Connect the Dots

Remember as a kid playing connect the dots (or dot to dots)?  I loved those, always looking for the next number to connect to, and when completed, I was rewarded with a picture.  Sometimes the next dot wasn’t the one closest to the dot I was on and had to search for it. The picture would curve or go in a direction I hadn’t expected.  But it always turned out in the end.

That’s a lot like life – connecting the dots, going in directions we don’t expect.  We don’t know where the next dot is going to be, but it’s out there, we just need to find it.   We have a lot of choices to what our final picture will look like, a lot of directions we can go in.   The key is finding the next one.

And we don’t need to know what the whole picture will look like now!   We want to.  We want life to not be a mystery, a challenge, a journey.  We want to have a picture in front of us to follow – we think that’s so much easier.  But that’s not life.  Our dots are not numbered.  It’s so much safer to leave one dot and move to the next if we know where that dot is.  Again, that’s not life.  We have to take that leap of faith, based on the work we have done and knowledge we have gained.

Sure when we are young we may have chosen a path to go on, a route to follow.   But so much happens along the way we rarely stay with what we think we will do and will become when we were young.  And even some who do, the young athletes and performers, they all change direction along the way.  Their bodies can’t take that continued pounding impact and intensity, and find themselves in other careers at some point in life.

Ancient people saw the stars in the sky and envisioned all types of animals and creatures, objects and mythological figures.  They connected the dots to make sense of what they saw, to organize them and create pictures and images that became both familiar and useful for tracking their direction.

Today we also have a vast array of stars in our way that we try and make sense out of, from incessant electronics to other distractions that keep us from following our paths to people telling us what we should do, where we should go.  It’s up to us to turn down the noise and focus on the next dot.   I had the pleasure to hear Arianna Huffington speak last week.  It took her to reach absolute exhaustion to realize that her dots were not taking her the right way.   In her newest book, Thrive, she talks about what is truly important.  “While the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible.”

Your dots are out there.  You need to find them and continue to follow them and connect them.   Let me know if I can help you take that Next Step.   There are many assessments, coaches and people that can help you figure out what is the right next dot for you, how you can create your big picture.  The key is to know that there is always another dot.   Good luck finding the ones for you to connect – the sky’s the limit!


Imagejoin the dots from 1 to 100 and more


About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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