We have Two Lives

I’ve heard these lines from a professional speaker ED Tate, ” We have two lives. The life we learn with and the life we live with after that.” Wow! At that point of time it brought me the chills.


I had an epiphany last week,  when in  a WhatsApp group (TILT- The Indian Leadership Think tank), there was  video shared by Ian Faria. Ian was decoding the different types of learning:

  1. First is we learn by observing , direct and Simple. Learn from what we see and hear.
  2. Second is Inferred Learning  when we try to go deeper and try to put a personal lens and pick up something that is not so obvious .
  3. Third is learning from what is shared or learned in the group (in my case TILT) and applying to the real world.

The last one is becoming very predominant and becoming the new normal for me.

I was in the car with a fellow junior colleague ( my mentee ). We were going to a place where we both had gone before. A destination where we have visited together. I was holding a view that I knew that place better than him and hence was inside my head thinking that I will be right and this time Google will be wrong. Google was right! My colleague was right and I was wrong! 

 “What led me to take that position?” Was it my gut feel or did I want to be right? Was my bias and the attachment to that outcome coming from a superiority trigger at that point?

The point I learned from this incident was that we should not seek always that “I need to be right”. Instead it should be “ am I seeking the right answers?” These two states are totally different and competing ideas. One is Selfish and other one is Selfless. I could have taken two opposing views in my head , one which is going with my intuition, knowledge , gut feel  and the other view received from my Colleague and Google Info. instead I only chose my selfish view point. I could have silenced my inner chatter. It is said you sometimes should have “the mind not to mind.

Tom B and Jason Silva in an interview explains deeply how we should hold two competing ideas , two opposing views in the mind. This duality of mind can be pretty useful and can be leveraged. These  two views finally led me to believe and digest this fact. If you take the lens of that car incident it might be difficult , but if you are willing to take a lens of long enough time period of  how I have learned through such mistakes and how I have leveraged from the knowledge of my family , colleague , friend it will be self-affirming. Jason put it so eloquently “Introspective Contemplation”

In my professional life  I encounter numerous incidents of these two lives. One life we learn with ( Wins and Losses , Love and Hate , Tragedy and Happiness) and then the  Life we live with after that. I always believe ” Best is yet to come”.

There is one key mantra to utilize the two lives concept in our day to day life ,”Dare to be Naïve.”(Buckminster Fuller). This will free you up.

Are you ready to be Naïve?

Dare to be Naive-Final

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