Throughout my life I have had the opportunity to meet multiple influential people, mostly through different jobs and experiences. But the best piece of advice I ever received was from my father.
He told me that life has a starting date, (which is your birthday), and it has an ending date, (the day you die). He told me that what life is all about is how you spend the dash in between the two dates, that's what people will remember and what will define you.
He told me this during a very difficult time in my life, when all I could focus on was the negative things surrounding me. I wasn't focused on living my life to the fullest, but rather just getting by each day without any real desire.
This isn't how to live, especially when you are guaranteed to die at the end of the journey.
This piece of advice from my father has stuck with me and most certainly will for the rest of my life. I feel that life is all about perspective, you can have everything you have ever wanted in life and be dissatisfied, or you can also have absolutely nothing and be fulfilled.
The difference is how you view life.
Material things will only make you happy to a certain degree, and you are always going to desire more then what you have.
When you are grateful for everything that you do have, and you take time to realize how lucky you are, all the problems that plague your mind seem to fade away. I truly believe that happiness is a choice that we have to make every day when we wake up.
If we focus on how we have a super busy day and all the drudgery that is going to be involved in it, then chances are that day is going to be bad for you. But instead, if you focus on how great your life is and how many blessings you have, it doesn't matter what the day is going to throw at you because you know you can handle it.
Every day when I wake up I tell myself how I want to live my life to the fullest and focus on the dash, not where it began or where it will end, but the current time right now.
If you aren't focusing on living right now, you're wasting it because you will never get those hours, days, weeks, or even years back. Vivien Greene put it simply in one of my favorite quotes of all time, "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain."
The storm will eventually pass but think about all that time you could spend going after what you desire. All that time spent worrying and sulking in your misfortune is taking time away from you being happy and achieving your dreams.
Think about everything you will miss out on if your too blinded by sorrow and disappointment to realize that you don't get another chance to live those days, weeks and months again.
The advice that my father gave me all those years ago has truly shaped me into the man I have become today, and I am grateful for that.
That advice, single handedly put me on the path to my destiny and gave me the ability to enjoy every single day that I have on this earth, even at my lowest points.
There is always a positive to every situation, no matter how dark and negative it may be. The choice is up to us if we are going to focus on the positives, or let the negativity consume our entire dash of life.