor and expense to become a “Certified Virtual Presenter” so I could be better at communicating virtually. Saying “you’re just not good at computers” won’t do anymore. If you want to survive and thrive, you have to get good at computers.

Now, back to that little dash between two dates, March 12, 2020 – March 12, 2021. Here’s a question for you: What have you done to grow, develop and get better in the space of that dash? Have you read more? I know I have. Have you learned something new? I know I have. Have you reached out and connected with people not to sell but to connect? I know I have. Learn how to use your computer better. Learn a new software program so you can be better at communicating. Master one of the many online meeting platforms. The list of possibilities goes on and on. None of us is too old! The late Jim Rohn used to say, “Don’t just get through the day. Get from the day.” And I believe that’s great advice for us all. Get from the day.

“Don’t just get through the day. Get from the day.”

One thing is for sure, when you measure from this moment to whenever the next moment is for you, the time will pass anyway, so don’t say “it will take too long.” The challenge is for us all to grow, to learn and to share. As my mentor John Maxwell says about learning: “Be a river not a reservoir.” Pass along your learning, pass along your stories, pass along your understanding and turn your experiences, both good and bad, into lessons for others. Fill up that little dash!

“Be a river not a reservoir.”

The good news is that there is always a little dash, that is, until that last little dash on a marker somewhere in a cemetery but that’s not yet. In the meantime, make the most of your dash every day. Be the person that lifts the spirits of another. Be the person who is learning and getting better at something. Challenge yourself to learn something new, something you’ve been afraid of doing up to now. Take up a hobby. Mentor someone. The possibilities are endless and there is only an up side for you and others.

Posted in Communication, Learning, Mindset

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