Creating the Dots
Remember joining dots to complete the picture when you were a pre-schooler? Some pictures were super-easy to discern even before you joined the dots, while others required a little more thinking. As you got older the exercise was made a little more complex so that even finding the next number sequentially wasn’t so easy. Whichever way, all the dots needed to make the complete picture were on the page.
Life’s not like that. We are constantly making dots, and the picture can only be completed when we are gone. But the more purposeful your life, the easier it is to determine what picture the dots will create.
Our parents and care givers play a big role in placing the first dots, and in some cases that foundation makes it easy to pick up the responsibility when you are old enough to continue making your own dots. For some, it is seemingly easy to guess what the full picture might look like from an early age, – like the child whose parents say ‘ she loves taking gadgets apart, I think she will be an engineer of some sort’ and they are right. For others, it isn’t easy for themselves, let alone others, to figure out what the picture could be.
How do we create dots?
Every time we make a choice we leave a dot. And we are making choices all the time, even if we don’t realise it. The more conscious we are of the choices we are making, the more likely it is that our lives are purposeful.
One thing that illustrates this is the Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume. Everyone has personal details to fill up that part, but when it comes to educational background and work experience, for example, you cannot create the content at the time you are writing the CV….if you haven’t done it, it is not part of your CV.
You may talk about your plans, or your vision, but that is only part of the story that people use, rightly or wrongly, to judge your suitability for a position. There is greater dependency on existing dots to help people make a judgement about what the future could look like. And recruiters need to see that the potential picture fits it with their desired future, in order to include you in that future. So, if your content, or whatever you have created, to date does not fit in, you lose out. Maybe not fair, but that’s how it is.
Can you imagine going into an interview with a blank sheet of paper for a CV?
When I tell teenagers this, they sit up and listen, because they see that they can still make choices in high school that will influence their dots.
When I tell young graduates this, they smile and get writing, or they chew their pencils in despair, depending on how they spent 3 or 4 years on campus. They see that they can still make a difference.
And there are many experienced adults who are restless, because their dots don’t make sense, and some of them think its too late.
The good news is, as long as you have life, you can still influence the final picture by making and placing your dots purposefully.
It all begins with having a vision. What do you expect or want tomorrow to look like? What do you need to do today to make it so? Then get working.
It’s really that simple.
However, some people don’t know what they want. And some people won’t invest whatever it takes to make that desired tomorrow.
But you don’t create the dots at the end. You do it as you go along, and only join them later.
Make this the year you take that one step towards the life you really want.
Here’s to 2015.