How many lives can you live in a lifetime?


In September of 2012, I wrote my take about finding direction, a happy and fulfilling career on Quora. The response hit a nerve and since been read 100,000 times and garnered about 2000 up-votes. Read on.


I’m 28 years old.

We have one life, so at young age we worry too much about choosing the perfect path. There is an alternative - living many lives within a lifetime. Here are my chronicles.

Life 1

I was born in an Indo-Pak border village in the house of a Sikh farmer during the period of militancy. I then went on to attend 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, learned classical music, sang with some great maestros.

Life 2

Age 10. I was offered a full scholarship at a school in Hayes, London, and studied English to transition to the UK. Visa denied. Back to the village.

Life 3

I enrolled in a Catholic school. During high school, I discovered that I loved theatre. I did the theatre for about four years and performed across my state college campuses.

Life 4

I found love with computers. Got into Computer Science. Worked in a design and tech firm, redesigned the 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 the crappy environment and low ball offer. Decided, I’m done with India.

Life 6

Left India for the US. Did Masters in Southern US. Instead of a software company, I joined a news publishing organization. Learned the skills of the trade. Built social websites for fun. Learned film-making. Shot a film, critiqued few. I 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. Learned how Washington works. Built bridges between local communities and their congressmen. Struggled out of identity crisis. Met a US president. Got invited to the other’s White House.

Life 8

I got an offer to join Apple. I had to say no due to H-1B Visas (US) issues in the US. Decided I’m done with the US. As of writing, I’m leaving the US for Canada.

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, 2017

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

Life 10

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

Life 11

Went back to teaching 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 about management. Got selected into an Ivy League University, and made friends across globe. Started a Men’s fashion brand. Shut it down to dedicate time on Life 13.

Life 13

Started a GovTech company with three friends. Got into a top Silicon Valley venture fund. Building a team of amazing people to solve some challenging problems. Currently incarnation # 13.

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


This post was originally published on Quora.

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