Living many Lives

This post was originally published on Quora.

Many years ago, I wrote this in response to a question about how to find direction, happy and fulfilling career. The response has hit a nerve and since then 100,000 views and about 2000 upvotes. Read on…

TLDR: Whatever career choice you make, it is not the last one. Live more than 1 life in a lifetime.

I’m 28.

Life 1 : I was born in a village at the border of Indo-Pak in the house of a Sikh farmer during the period of militancy, then went to a religious boarding school in Himalayas. I became a young preacher and by the time I was 9 I had - toured and preached in 16 states in India, learnt classical music, sang with some great maestros.

Life 2 : Age 10. I was offered a full scholarship at a school in Hayes, London. Studied english to transition to UK. Visa denied. Back to village.

Life 3 : Enrolled in a Catholic school. Discovered I loved theatre. Did theatre for 4 years. Performed across my state.

Life 4 : Found love with computers. Got into CS. Worked in a design and tech firm, redesigned brand identity of my state government before I graduated. Built websites.

Life 5 : Graduated. Joined a tech company. Hated the desk job. Quit 3rd day. Joined a call center. Quit in two weeks. Auditioned for a TV news anchor in Delhi. Turned down the offer due to crappy environment and low ball offer. Decided I’m done with India.

Life 6 : Left India for US. Did Masters in Southern US. Instead of a software company, joined a news publishing organization. Learnt the skills of trade. Built social websites for fun. Learnt film-making. Shot a film, critiqued few. Got invited to a film festival in another country. Dated, sky jumped, water skied, traveled, got married to a wonderful woman.

Life 7 : Joined a non-profit as a volunteer. Learnt how Washington works. Built bridges with local communities and congressmen. Struggled out of identity crisis. Met a US president. Got invited to the other’s White House.

Life 8 : Got an offer to join Apple. Had to say no due to H-1B Visas (US) issues in US. Decided I’m done with US. As of writing I’m leaving the US.

Life 9 : Starts now :)

My only advice to live a fulfilling life Run like a madman towards what scares you and still attracts you.


Update January, 20171 : - I wrote this post 6 years ago. Since then the post has been seen by thousands. So I thought I would update it.

Life 9 : Worked for a Canadian University. Left to compete for an ethnic radio station license. Failed, lost majority of my savings. Started an ethnic TV show and successfully hosted it for 6 months.

Life 10 : Went back to teaching programming and technology. Built curriculum and introduced technology to many students, many of whom now empower the Vancouver tech scene.

Life 11 : Decided to learn management. Got selected into an Ivy League University, made friends across globe. Started a Men’s fashion brand.

*Life 12 : Started a GovTech company with friends. Got into a top Silicon valley venture fund. Building a team of amazing people to solve some amazing problems. Currently incarnation # 12.

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