Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. – Steve Jobs
This quote has gotten me through some of my toughest days.
For the longest time, I had spent my days concerning myself over what my future holds. I would look at others, pining for what they have, what they were doing. Comparing my life to theirs and realizing that I had nothing. That poisonous mindset ate at my soul until I gave up. I gave up trying. I gave up learning. I gave up chasing the dots in my life. Seeing others succeed in life while I was stuck at the starting blocks had driven me underground. I had given up hope that I would ever find my path to success. The problem was, it was there all along, I was just not following it.
When we see others succeed we rarely stop to remember that these people have worked diligently through the failures and the routines to get to where they are. It took me a long while believe that every day I need to work blindly towards something great even though I still have no clue what that something might be. It was when I heard the “connecting the dots” speech from Steve Jobs’ that made me realize that each obstacle that comes my way are new dots that I need to clear in order to prepare myself to do great things someday. Each dot is like an obstacle that I I have two choices to clear. I can jump over them to conquer them or I can step aside and avoid them. For the longest time, I had avoided them. Thing is, when I started to jump over them I began to gain the confidence to take on bigger dots. Even though sometimes the dots make no sense to me, my only need is to relentlessly keep jumping over them in hopes that one day, they will all connect and shed some light.
So when I wake up at 5 am to cart myself off to a sweaty exercise class, it is then the dots start coming at me fast. Do I just sleep in and allow that dot to pass by unconnected? No. I jump over it by getting my ass out of bed and off to my exercise class so I can think clearly the rest of the day. When I am faced between eating a junk food lunch and my hearty green salad; do I allow that dot to pass by? Nope, I opt for the energy boosting food that will allow me to jump over the next dot. Each dot leads to the next and if I were to allow one to sneak by without connecting it, I might end up missing the one dot that ties all of the others together.
It is tough to blindly work hard at life not knowing when or where something great may be accomplished. There are so many temptations to give up the fight and let life go by unruly without connecting the dots of circumstance. We are all given opportunities to excel yet we ignore a lot of them because they are not explicit to us. We expect our path to happiness to be paved with linear dots in succession but that isn’t how this work; each dot of opportunity comes at you from all direction at any time of day and sometimes they come lightning fast. Don’t give up on these dots in your life, chase them down, hurdle over them and connect them as they go by. You just never know when you might figure out your dotted path to greatness.