Connecting the dots. Friday October 18, 2013
In 2005, visionary co-founder and later Chief Executive of Apple; Steve Jobs made perhaps his biggest contribution of all, not the Iphone or the Mac- but a speech, to a class of graduate students at Stanford University.
Usually not one for words, Jobs used this opportunity to not only tell the world of his recent cancer diagnosis, but also to impart some advice to this group of young adults going out into the big wide world. It is the first part of this speech I would like to focus on - 'connecting the dots'.
During Jobs' college/university days (depending what side of the pond you are reading this), he quickly came to the conclusion that the subjects he had decided to study were not really relevant to what he wanted to do with his life and not worth the hard earned money his parents had put into it. Rather than drop out completely, he decided to 'Drop in' to certain classes. One of these classes was Calligraphy; seemingly so unrelated to what he wanted to do with his life but something in which he had a deep interest.
With an eye for design, Jobs was fascinated by the way the different styles of writing were so intricate and beautiful. Years later, when developing the first Mackintosh computer, Jobs used this experience to create the idea of multiple typefaces. Something we take for granted today. This is one example of how seemingly unrelated dots can connect as life goes on.
The moral Jobs gave to his story was that there will be many opportunities in your life that although you want to take, you might not chose to because they do not fit in with what you see yourself doing with your life. Jobs highlights that you cannot possibly connect the dots looking forwards, you can only connect them looking back. You should take every opportunity you want to take and trust that the dots will connect themselves. More often than not, they do.
'Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary' – Steve Jobs 1955-2011
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