While enjoying a cup of coffee and hearing a friend’s story about what has been happening in his life, he asked me the inevitable question: “How about you?”
How do I even start to answer that question?
I thought through all of the amazing meetings and serendipitous conversations I have been having lately: Hearing stories of a famous guitar teacher and the spark which ignited a successful career in the make up industry, talking with the creator of a memorable candy because he did a Twitter search for his name and saw that I was talking about his documentary, meeting with someone I haven’t spoken with in years about some potential creative projects, and having coffee with a friend recently employed with a company mentioned in two meetings this week alone.
All I could say was the truth: I’m connecting the dots. All of these amazing things are happening and I’m simply trying to figure out what they mean for my life. How do I take what appear to be random encounters, discover the appropriate context and meaning for my life, so that I can uncover unforeseen opportunities?
The only way I can answer this question is by looking at the difference between a food chain and a food web. I want the experiences of my life to be like a food chain. Clearly linear, with a concrete understanding of the relationship between the elements of a particular chain.
However, my life is more represented by the non-linear nature of a food web. All of the elements of my life directly and concurrently impact each other, but it takes more determination and effort to connect the dots. The relationships between elements exist, but aren’t as easy to articulate or contextualize. Needless to say, these conversations and random encounters are important. They mean something to my life. I just need to find the relationships to one another.
A picture is forming, I am seeing something, but I still have more dots to connect. Fortunately, I will continue having these experiences to look back on, because they will never go away. Just like connect the dot images, you can either focus on the dots or the image as whole, but both are dependent upon one another for their existence.
Have you connected the dots of your life experiences? What image has formed for your life?