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.
Five years ago, in a landscape photography workshop, I looked out on a spectacular morning sunrise and felt like I was seeing a painting. The image I took that morning was abstract, softly focused and not terribly successful. Looking back I can see that it was just one of many dots along a path toward understanding how to create images with a painterly look.