Joining the dots looking forward
For the last two weeks, one theme has kept coming up with my coaching clients and in my day-to-day conversations so I thought I’d share it. It’s the theme of joining the dots looking forward.
I will clarify...in his 2005 Commencement address, Steve Jobs talked about how his decision to drop out of college freed him to take the classes he wanted to take rather than ones he had to. One of them was a calligraphy course, which at the time served no direct purpose and yet 10 years later it played a great part in making Mac stand out from its competition as it was the only computer with beautiful typography. Obviously at the time he had no idea that this class would come in handy. He said..
“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.”
Here I want to challenge Steve. I believe you can start to join them looking forward.
In one of my jobs I was given the task of creating pages on the company website. As a technophobe with a mild fear of anything that looks like code, I didn’t exactly jump at this ‘opportunity’ and approached the tasks with dread, fearing I’d accidentally take the company site down. But after a coaching session I remembered that part of my goal to be an independent coach would mean that I needed a website myself. I then re-framed the dreaded task as a fantastic learning opportunity and began to make the most of the experts in my organization by asking lots of questions.
So re-framed, I wasn't just mindlessly completing tasks set by my manager for the benefit of company, I was doing something for the future me, and this was my time to get paid to practice. Score!
It’s not always easy to connect the dots forward, but it becomes a hell of a lot simpler once you have an overarching goal or ambition that you’re striving towards.
So what’s your dream or goal? Which current tasks in your work do you dread and how might they serve the future you? Re-frame them and let me know how you get on.
And if you don't have a goal, get in contact, you have a dormant dream you're not letting realise.