Once you “Connect the Dots” on your life your perspective changes. Understanding where you come from and where you are going adds purpose and meaning to one’s life. For some of us, our “dots” are all over the place in that we have changed careers, professions, started new businesses, and gone back to school for additional training and education.

For others, our dots are in a straight line in that we have lived and worked in the same industry/ career our whole lives. There is no right or wrong “dots”, rather, it is gaining awareness of our past to help us understand why we are where we are in life which will empower us to take control of our lives and live up to our full potential.

For example, I lived in LA for seven years trying to become a working actor and I didn’t make it. I remember leaving LA and getting in my car driving back to Columbus, Ohio thinking I had failed at what I had set out to do- become a professional actor. I couldn’t see the value of this experience and how it would or could have any impact on my life as I started over in the Midwest.

However, if you fast forward to the present day I run an acting studio and I do motivational speaking both of which use my experience in LA threefold. First, it allowed me to train with some of the greatest acting coaches in the world and I use this knowledge for my present day students. Second, the experience of auditioning in high pressure situations has served me well as a speaker when I speak in front of large crowds. Finally, LA taught me how to compete in a brutal industry which includes taking risks, being creative and original, and giving my best effort each and every day.

Think about the experiences you have in your life and the order of your dots? Whether you have been at one company or multiple companies you can see how each one of your experience builds off of one another. The value comes in gaining awareness of your past and how you can use/leverage your experiences with your future endeavors. What may have seemed like a negative or worthless experience at the time does have meaning and value.

As we look back on our “Dots” they truly make us who we are and more importantly shape us for who we will become. By connecting the dots we will ease our need to “beat” ourselves up, live a life full of regrets and reduce the feeling of guilt. There is a reason we have had the experiences we have had and they make up our pattern of life.