Insights from the memoir of the actor, singer, and entrepreneur who’s been ruling hearts since 2000
Priyanka Chopra Jonas — the lady with a sparkling smile who took the world by storm when she was crowned Miss World in 2000.
Since then, she’s acted in several movies, won prestigious awards at the national and international level, and expanded her career to venture into the worlds of music and television.
As a young girl growing up in India, Priyanka Chopra (PeeCee — as lovingly called by her fans) has always been an inspiration. From the kinds of roles she chooses to her captivating personality, she has never failed to inspire. It’s amazing how she refuses to give up no matter how hard critics or the media keep slamming her.
And this fiery personality and never-say-die attitude are what forced me to get myself a copy immediately when she released her memoir Unfinished on 9th February 2021.
I was expecting some masala and a tabloid-style montage of all the peaks in her career. Still, the book is surprisingly raw and honest — choosing to focus on Chopra Jonas’ mindset rather than each specific event. I wouldn’t say it’s highly inspirational. Still, there are certainly some important lessons that can be life-changing for young women of color looking to make a name for themselves in a largely white-dominated world.
This article discusses three powerful lessons from this book by the woman who famously proclaimed her ultimate goal was world domination. These three lessons show why she might be on the path to doing exactly that. It also discusses how you can apply them to your life to adopt a growth mindset and remain focused on your goals.
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1. Be Unapologetically Ambitious
PeeCee has always come across as ambitious, but her memoir gives us a glimpse into her mind and how this thought was always cultivated in her since childhood.
She was born in a country that treated girls as burdens — especially in the 1970s and 80s. PeeCee’s family never considered her anything less than her brother and always taught her to put her career first. This instilled in her a strong sense of gender equality and a burning ambition that will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants.
The book is a testament to her fiery will and her never-give-up attitude, which shines through brilliantly in her words.
How you can apply this
It doesn’t matter what your gender is. Your dreams are yours, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation, no matter how nonconformist or “different” they are. Ambition is a flame that will guide you on your path to success. You cannot let anyone else dim that flame.
Give your one hundred percent into getting what you want, and then some more. Don’t stop because people tell you it’s too far-fetched a dream. If you believe in yourself and constantly keep learning, no obstacle is big enough to stop you from reaching your destination.
Know your worth and don’t settle for anything less.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out
PeeCee narrates an incident when she joined an Indian school after spending three years in the US. She was accustomed to the fashion and body language of the States, and when she turned up to the Indian school on her first day, every student stared at her.
Her first reaction was to be uncomfortable, but she chose to turn the situation around to her benefit. She understood that no matter what she did, fitting in would be impossible.
And so, she did the opposite. She chose to stand out.
She wore even more fashionable clothes, put on makeup, and made no effort to hide her ideas or fashion sense. Sure, people were staring, but she made sure it was worth their time.
“From now on, if I was going to be an anomaly, I was going to be the shiniest damn anomaly around.”
How you can apply this
Stop trying to hammer away your rough edges so you can fit into the box society designed for you. This applies not just to your physical appearance but to your thoughts, ideas, and life goals as well.
Yes, you’re a misfit but treat that as your superpower rather than an obstacle. You don’t have to be like everyone else to lead a happy life. Ultimately, isn’t following your heart and choosing to be happy the most important?
Ambition is a flame that will guide you on your path to success. You cannot let anyone else dim that flame.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
At the start of her career, a few movie directors tried to cast PeeCee in their movies to make her show skin on screen and entice the audience. While she had no problem exposing for the camera if the character’s arc demanded it, she wasn’t ready to work for men in whose eyes; her only value was her sexuality.
And so, even though it cost her some powerful connections and more than her salary from the project, she refused to work for such movies. The director’s cronies turned up at another set to threaten her, but PeeCee stood her ground, making me admire her courage even more.
How you can apply this
On your path to success, there will be many who’ll ask you to compromise, or worse, settle. Don’t give in to the temptation, even though it might seem like an easy or a risk-free way out.
Know your worth, and don’t settle for anything less. Yes, you might miss out on some opportunities, but at least you won’t compromise on your morals. You won’t end up regretting that you had the chance to do the right thing but took the easy way out instead.
Stop trying to hammer away your rough edges so you can fit into the box society designed for you.
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