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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

Happy Connecting,

Jake O'Gorman

Personal Trainer / Lifestyle coach.

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Richard Hull, PhD Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 9:11am

Jake, please. If you are going to try and draw lessons from history - great idea - you must get your facts at least in the right ball park. Steve Jobs did not create the idea of multiple typefaces - as some people might remember, that has been around since the earliest days of printing in the fifteenth century. It is also disputed as to whether Apple or Rank Xerox first thought of using print typefaces for the display terminal.

Little things like that can spoil what would have otherwise been a sensible piece of writing.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 10:14am

Mr. Hull the thing you're writing is totally irelevant. Relevant is this (go to the core, don't look at the "squre" dots in poorly encoded (or whatever) video):



Julia Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 10:40am

Your blog raises some useful advice Jake but I agree with Richard about Steve Jobs. There have been some interesting revealing articles in the press recently about Jobs and his legacy, some of which is good, and some not so good. Also recently in the Times there was an article about computer fonts. Jobs did not invent multiple typefaces. (He may have claimed to but then many of his claims were far fetched)
But the main thing we get from today's blog, I think, is that we may benefit from looking outside the box and following a path which is not immediately obvious. Hope I am right Jake!; (You are clearly a Steve Jobs fan. I still feel frustration every time I try to delete on my Apple Mac keyboard and blame him!)

Anonymous Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 10:47am

Again, irelevant things.:)

Jake O'Gorman Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 11:16am

Thank you Julia, hit the nail on the head. The point I was trying got make (and I will do more research into it next time) is that often we can convince ourselves that we shouldn't step outside the box. Most of the time, this is perfectly logical with everyday choices, but on occasion we feel very strongly towards something, yet we still don’t do it. We may be conditioned to only doing things that have visible and measurable outcome. Sometimes however, the magic is in letting go of that restraint and trusting that what you really want to do will work out. This is not an idea confined to Steve Jobs, but as a way of putting the point across Steve Jobs made a good example (so I thought). I apologize for the typeface error, but if you can overlook that, and perhaps think of things in your life that have happened as a consequence, not of reason but of doing something you really wanted to do, then I think the blog would have done its job.



Julia Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 12:15pm

Yes your blog has done its job very well. Don't worry about us nit pickers. I guess we all have our foibles.But thank you Jake for your explanation. You will have made a lot of us stop to think before we carry on as we have always done. I like that!

Anonymous Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 3:27pm

Surely what Jobs did was to enable people to use different typefaces on their computers, rather than invent the different typefaces in the first place. I can't think what all the fuss is about. I rather liked today's blog!


Julia Fri, Oct 18th 2013 @ 5:47pm

I liked it too

Anonymous Sat, Oct 19th 2013 @ 12:26am

Thank you for an insightful post Jake. As someone who constantly struggles with decisions i.e.. should I undertake a major photography course if I have no plan to change my job and become a full-time photographer? your post has highlighted for me that it is OK to try things just because it interests me, I may not know where it is going to fit into my future, but that's OK.


Anonymous Sat, Oct 19th 2013 @ 8:11am

Well done Jake. Your blog is insightful as usual. Keep them coming please!

Tim Clayton Sun, Oct 20th 2013 @ 11:17pm

Beautiful. "Join the dots" has become my favourite self-directed, slightly mystical, dictum in recent times.

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