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  • Makoto Shibuya

Connecting The Dots

As the Roman philosopher Seneca eloquently said: "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Similarly, I also believe ideas happen when experience meets opportunity.

Experiences are like dots on a blank canvas - each dot taking up a little space. Initially, it is unclear how they relate to each other, but eventually, as they marinate, they have no choice but to bump into each other and set off a few sparks.

While I am still in the experience accumulation phase of my life, I've learned how important it is to curate an inventory of experiences that I can draw from later down the road. This has proven to be a valuable practice so far, and I am hopeful that it will continue to pay dividends the longer it goes. I now seek out variety with peace of mind knowing that someday, I will start to connect the dots with the benefit of hindsight.

Why start writing now?

I'm learning several new skills in my 30s - reading, swimming, coding (well, sort of) - and it has been empowering to realize I still can acquire new skills. I have been told, like many things, the best way to improve my writing is to...start. I intend to use writing as a medium to put some of these ideas and experiences on paper.

It will likely stray in and out of a variety of topics. Still, I hope that by writing things down and documenting them, I am better able to collect, digest, share, retain, and revisit interesting ideas I come across that would otherwise get lost. Mindfully aware that each dot may initially have little meaning, but knowing they will prove valuable over time. Simply put, it is an investment in my future.

In the words of a Nike shoe designer:

"When you sit down to design something, it can be anything, a car, a toaster, a house, a tall building or a shoe, what you draw or what you design is really a culmination of everything that you've seen and done in your life previous to that point." -Tinker Hatfield

What I look forward to is the collage - my canvas among everyone else I encounter. What excites me is knowing my dots will eventually connect to others and trigger opportunities that I would never stumble upon on my own.

Undoubtedly, this will evolve. We'll see how it goes.



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