Connecting The Dots

Towards the end of my college career, I begin pondering all the roles in my life that make me who I am; in hopes that it would give me some direction of who, what and where I want to be for the rest of my life. It was hard to just check myself off in one box. Simply put, I have too many interests.

There is one thing that I believe to be absolutely true and that is: never doubt what sparks inspiration. That message is very clear from the stories of each hat that I have worn. By watching other cultural influencers and the remarkable stories that they share especially from the TED stage; I too am inspired to sharpen my passions and create beautiful ideas. As an avid Ted Talk worshiper, I gain constant inspiration in under 18 minutes flat. My favorite Ted Talk of all time was given by the inspirationally brilliant late Steve Jobs. He was innovative, driven and passionate. Three qualities that I admire and practice as a leader. I take the advice from Job’s quotes to outline who I want to become.

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

I always follow my heart and intuition. A few years ago, I have an epiphany that gave me clarity for the first time. It was while traveling that I had the vision to move to NYC and want an internship. From that moment, I spent the next year of my life taking every step to follow my dreams. It became a reality during the Summer of 2016 when I landed an internship from my dream company at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City. Looking back and reading my blog I wrote is therapeutically reflective. https://cjpnyc.wordpress.com/

“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long.”

That is the best way to summarize what motivated me when I returned to ECU and finish my last year of college. By following through with my vision and checking it off of my bucket list, I lost sight of who I wanted to be. For months I searched obsessively to find my next vision but I realized I can’t force vision or direction. My Fall semester was a time that I like to call my Renaissance woman days. I began trying anything and everything to see if that would spark another vision or at least give me some direction. With each failing attempt, I learned I couldn’t force direction or vision; it would just have to come naturally like it did the first time.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

This is my favorite quote of all time because it gave me hope. Hope that all of the hats that I have worn already are going to lead me in the right direction. Each experience is a time of growth and learning. I may not know exactly what I want to do for a career or where I want to be in the next 10 years, but it will all make sense one day as I continue to grow and be patient.

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. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

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Jobs may not have presented directly from the TED stage but whenever I am in doubt; I watch this talk and am inspired all over again. Thank you TED and Steve Jobs!

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

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