Connect the Dots – What does it mean?

Connect the Dots – The Origin

Connect the dots is a type of puzzle containing a sequence of numbered dots. It is also known as dot to dot or join the dots. By drawing lines between the dots in the correct order a picture will be revealed. These games may contain also additional line drawings (the hint image) that together with the lines drawn by the player compose the final picture. Letters or other symbols can also be used instead of numbers.

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Connect the Dots – The Metaphor

To “connect the dots” can be used as a metaphor to join seemingly disconnected ideas or facts, which have a greater meaning when put together.

For instance: In criminal romances, a detective usually finds clues that for the reader have no direct correlation. But when put together, they solve the mystery. This is one example of connecting the dots.

The usage of “connect the dots” as a metaphor is mostly associated with a creative process or a non-trivial thought process needed to achieve something bigger. The ability to connect the dots reveals something hidden, just like in the original game.

Connect the Dots Quotes

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.

Steve Jobs

If you can connect all the dots between what you see today and where you want to go, then it’s probably not ambitious enough or aspirational enough.

Shantanu Narayen

Collecting the dots. Then connecting them. And then sharing the connections with those around you. This is how a creative human works. Collecting, connecting, sharing.

Amanda Palmer

I used to think only people like Mother Teresa and Gandhi had a mission in life. We all have one. How do you find it? You listen to your life. All those dead-end jobs? There’s no such thing. In God’s economy, nothing is ever wasted. The dots all connect in time.

Regina Brett

We connect the dots in the drawing with our minds. We give them a meaning, a figurative sense, which is self-reflexive in that it creates us because we are the experiencer of the moment.

Frederick Lenz

Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.

Lois Wyse

It is just human nature to take time to connect the dots, I know that. But I also know that there can be a day of reckoning when you wish you had connected the dots more quickly.

Al Gore

The art, the new, the ability to connect the dots and to make an impact – sooner or later, that can only come from one who creates, not from a teacher and not from a book.

Seth Godin

We can only connect the dots we collect, which makes everything you write about you. Your connections are the thread that you weave into the cloth that becomes the story that only you can tell.

Amanda Palmer

Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.

Ken Blanchard

Students today are educated collecting dots. Almost none of it spent teaching them the skills necessary to connect dots. The magic of connecting dots is that once you learn the techniques, the dots can change but you’ll still be good at connecting them.

Seth Godin

Before you can trust your team to make decisions better than you would have, you need to build their capacity to connect the dots.

Chris Fussell

Storytelling is ultimately a creative act of pattern recognition. Through characters, plot and setting, a writer creates places where previously invisible truths become visible. Or the storyteller posits a series of dots that the reader can connect.

Douglas Coupland

You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Thomas L. Friedman

Sometimes what we need is right in front of us, we just have to connect the dots and embrace what we already know.

Nick Jones

Believe in the reader and they can connect the dots, if you succeed breathe life into the story.

Esther Freud

Big moments happen with the smallest actions, and sometimes it’s not until later we connect the dots, but in that instant, I knew that somehow, someway Declan was going to own my heart.

Ilsa Madden-Mills

The impulse to connect the dots – and to share what you’ve connected – is the urge that makes you an artist.

Amanda Palmer

Everything has a reason; but the moment to know the reason would be revealed the day dots are connected.


Maybe everyone in the world was this inconsistent, these fragments. All we could see of each other all we could see of ourselves was a ragged person-shaped outline, a game of connect-the-dots without enough dots.

Daryl Gregory

Creativity isn’t necessarily a paint-by-numbers process, more as a “connect-the-dots” adventure.

Pearl Zhu

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