How Many Lives Are You? A Thought Experiement
There are many lives within you. At first, I was weirded out by this concept. As I was reading through Designing Your Life, this is one of the key ideas brought up early in the book.
“Imagine that somewhere in the depths of d.Life Lab at Stanford, our d.Life Fellows have invented a “Time-Duplication” machine that allows you to experience your life as many times as you’d like, and all of your alternative lives would run in parallel. You could be a doctor, a poet, a fireman, and a circus clown, all at the same time, and all with the amazing vividness of the real experience.”
They extend this exercise into exploring how many lives you have imagined before choosing the one you are currently pursuing. For me, going way back, I could be a trapeze artist, veterinarian, actress, journalist...the list goes on. It is a fun experiment to explore.
But what is the point of this exercise? A recognition. A revelation. You don’t have a singular calling. A lone mission ushering you to success. In the same way that there is not one person for you to marry. There are most likely several people who you would be happy with. Maybe you find it liberating. Perhaps you find it stressful.
This an opportunity to dream. Brainstorm!
Then, Designing Your Life recommends creating five-year action plans for three of your ideas. See where it leads you.
Have fun with the exercise!