What is a serial life?

What is a serial life?

Short Answer:

Exploring new things and new ideas with enthusiastic curiosity. Or even shorter answer: Evolving.

Not so Short Answer:

Everyone lives a somewhat serial life whether they realize it or not.  We are infants, then toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults and then we become middle aged, senior citizens, and, if we are lucky, as old as dirt. Everyone changes at each stage.

Many times a serial life revolves around career because that is where we spend 30%-40% or our adult time. That is not always the case, however. There are many people who hold a steady, reliable, singularly focused job so they can pursue their passions after hours.  That can run the gamut from sports to woodworking to music to cars to volunteer work or time spent with your favorite people. A serial life is the exact opposite of one-size-fits all.

Why a serial life?

Short Answer:

Because there are way too many interesting things going on in this world to do nothing but one thing for the rest of your life!

Not So Short Answer:

Living a serial life expands your world.  You get to experience things and people from different perspectives. Perspective gives you knowledge and wisdom. It makes it easier for you to connect to the world and the people in it.  It enables you to find new roads to explore in your pursuit of happiness.  It creates more opportunities to use your gifts and talents.

A serial life: finding new roads to explore in your pursuit of happiness. Click To Tweet

What it is not: boring, stale, trite, narrow, or limited.

Who lives a serial life?

Short answer:

A lot of people.

Not so short answer:

From my perspective, there are four types of people living serial lives.

The first group are breaking out of a script that was originally given to them either by parents or society.  They were told which path to take and they took it without really thinking about why they were doing it or if it was even what they wanted.  They only did what was expected of them or what they felt they ‘should’ do.  They never questioned ‘Why?’ or thought about what they ‘could’ do.  This is usually brought about with the best of intentions.  People who are older and wiser are just trying to guide the young and naïve. Those in this category eventually ask the questions and discover they have the courage to live off script.

The second group are those who haven’t found their ‘passion’.  They are looking for something they can sink their teeth into, devote their time to, and be happy doing it.  Kudos to this group for being persistent and not settling for something that makes them miserable.

The third group are living serial lives by circumstance.  Their original plan didn’t work out either due to poor choices or circumstances beyond their control.  My heart goes out to this group because it is usually associated with pain and grief.  They never wanted to be there and they have to now struggle to find a new path.

The fourth group are Multipotentialites.  You won’t find this word in the dictionary yet.  It was coined by Emilie Wapnick.  She describes it perfectly in this ted talk.  Her definition is

“ A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits. Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).Multipotentialites thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. We are excellent at bringing disparate ideas together in creative ways. This makes us incredible innovators and problem solvers.  These types are also known by other names such as Scanners, Multipassionate, or my favorite, Renaissance Person.  Once they identify themselves, they are the ones who deliberately and enthusiastically throw themselves into a serial life. Sometimes it is by design and sometimes it is by choice”.

You may find that you are a combination of any of those.

Living a serial life does not mean being a jumping bean and hopping from one thing to another.  It does not mean being irresponsible and doing what you want when you want.  It means being open to new experiences and getting out of your comfort zone. It means learning to interact better with those around you.  It means trying things, meeting new people, seeing how things work, and doing things out of the sheer fun of it. Sometimes it means small discoveries.  Sometimes it means big changes and leaps of faith.  Sometimes it is the smallest of tweaks to bring joy into your life. The best part is that more often than not, you get to choose.