My oldest was choosing post-secondary schools to apply to this past weekend. Time flies. I remember when he went to preschool and now, I will be the mom of three teens when my youngest has a birthday shortly.
Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
When he asked me what programs I thought he should choose I reminded him to follow his heart. Take what interests you. What sparks your curiosity. There is no correct answer. Turning left or turning right can lead to a beautiful journey.
It reminded me of the story Steve Jobs told in the commencement speech he gave at Stanford. 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. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” Trust yourself and your journey.
Jobs had dropped out of college but was hanging around campus sleeping on friends’ couches when he decided to take a calligraphy course. This knowledge came back to him years later when he was designing the Macintosh computer and he added fonts to the system. Connecting those dots changed everything.
It’s not rocket science, but he wouldn’t have gone there if he didn’t have the memory of the calligraphy course. That time he went off the beaten path.
As we travel through life, we learn things, we find ways to use our talents, we meet people who teach us and who we teach, we experience joys and heartbreaks, consistency and change, growth and stagnation.
But all of this will make sense and help connect the dots if you follow your heart.
Steve Jobs also said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Have the courage to take a chance, follow the road less travelled, and believe in yourself beyond reason. The most important thing is to live your own life. No one else can do it but you.