I’m a bit late in jumping on this bandwagon, but here I go, summoning a Steve Jobs quote that I think can be useful for someone like me, who was never one of those people who had her five- or 10-year plans. This quote comes from Jobs’ address for Stanford University’s 2005 commencement.
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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
One thought on “Quote O’ the Day: Looking Back”
I've only come to this conclusion after reading a lot about him since he died, but I think it's pretty clear that while a genius about design/product promotion, Steve Jobs was probably bi-polar. Additionally, I think he had rather a large character disorder that while he got more and more under control in his personal life, he clearly struggled with throughout his professional life. Some of the descriptions of his actions smack of a sadist pulse as well.
So, in part because of a more complete look at the man that is being shared with us, I have a hard time taking this advice. As Dr. Phil says, in this case about men, “we need the dots really close together” to know what's going on.
I like the dots close together myself, and I think, with experience, we can connect the dots with a good deal of foresight. In fact, I would argue that we make a lot of our decisions based on our experience of connecting the dots in advance, and thus we choose not to repeat mistakes, for instance, based upon those dots and what they foretell about probabilities of success and so forth.
I guess where I end up with on it is this: look at the dots carefully, and while recognizing their similarity to things in the past, do not let their apparent connections rule your decisions completely.