A comic strip can make you rethink your life.
That’s what happened to me. I recently read a comic from 2012 called “You only live once.” The cartoonist explains in simple pictures why the idea of one life is a myth. In fact the idea holds us back and prevents us from trying new things.
We do what we’ve always done. Then we reach a roadblock or fall into a huge lake of quicksand. Instead of going in a new direction we try to cling to that way of life.
Blogger Anne-Laure Le Cunff redefined what the comic is trying to say. We get multiple lives within the same body before we die.
It takes about 7 years to master something. If you live to be 88, after age 11, you have 11 opportunities to be great at something.
I’m living proof of multiple lives
I’ve lived many lives. I spent my childhood mastering the drums. Every day when I got home from school I’d sit there for hours banging a drum pad to work on my drum strokes. Drums led me to DJing. I decided I liked electronic music better than rock music. (The truth is I thought my change in music taste would get me girls.)
As my DJ life took off I played in nightclubs. On Wednesday nights I’d finish DJing around 4 or 5am. I’d then go home to sleep for a couple of hours. Then I’d wake up still feeling tired and go to work at my startup office inside of an old warehouse with an asbestos roof that used to manufacture gravestones. My DJ life transitioned slowly into a career as an electronic music producer. I won a music competition and got signed to two record labels.
While producing electronic music I drifted in and out of seven different startups. The final one became a big success … until mental illness took over, and I left it all behind. Then I started a new life in banking. I tried to keep my music production habit. It died a slow death as the treatment of my dark mental illness issues became the focus of my life.
Eventually my mind healed. I stayed in banking and began to write online. That’s been my life for the last seven years. About two years ago I got into building online courses. That led me to become a teacher while still working in finance. Then three months ago I quit my job to start a new life writing and teaching online permanently.
Drums + DJing + 7 Startups + Music Producer + Banking + Writing + Teaching = 13 Lives
Without even thinking about it, many of us have unconsciously lived multiple lives already. The key is to make these lives a choice — rather than an accident — to unlock the magic.
Chasing old lives is hard work
You can spend 20 years of your life trying to become an expert in an old industry. Or you can spend 2 years to become an expert in a new industry — George Mack
Our parents teach us to follow their view of the world. But the rate of change has accelerated to warp speed. Understanding the past is harder than leaning into the future. That’s why I’ve pivoted my life heavily towards Web 3.0.
You can resist change or you can be part of the change. It’s easier to live a life based on the future, where you swim with the current of the river, than it is to swim against the current clinging on to the past.
Let yourself die
The takeaway is to stop clinging on to the idea of one life. Let yourself die so you can be reborn as multiple different people in your life. If a failure happens then instead of trying to go back to the past and fix it, just tell yourself “well, that’s the end of that life and the start of a new one. Yay.”
When you live many different lives it’s more exciting. When you constantly have to reinvent yourself it forces you to learn. When you learn it forces you to grow. When you grow you don’t die inside.
I’m sure you’ve met people throughout your life who died at 25 but still walk around like lifeless zombies until they pass away of old age. A pulse doesn’t make you alive. Living multiple lives and showing up every day with energy and the willingness to make the lives of those around you better does.
There are 11 lives you get to live before you die. Depending on your age you’ve probably lived a few of them. That’s okay. I’m 35 years old and have already lived 13 lives. It’s a great feeling to live one life and, then to let it die, so you can swap it for a new life.
How many different lives can you squeeze in before your body gives way and the human party is over?