Words of Wisdom from Mindy Kaling

For those of you who don’t know who Mindy Kaling is, clearly you haven’t watched one of the best TV comedies of all time The Office. She played the drama queen who was obsessed with the Kardashians and wanted to know all the gossip.  Not only that, but you must of heard of her show called, The Mindy Project where she plays the fabulous, boy crazy, and very narcissistic OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri. I guess you could call me a fan considering I have watched every episode of both shows, read both her books, and have watched almost all of her interviews. Not only is Mindy Kaling one of the very few Indian women in Hollywood, but she’s another person that is on my list of “Badass Women That I Aspire To Be.”

There is no doubt that she is funny, but she is also an extremely intelligent person. I am so happy that she is sharing her knowledge with the rest of the world. Here is some of the valuable information that I have learned from Mindy Kaling (not that everything she says isn’t important) :

1 ) You’re Religion and Ethnicity Don’t Define Who You Are

Mindy Kaling is criticized for not addressing her Indian heritage on the show and instead promoting the lifestyle of a white girl.  In an article from Vice called Navi Lamba shares why she is dissapointed in Mindy Kaling.  Navi Lamba says that she is, “yearning for models like Kaling, because they are not readily available, which makes it ultra disappointing that she doesn’t recognize her complexity as a non-white, female comedian. Kaling instead completely rejects these aspects of her identity, and chooses to implant visions of white ideals, in an industry that is already saturated with “Alexis Bledel Blue” eyes.

Recently, this problem is addressed on her show when her character Mindy Lahiri tries to learn more about her Indian identity by making some Indian friends.   Her parents tell her that they chose to not teach her the Indian lifestyle because they are proud to be Americans.  It’s not fair to say that Mindy Kaling isn’t a role model because she isn’t acknowledging her Indian heritage because she grew up surrounded by the American culture.  When asked,  “How does your south asian background influence your character development and the interpersonal dynamics in the cast?” She answers by saying, “I don’t speak any Indian languages. I’m Hindu but I don’t know much about my religion.” I can relate to Mindy Kaling because being born in Canada you assimilate to the culture here and you don’t have the same connection to your ethnicity as your parents did.   Just because the show isn’t about being Indian, doesn’t mean that being a woman of colour with her own show isn’t an accomplishment.

Although, my parents have taught me about my religion and my ethnicity,  being Canadian is a huge part of who I am. I hate it when people ask me,”What’s your background?”I don’t want to be defined by my ethnicity or religion I want to be defined by my character. Some people make assumptions about who you are based off of stereotypes they’ve heard about about your religion or ethnicity, and I don’t want that.  I want to be defined by my actions and the way I speak to people.  Mindy Kaling addresses this, in an interview with Alicia Menendez saying, “Women, especially young women of colour want to see someone in TV that is not playing a terrorist or someone in IT.” Mindy Lahiri makes being an OB/GYN look so glamorous. Not only is Mindy Lahiri learning about the Hindu religion but Mindy Kaling is as well.

2) Be Perceptive

There is no doubt that Mindy Kaling is a good writer. The Office is one of the most funniest shows of all times. Mindy Lahiri has said the most outrageous things and let’s not forget the babble Morgan spurts out. In an interview at Bookcon Mindy Kaling shares some advice on writing well saying, “The biggest compliment I can get on my writing is if people feel like they’re talking to a friend. I started talking and recording it, trying to mimic that conversational tone in my writing.” I 100% agree with her advice because I know when writing my blog posts I want you guys to feel like I am your friend. When you can mimic a conversational tone in your writing it becomes a method of showing your personality to the readers.

Furthermore, Mindy Kaling also mentions the biggest thing that has helped her writing is being perceptive.  Ironically, my grandmother has given me similar advice.  She told me to be perceptive to not only the good qualities about people, but learn from their mistakes.

3) True Best Friends Are Hard To Find

GIF via Her Campus

People tend to be picky when choosing the person they want to spend the rest of their life with,  but it’s more important that we be picky when choosing our friends. Time is precious and you don’t want it be time wasted, so make sure the friends you surround yourself with are worth your time. However, sometimes friends that we cherish the most grow apart from us.

In Mindy Kaling’s book, Why Not Me? She discusses the heartbreak of when a, “Best friend becomes a friend,” and sometimes even strangers.  As individuals we go through many phases in our lives and so do our friendships. There’s moments where you and your best friends are going through the same experiences like thinking of nick names for your crushes, shopping for prom dresses, and stressing over what universities to apply for. However, “that version of the friendship comes to an end.” Only, a true best friend knows you guys share a bond of sisterhood and no matter how much time you guys are apart you’re still her number one. A bond of sisterhood is a difficult one to find with a person (except if you’re actual sisters of course). A true best friend is a person you can share the most disgusting moments of your life and they won’t judge you.  It is the person who will listen to you rant and will tell you when you don’t look good. As Mindy Kaling says, “It’s hard to find a female friend, but it’s really easy to find a guy to sleep with you. ”

4) You Have To Earn Confidence

GIF via Her Campus

I’ve spoken about how important confidence is on my blog. Gaining confidence is a process, but there’s nothing better than finally not being focused on your insecurities.  In Mindy’s words, ” Confidence is just entitlement. Entitlement is the belief that you deserve something. Which is great. The hard part is, you’d better make sure you deserve it. You can’t be confident without hard work and determination.  She continues on to say what couldn’t be more true, “Some people feel uncomfortable around women who don’t hate themselves.” It’s because people are so used seeing women feeling insecure and having damaged self esteems that when they see a confident woman they think something is seriously wrong with her. Most importantly remember ladies, ” You aren’t damsels in distress.” Work hard because at the end of the day you can be proud that you are at a place in your life where you don’t need to dependant on anyone else to take care of you, because you can take care of yourself.

5) Have The Work Ethic of A Mother

Listening to Mindy Kaling talk about her mom brought me to tears.At the Watermark Conference, Mindy Kaling says that , “My mom was my soulmate and my best friend; it was the single most impactful relationship in my life; and…now that she’s gone, my only hope is to be able to replicate it downward. Now I guess I have to be the mom. I hope that happens. I think it’ll happen!”The bond between a mother and her children is the true definition of love. I was once asked if, ” You could have dinner with anyone in the world (dead or alive)  who would it be?” My response was my mother. Yes, I eat dinner with her everyday, but I know that one day God forbid she’s no longer on this planet I will regret everyday I chose to go to brunch with my friends instead of not spending time with her.

Mom’s really do have the best work ethic, of course their motivation comes from the love of providing for their children. I wish I had my moms work ethic. She puts 100% in everything she does and is the definition of the phrase,”Everyday I’m Hustlin.”  I want to have this same approach to my goals, and learn how to stop being lazy and stop getting distracted.

Seeing all of Mindy Kaling’s accomplishments I ask myself, “Why not me?” I want to be just as successful as her. Well girl, you just wait and see because you don’t understand my hustle.

Feature Image: Via Vulture.com