Innovate or Die

I went to a luncheon hosted by our Economic Development Corporation today. I was inspired. I was transformed for two minutes.
Our keynote speaker was a girl I went to high school with, meaning just that; we showed up at the same building. We did not share classes, we did not socialize, I don’t even think she dated my brother and almost everyone dated my brother. Plus she was a track & basketball star. She was and is amazing. And guess what, at forty years old has outperformed all of her goals.

I loved listening to K talk. She had a great power point, was well spoken and knew her stuff. And towards the end it sounded as if she has had an epiphany with her life too and is seeking a direction of art and change. Kudos K! Maybe in another 20 years you will be sitting in a conference listening to me speak. (Well, K said I shouldn’t take no for answer.)

K talked about the global companies she had been recruited by, worked with and made changes in the course of their history and fashion. AMAZING.

I have changed diapers, tires, jobs, addresses and last names. Not quite as stellar.

Here is the thought that intrigued me; it is a quote from Steve Jobs.  In 2005 Steve Jobs spoke to the graduating class of Stanford.

Again, 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.

(Why are all those graduation speeches so damned inspiring? It is a lot to live up to.)

I was recently trying to “describe” the Undiscovered Talks to someone. How I feel truly led that there are lessons that God or the Universe would like me to learn. While I have been on this journey of self discovery, I have retouched “dots” in my life. (In my head I saw them more as poles sticking out of the water to cross a stream… but metaphorically speaking I think it is all the same.)

And then there it was on K’s power point just staring at me; I have to trust the first dots lead me forward and that they all connect and make a beautiful canvas someday. Also recycle, reduce, reuse.

So after lunch walking out to the car I thought about the simple dots of my life and wondered if they didn’t really look more like Pollack No. 5, instead of the simple follow the number dots on the kids menu at Denny’s.

How will I ever find the purpose? How will I keep the stamina to the end? How can I keep moving forward with no more results than I have at this point to show for it?

And then my mind was led back to a recent conversation with Ethel regarding Pollack No. 5 and how people look at it and assume anyone could generate such a masterpiece. Most people don’t realize the painstaking efforts that went into every drop of paint. And that they were all put there with purpose, not one of them out of place.

So I guess I will just have to know that my canvas may be cluttered, but all the dots have been painstakingly placed there. Be it the large childbearing hips, the varicose veins, the bad singing in public, my unwillingness to say no to community functions or my telling dirty jokes on stage. (And let me say, some of the jokes are more painful than others.)

I may never change the history of a multibillion dollar company, but maybe if I change the history of one of you for the better it will be worth it.

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