How Many Lives can you live in a lifetime?

In September of 2012, I wrote this on Quora 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 up-votes. Read on…

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

I’m 28 years old.

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.


January, 2017

I wrote this post 6 years ago. Since then the post has been seen by thousands. So I thought I would update it.

Life 10

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 11

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 12

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

Life 13

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.

This post was originally published on Quora.

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