Which Version Of Myself?

By: Leon Shivamber



Starting from this point, with this version of myself, I see in front of me the infinity of possible versions of myself that could result.

Leon Shivamber
Multiple Personalities of myself by Paul Ripke
Multiple Personalities of myself by Paul Ripke

I was driving by myself in my car the other day, listening to music piped from my iPod as usual. It’s set to shuffle so I always get a changing playlist. Suddenly a tune from David Byrne, an old favorite, came bursting into my consciousness. Now, for those of you too young to remember, David was the brilliant founding member of critically acclaimed “Talking Heads”. He is a pure artist known for his quirky sound, mind bending lyrics and collaborations with the likes of Twyla Tharp and Brian Eno. And, if you don’t know who they are, then I am afraid you missed a lot of the “New Age,” experimental sound and modern dance history.

Anyway, back to my story. So David in his classical style belts out the line: “I am just an advertisement for a version of myself”!

Multiple Faces - Which is myself?
Multiple Faces – Which is myself?

My head did not start hurting immediately, but I started to contemplate the meaning of this didactic. I had heard the song and these words before, but not really listened to and considered their meaning.

I know that from birth till now, there were infinite versions of myself that could have emerged.

I know that from birth till now, there were infinite versions of myself that could have emerged. Please Click To Tweet

Based on the way the cards were revealed, and how they were played, we got to a single existing version (me in the now). That is, unless you believe in parallel universes and alternate realities, in which case this whole experience would be moot.

I thought a little about those alternative versions that could have emerged over the years. What would have happened had I gone to MIT instead of Indiana, had I taken the Goldman Sachs job in 1986 instead of McKinsey, and so on?

Interesting infinite possibilities, but I had no regrets. The way the cards played out were good for me. I like this version of myself.

Starting from this point, with this version of myself, I see in front of me the infinity of possible versions of myself that could result. And it occurred to me that at the end of the day, the version that would exist would depend on how well I played the cards yet to be revealed.

Starting from this point, with this version of myself, I see in front of me the infinity of possible versions of myself that could result. Please Click To Tweet

What version lies ahead? A great husband and father, a leader, a good mentor, a thinker, a change agent, a builder, a creator, a do-gooder? I hope all of the above could be captured in one version. And I realized Andy Andrews, author of The Traveller’s Gift, is right (he has written some great books and he makes a big deal about the choices we make). What I do the very next moment is profoundly part of playing the cards right because of its effect on which version will emerge.

Falling apart, losing myself
Falling apart, losing myself

Photographed by onkel_wart (Thomas Lieser)

In writing this blog, I am taking advantage of another moment to raise a dialogue on choices we all make.

Perhaps it will catch one of you at the right moment as you contemplate which version of yourself you want to create. Perhaps, like David says, you think you are an advertisement for a version of yourself. If you want to create a better version of yourself, then you can get there with better choices.

What should I do next? I turned off the music, got out of the car and had a great presentation of our capabilities to a potential client. I know that this act does not sound so profound, but in the grand scheme of things, we are working on building a great sustainable business, and the card that came up right then and there was a client meeting. And, I played it with the best I had in that moment. Because I know that the best version of the future me will depend on me playing my best each step along the way. I figure I have always tried to give my interests my best shot, but a little reinforcement did not hurt. After all “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well Please Click To Tweet

I am excited to see what version of myself, my family and my friends will play out. Should be exciting!

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10 thoughts on “Which Version Of Myself?”

  1. Really amazing article, unique also. There are always many personalities inside a single person. At least that what i believe. It’s completely our decision which one we will nourish.

  2. Very insightful. A lot of times we get frustrated with businesses when they don’t stand for what they say they will. It is a whole other matter when we start thinking about ourselves and how those around us see us.

  3. I think it is always interesting to think about where you could be at in the future, or how past decisions have brought you to where you are at the moment. But I think you have the right perspective on it, dwelling on it too much could inhibit your decisions, or encourage you to not to take a chance. Just making the best decisions that you can right now, and sitting back for the ride is all we can do. Great insight, thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a great article. The problem sometimes is not being able to identify where you need to go. What the right next step should be. You can easily end up in a loop of thinking that you are moving towards the right direction but in fact you are moving further away. I am a musician and music is a great way of realising this. You can work for a whole day on a song,go to bed super happy, re-visit the next morning justto find out that it is not the masterpiece you thought it was but a monster-piece…! Same thing happens with our actions. Actions are the result of our thinking and a song is the result of one person’s thinking! It is an everyday battle with ourselves and choosing where to go is a skill that one can develop and it takes a lot of practise and self-realization! :-)I have actually written a song about it! Clock moves forwardAn unwanted journey to the other side, the twisted side the wicked side,Undelivered promise that you’re making the wanted side the trusted side,Who can tell when that game begins, a case of sins where no one believes,It’s a case of give and take and if you break you destroy the takeThe clock moves forwards when life goes backwards,Sane conclusions of past confusions, The older you get the wiserDon’t worryA coded message from your inner self, the twisted self the wicked self,Needs de-coding to relief yourself , the wanted self the trusted self,Who can tell when that game begins ,a case of sins, where no one believes,It’s a case of give and take and if you break you destroy the takeDon’t worry

    • Theo, thanks for visiting and adding your thoughts. I think musicians have a particularly insightful view on reality. This piece was prompted after all, by a line from The great David Byrne. I say, keep working on your craft, there is a large audience craving entertaining insight. Cheers!

  5. I think there can be nothing more interesting than seeing a version of yourself and a lot many different versions of yourself. I wouldn’t mind it at all as it would give me an idea of how my twin from another dimension might be. The same applies to each and every member of my family.

  6. From “Angels”, one of my favorites… We’ll need to compare ipods and some point for more similarities.

    I’m certain that the presentation went well and that this new version of you is better for the choices you’ve made since…


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