Connecting the Dots looking Forward

TL:DR | Steve Jobs once said we cannot connect the dots looking forward, only by looking back. However I think we can, and here is how...


4 min read

Steve Job's is influential in many areas and domains, but his work in personal computing is probably the greatest contribution. The ideas he and his team invoked via the first Macintosh, are revolutionary.

This coming from a person who personally doesn't like Apple products very much even! However he attributes his past to the creation of the future.

I looked upon this speech with great reverence, and he trusted that it would "all be okay". Trusting your judgement and following your curiosity.

โ€œYou canโ€™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 โ€” your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.โ€

~ Steve Jobs

Trust that the actions you are taking now will come into fruition down the line in life. I have personally experienced this on multiple occasions, and it made me think about his quote more deeply.


You can't change the past

Jobs got fired from the very company he helped to create, and instead of feeling the negativity all his life he moved on. Sure there was a time of being lost, and not knowing where to go next.

However he couldn't change that he was fired, but all of the events up to that point taught him what it meant to him. He loved the process, and he loved what he did.

Trusting in that notion, he continued on to do more great things, that case of being fired was just one more dot in his life. I believe in this idea of trusting your gut, and finding that notion of where you want to go.

Nor should you WANT to

I can't tell you as a young adult how many times I had wished I could go back, even with just a fraction of what I know now. I even had dreams of going back to high school, and I think it is ridiculous now. As that time of my life was probably one of the worst. I can't change the fact that I had poor grades for half of it, or that I had family drama plaguing me every day, that my gaming escape probably drained me of my dopamine levels, or that I didn't learn as much as I could have.

All of those things are negative yes, but I had dots throughout that made me into who I am today. I learned from all of those negatives, but also the positive too.

The things you've learned...

I remember from a young age wanting to be a "businessman/entrepreneur", and setting goals for myself. Either taking classes like intro to business, or even digital media. I learned how to make sites, edit videos, balance a budget, and more.

Every interval where we got to choose our upcoming school classes I have the memories of planning out my future.

Sowing the seeds for the dots that would later connect into my later projects.

Related Post:

Yesterday is History, Get Over it!
We cannot change the past, and nor should we. The events that previously occurred, are ones that were meant to happen for some reason or another.

Looking Back on the Dots of your life

I'm not saying you can predict the future, and if you try then you're bound to fail. However you can sow the seeds for future dots, and those dots can then connect. If you look back on what areas of your life that had the connected dots if you will; Then the patterns can be replicated in a new way.

Predicting vs Preparing

"In other words, you will only understand what happened looking backwards. If you try to predict your future you will fail, because it never goes the way you want."

-Pascal Lorig

I couldn't have predicted that I would spend the past year and half doing interviews. It literally pushed everything else to the side, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It was a success, and I had prepared myself more than I even knew. I had moved to a new podcast host, finished around a full season's worth of solocasts, AND had started using notion.so as a networking base.

Looking Forward on the Dots of your life

With the choices I made growing up, even the simplest ones like choosing to take a typing class because I knew it would be helpful. Maybe I need to take another one at this point because I made 10 mistakes in that last sentence!! lol

This is where the idea of "phases" for PolyInnovator came to mind, so that I could take the actionable steps now towards the dots of the future. Those dots then connecting to form the phases of my life and personal brand.

Macro vs Micro

You can't think of things purely in the clouds or just the day to day, but rather both being aligned.

The actions you take today, and the seeds you sow now; Those becoming the dots down the line, and the actions you take tomorrow being the reason they connect looking back.

This is the idea behind the PolyInnovation Operating System as well:

https://polyinnovator.space/pios-polyinnovation-operating-system/


"I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life."

I as well in this case too, as I was able to figure out my path early on. Even if I didn't know the very step in front of me. There was a level of understanding that I could work towards the goals and dreams I had.

Connecting the Dots: How Steve Jobs Changed My Life
This is a post about how a remarkable speech given by Steve Jobs in 2005 changed my life forever...

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