Steve Jobs, the genius behind Apple, reflected that “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” He had dropped out of college but kept returning to attend the classes he found interesting. The one that particularly made an impression was the class on calligraphy. He said, “I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”

None of this had any practical implication to his life at that time. However, ten years later, when he was designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to him. And he designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If he had never dropped in that one single college course, the Mac would not have had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. He said, “Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward 10 years later.” And so it is with our lives.

Ken Costa

Ken Costa, Know Your Why, 2016, Nashville Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishing, p.98