Partition Your Hard Drive
I often catch myself struggling with who I want to be when I grow up. I’m 46 mind you. It’s getting late in the game. I need to decide, right? I’m not so sure. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out. One day, I want to be a chef at some cool little 12 table bistro, serving farm to fork fare picked from my fully sustainable, closed-loop backyard ecosystem of micro-greens and cage free chickens. The next day, a bitcoin trader shaking up the world’s centralized financial systems. The next, an enlightened capitalist, helping small businesses achieve their dreams. Other times, I want to be nothing at all. Just free. It really depends on the day, sometimes the hour.
This has been an ongoing source of stress, churning inside me. The pressure of having to do it all. But ending up doing little. Cut off by reality. I won’t do any of them. There’s never enough time.
But I think I’ve found a way.
We have this giant iMac in our living room. My kids, wife and I all share it. To keep things straight, the guy with the face tat's at the Genius Bar recommended we partition it. Instead of having one user profile, he said the computer would operate much better and be more user friendly if we divided space on the hard drive amongst everyone. Each person gets to define their user experience—from photos to music to file folders.
This got me thinking. Why can’t we take the same approach with the ultimate computer—our brains?
Instead of confining our identity to one persona, why can’t we have many? No, I’m not talking about going all Cybil here. Bear with me. Why not give ourselves permission to be someone different when the need or opportunity arises?
Instead of punishing ourselves for being flakey, disingenuous or indecisive, why not reward ourselves for being multi-disciplinary. Sounds a whole lot more interesting than sticking with one business card, no? Hell, it worked for Leonardo (Da Vinci, and one could argue Di Caprio).
Of course I understand that we can’t do it all. Any one who sets out to do too much often accomplishes too little. I get it. The point of partitioning is to give ourselves permission to wear different masks so we can explore new identities, new interests and ignite new dreams. And, more importantly, to stop punishing ourselves for not making more out of the one identity we feel we’re stuck with. Too many eggs in basket, if you ask me. You drop it, game over.
Instead, be a painter. Be an ironman. Be a chef. Be whatever or whoever you dream of being. And, be you. Partitioning your identity allows you to spread your bets across multiple lives. Then all you have to do is focus on the ones that are most fun, interesting and fulfilling. Try it, if only for a day or even a few moments. You may find you like someone you didn't even know was inside you.
"Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life.
Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down.
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah.
No change, I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold, I am here in my mold.
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next;
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no, no, no"