YOU CAN ONLY CONNECT THE DOTS LOOKING BACKWARDS
The great Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” This truth was reflected in the last chapter, in relation to the Alabama Crimson Tide using the tool of “adversity” to become National Champions.
Can you believe those bastards on the Apple Board of Directors fired Steve Jobs? I mean, who has the audacity to fire one of the co-founders of the company?! Steve Jobs built Apple Computers! And now you have some suit (who was chosen by Steve to run things) plotting against him!
Okay, so maybe Steve was a tad bit arrogant. Maybe he felt like he knew more than a former Pepsi Cola CEO about computers. Duh. Maybe Steve’s passion about his “baby” caused him to be a little resistant to taking orders.
After Steve’s firing, and the near collapse of Apple, maybe the suits should’ve listened to Steve after all. Because ten years later, who do you think the suits called to come save Apple Computers? Steve Jobs—the guy who’s responsible for transforming the world, with the i-Pod, the i-Phone, the i-Pad, etc.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect the dots looking backwards.
Alas, in this beautiful mystery we call “life,” perhaps trials and tribulations are good for everyone. I remember a beautiful story about a butterfly—and his struggle to get out of the cocoon.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.
So have a nice day and struggle a little and teach well.
Even the boastful Steve Jobs came to this conclusion, as mentioned in the 2005 graduation speech he gave at Stanford University. He mentioned that being fired from Apple was the best thing that could’ve happened to him, going on to say, “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods in my life.” He continued, “I’m pretty sure none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.”