Are You Happy with Your “Dash”?

As I look back over the decades of my life, I recall a great number of valuable lessons. It seems as though each stage of our existence presents opportunities for greater learning.

One of my most memorable lessons was, while very simple, instrumental in my ongoing quest for continuous improvement. I learned that regardless of my age, experience, or station in life, there is always something new and exciting waiting to be discovered in every tomorrow. I am constantly amazed, enthused, and motivated by the vast amount of new knowledge I’m exposed to daily. So much so, in fact, that I feel obligated to seek out, utilize, and pass on as much of this knowledge as I possibly can during my short stay on this earth.

Through some very strange circumstances, which I’m not at liberty to share, I recently came across a very simple but life-changing poem which has inspired me to continue with my quest and the obligation I mentioned earlier. This poem consists of a mere 239 words arranged in just 36 lines. You can read it in less than a minute and a half. However, I’m certain you’ll then want to re-read it several times as it will inspire you to dwell on a number of your most personal inner thoughts about yourself, your life, and those who make it so very precious.

I could have easily obtained permission from the author to reprint her classic “thought provoker” right here for your ease and convenience. I chose not to do that. I think this gift is one that deserves to be earned and you can easily do so by simply visiting the home of this original classic.

Go to

When the page opens, you’ll see a list of options on the left.  First click on “Read the Dash Poem.” You can then read the poem as it is posted in its 36-line structure.

Or you might also want to click on “Listen to Linda Read the Dash Poem,” which you’ll find directly under the author’s picture. You will then hear Linda Ellis reciting the poem for you. It’s well worth it to hear the audio.

Or you can click on “Meet the Dash Author” and be whisked away to another page where you can load and listen to a 10-minute interview with Linda Ellis to learn of the background behind this incredible poem. Also, on that page, you can easily click on “The Dash Song” and hear this unique heart-touching poem rendered as a song by award-winning composer, songwriter, and singer Kirk Dearman.

When you’re finished, I think you might want to check that list of options again and click on “View the Dash Movie.” It simply shows you the poem again against the backdrop of some beautiful, relaxing scenes, which add so much to the original words. I come here often when I’m really stressed and I can’t believe how relaxing it is for me to view this very short production.

You’ll find other options on this page that allow you to hear Linda’s unique personal story, which led her to write this poem during a lunch break and how doing so changed her life forever. You’ll also find several other links that will lead you to interesting information about this simple but moving poem which has touched millions of lives and has literally taken on a life of its own as it made its way around the world!

If making this simple effort doesn’t bring a smile to your face, a tear to your eye or a lump to your throat … If it doesn’t cause you to pause to contemplate your current circumstances … If it doesn’t evoke a deep appreciation of many things you’ve taken for granted … If it doesn’t encourage you to re-evaluate and re-dedicate yourself to achieving personal aspirations known only to yourself … Then I have sadly misjudged you and do indeed apologize for wasting your valuable time. My guess is that you will return to this site often to relax to the short movie, listen to the song once again or maybe even laminate a copy of the words to keep close by when you need them most as I did. One thing I’m almost certain of … You’ll certainly focus more on living your “Dash” in a more gratifying and worthwhile way than ever before as you continue on that never-ending journey for greater knowledge to savor and pass on.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

One thought on “Are You Happy with Your “Dash”?

  1. Hi Linda,

    My father just passed away suddenly on 5-31-07 at the age of 60. He was a vietnam vet and suffered stage 4 throat cancer within months. He did radation and had 2 weeks left of chemo. Then on 5-30-07 i got a call from VA in Ann Arbor mi that my father was found unresponsive and he made it 24hours. It’s the hardest thing i ever want to go thru. I was a real strong christian but latley i have let my faith slip. I just don’t understand I’m only 27 yrs old and was a daddy’s girl. At the funeral my pastor read your Dash poem and it really touched me every time i look it up on your website all i do is cry. I can’t get it thru my head that my father is gone. I would really like to get the book but now with money tight funerals are not cheap and with all the household bills and staying with my mom who has lung cancer age65. i just don’t have the money to get something that i would really enjoy and would positively help me out alot. So, i’m hoping within the next year or so things might settle down so i can try to get caught up a bit i would really like to get the book with the poem in it or just the poem. My name is Amy Murphy i live at 8718 Krouse rd
    Ovid Michigan 48866 My e-mail is if you ever want to write or chat and maybe give me some words of encouragement. Thanks for listening and God Bless Amy Murphy

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