The Thursday Thesis - 18/7/2019
Steve Jobs of Apple told the graduating students of Stanford University “...you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
To put it another way, when you are further down the line, you can look back and see the turning points and decisions that got you to where you are: you can see how everything connects up along the way and – from the future’s perspective – make it seem inevitable that things turned out the way they have.
For most of us, “Looking forward to the future” is a pretty good description of how we think, because when we imagine the future we usually create images and visions of the future in front of us, and usually dead-centre.
Maybe it’s because humans’ normal direction of movement is forward that we hold the future in front of us, as though we could step into it in the same way we walk to the corner shop.
But the future is more like a fall, backwards into the unknowable, looking at the “dots” which preceded the fall.
This is why imagining your future is vital to any kind of planning and personal growth; by visualising our future we can “step in to” our idealised, imagined future and observe our course from that position.
We can visualise the steps of the journey which culminated in that imagined future, notice the turning points and critical moments, the decisions and actions which shaped the pathway to where we imagine we want to go - our imagined future.
You can’t do it from where you are, but you can fast-forward into the future and look back, joining the dots and admiring how perfectly the route you took got you to where you wanted to be.
What’s your future going to look like - and when you look back from it, which dots will you connect up?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2019
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