Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
— Soren Kierkegaard
Coming upon this quote I was reminded of Steve Jobs and his Stanford commencement address a few years back. He described his experience taking a calligraphy class after dropping out of college. He continued his education taking only classes in which he was truly interested, one being calligraphy. At the time he was not aware of the “why”, only that he enjoyed it and had the desire. Years later when developing the personal computer he wanted his fonts to have style and design and not the boring technical look of the current fonts. Only then did he come to realize the benefit of learning calligraphy. He expressed his view that one can’t plot or connect the dots of our lives looking forward but only backward and in retrospect we can see how past events, situations, chance meetings, choices, lead us to our present point in our lives.
I don’t know about you, but I find this comforting. Looking back I can see how everything in my life contributed to my growth and how choices I made in the past now make sense. Comforting to know when I am in moments of doubt and confusion currently, if I follow my desires and what I enjoy I will eventually be able to look backwards, understand and “connect the dots”.