Summer’s end and the sight of busses bringing young one’s back to school often makes me reflective. Summer comes upon us each year with much promise, and seldom do we squeeze in all we hope to get done. But does that mean we had a bad summer? Hardly. I’m a believer in aiming high, thinking big, and reaching far. So a few items on this summer’s to-do list didn’t get crossed off—so what? Think of all the things you DID accomplish.

Last year about this time I posted about “living the hyphen,” where I encouraged each and every one of us to “drink up life” and make the most of it. Did you “live the hyphen” this summer? I sure hope so, and if not, why not? Here’s to living the hyphen this fall! And in the meantime, enjoy a revisit to last year’s post . . .  

Living (and Working) the “Hyphen”
(Originally Posted on September 8, 2011)

In life, we all have a start date. If you’re reading this week’s Blog you were probably born sometime before 1990, making you at least 21 years old (those were the days!). We all have an end date, too, but compared to birthdays and just about anything else, it’s never as much fun to talk about that particular date.

What happens between our start and end dates—that hyphen that separates two years that eventually get carved in stone—is “life.”

Now this topic might sound a little glum, but I hardly mean for it to be. My intent is actually the opposite. My intent is to “drink up” life while it’s here for the drinking . . . and to encourage you to do the same.

In other words, take a look around you, at your personal life, your career. What are you doing to make the most of your “hyphen?”

I was looking at a resume the other day and got to thinking how our work lives are filled with start dates and end dates, too, like mini “career” lives that pop into existence, flourish, and then move onto some other job or some other company. That got me to thinking about my own career.

From Executive Marketing positions with global enterprises to being King Monkey of my own companies, each “hyphen” on my resume represents an opportunity I seized to learn, to experience, and to “drink up” a little more of life’s nectar. For me, from a career and business standpoint, it doesn’t get much better!

By nature, I think we tend to get so caught up in normal worries (car accidents, health insurance, cash flow, and more) that we overlook all the good and blessed times that are right in front of us, all those opportunities for joy that are served up to us each and every day.

  • What are you doing to get the most out of your career? Is there more you could be doing to reach even greater professional success?
  • Is there a good deed you could do for a neighbor or volunteer work?
  • Is there some other change in the offing that could propel you down new and exciting pathways, something you’ve always considered but never acted upon?
  • How are your relationships with your significant other, spouse, or family members?
  • What good thing have you got going on already that you can literally “drink up” to keep you energized through thick and thin?

For me, I cherish opportunities to gather with friends and family to seek new adventures together while revisiting past victories. Whether it’s a hike, a weekend at the beach, fishing in the mountains, attending a big marketing conference, or exploring new business opportunities, it’s all good.

Life can be intoxicating. Let it fill your cup  . . . and don’t forget to take a sip every now and then!