In his awe inspiring commencement speech for Standford Steve Jobs said:
Again, 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. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
I’ve loved this comment ever since I heard it the first time. What I’m learning as days go by is just how true the comment is and how much I am thankful for it.
Earlier in the day I had a beautifully honest conversation about my past recession experiences and how they relate today. As I shared past experiences – both mistakes made and lessons learned – I couldn’t help but notice just how much of an impact that rough time had on me.
That was by far and away one of the most difficult professional times in my life. Throughout that time I stressed about so many things, both within and outside of my control. There were times in which I had gotten so stressed and worked up about all of the what if’s that I couldn’t sleep and it was taking a physical toll on me. Quite often I would get frustrated discouraged and struggled to stay positive.
Today in our conversation I started to realize how much I learned through those times. While it was incredibly difficult to live through I learned so much about business, sales, stress management, and so many life lessons. While in those times all I could do was persevere and keep faith that it would all work out in the long run. It turns out that it did.
In going through our current challenges I’d almost taken for granted all that I’d learned through the last recession. Many of the reasons I’ve done what I’ve done and stayed as calm as I have through most of this has been drawn from that experience. Without that experience I can’t imagine just how difficult it would be. Now that I have the benefit of hindsight I can see how those trials back in the day have helped to prepare me for now. I can see how some of the dots now connect by looking backwards.
As I get frustrated, nervous, and unsure throughout this current challenge I am going to remember that this experience will help me become stronger and better for the next challenge I face. I may not be able to see how it’s helping me now but at some point I will be able to look backwards to connect the dots. I have faith that everything will work out and I must remain positive.