Stories are great to connecting dots. As Steve Jobs puts it, we can’t connect the dots looking forward; we can only connect them looking backwards. Connecting the dots in this context actually means understanding the relationship between the different ideas one has been exposed to or the experiences one has been through. In a simple terms, something needs to be connected to something else. Therefore, it’s apparently not possible to connect oneself to himself or herself.
Two friends set out on a long journey in order to have an intimate relationship. The aim was to get to know each other physically, mentally, and perhaps emotionally. Let’s call them Lumber and Jack. At one point in the journey, Lumber intentionally hit Jack on the leg, ouch! What was Lumber thinking? Jack got hurt really bad that he could barely walk for a week. In Lumber’s mind he wanted to defeat Jack in their next running race. Jack was so strong and fast to the extent that it seemed impossible for him to lose running against his dear friend. However, the two still got along. On the way, Jack wrote in the sand near a nice chilly beach; “today, my dear friend hurt me so badly”.
Now just a few days to the end of their journey. They went to the beach and challenged each other to see who could last longer under the water. Jack who was so strong started drowning and was nearly carried away deep into the ocean. However, Lumber came to his rescue. Lumber then realized that his dear friend was not better than him in everything, but that Jack also has some weakness. On their way home, they came across a huge rock, and Jack engraved on the rock: “today my dear friend save me from drowning”
So Lumber asked: why did you write in the sand, and why are you engraving on the rock?
life is like a long journey that is not always smooth till the end. There are hurtful moments – very painful ones indeed. Recording hurtful memories in the sand is choosing to let go of them, and to move forward. Very soon, the rain washes them off.
And for the good moments (the very exciting ones), engraving them on the rock is important. We can’t let go of such experience. They become a source of inspiration for reaching the end of everything we set to do in life. Wind or rain can’t washed them off.
So that’s life at a glance. How we navigate through it depends on how we choose to record and rely on its memories – the hurtful moments and the blissful ones. The memories we decide to take along with us in every challenge in life act as an anchor. Experience in life (memories) are like anchors are to a ship. Not any kind of anchor is able to stand the test of the storm; similarly not every experience is a source of inspiration to keep moving forward in life. The choice is yours!
[I encountered the above story about a year ago. Since then it has been a source of inspiration in my life. This is a summary but I added in some adjustments especially the names and the activities. The interpretation is mine.]