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15 Life Lessons From This Famous Comedian – Russell Peters

15 Life Lessons From This Famous Comedian – Russell Peters

The other evening I was watching the Russell Peters’ show. A notorious live wire on stage, it is difficult not to get picked on by the naughty glint in his eyes. Having exploded in 2004 after some video clips from his performance went viral on the Internet, he amassed a large following of loyal fans soon after.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to see the guy perform live until now, I enjoy him picking up the audiences from the TV here itself and smirk. I nonchalantly realized how the guy teaches us some simple lessons of life, the ones we know but forget due to the daily humdrum routine, the ones that are at play in our subconscious minds, the ones that we know but forget to remind ourselves.

The life lessons would make you emerge from the article not only a tad funnier but also sunnier and wiser.

1. Stereotypes are not so bad after all!

    You stand out by being you!

    Peters is notoriously known for utilizing the stereotypical traits of a certain origin and bashing it up humorously. In many of his shows he though clarifies that “I don’t make the stereotypes, I just see them”.

    A leaf to be taken out of this is to recognize the stereotypical trait that you possess as individuals or belong to a separate race and revel in it. Be it your accent as Indians, features  in case of  Chinese or Japanese or the way you speak Spanish being a Mexican. Smile as this stereotype of yours  sets you  apart from the crowd.

    2. Don’t get bullied.

      Say No to bullying.

       Peters was bullied in his school days in Canada and look at him now picking on everyone to get back. Well that was just for the laughs; Peters took up boxing lessons to actually combat the bullying that he faced! He says “Stand-up and boxing are very similar. You’re the only one out there, you’re going into a fight, and you’re going in with a game plan.”

      Similarly in life, don’t always give in to the pressure or stress induced by anything, be it people or situations.Of course it is going to be difficult and you will be hurt (“Somebody gonna get hurt a real bad”). Instead if life bullies you, give it back and be a bully to fight your problems. Always have a game plan ready to protect yourself.

      3. With confidence, you can be the undisputed king.

        Be Confident and meet life.

        Russell Peters oozes dollops of confidence when he is on stage. His body language speaks volumes of his confidence even when he is saying something objectionable. Such is the charm of the guy. But still he says “No matter where you are, the root of you is designed from a young age. So if my confidence was taken as a child, you can gain back a lot of the confidence, but that root of the cavity will still be there”.

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        Likewise in life get the confidence thing run in your veins. It’s OK to fall down at times and scathe your confidence as you will only emerge stronger ready to face the world again. They say even if you are wrong at times, say it unflinchingly, it would be turn out to be right somehow.

        4. Explore yourself before settling for something.

          Explore all the ways before choosing one.

          Peters in his “struggling” days had many roles before settling down as a stand-up comedian. He was a DJ and a hip hop junkie. He said “I’m a hip-hop junkie. I’ve been listening to the music for over 20 years”. “That’s very much shaped who I am and the way I think, how I look at things and how I dress, how I carry myself”. He also wrote a book and acted in few movies while having established himself to an extent.

          In life, sometimes we don’t know what we are passionate about. Or maybe we know the destination but can’t figure out which road to follow. At times like these, it’s OK to do what we feel is best at the moment. Travelling alone, choosing a different route to work or taking a break in a career are some of the ways to enrich your experience. Important thing is to love what we do and eventually we would find our own way.

          5. Having wanderlust makes you rich.

            Take back a little from every place you travel.

            “I am always amazed at how much people ‘get’ when I’m performing overseas”.

            Having said that wherever you go in life, take back a little from each place you have lived in. Exploring different places makes you richer. Give a little and get back even more.

             6. It’s OK to laugh at yourself.

              You can be funny, laugh it off!

              While not sparing anyone in the audience for their looks, race or accent, Peters doesn’t even mind making jokes about himself. He says “I’ve seen people laugh at every other group, but then clam up when it comes to their community. You can’t laugh at everyone else and then not laugh at yourself. You shouldn’t be at my show if you can’t laugh at yourself”.

              The best thing in life is to have a few laughs within. Remember and smile off those times, you have slipped accidentally and fell. The times that you made a fool of yourself by saying something stupid in public, the times when you dated somebody unworthy only to find that you are with an amazing person now. Smile and laugh at your past and even present faux paus and look ahead.

              7. Talking Dirty, Umm Really?

                Talking messy can be quite healthy.

                Peter’s tongue-in-the-cheek and use of some offensive lingo have had raised many raised eyebrows in the past. But the humor and the approach associated with the words and actions fades all the anticipated awkward moments. On using other people’s comedy ideas he says “It’s like wearing another man’s underwear. Why would you do that?”

                Although awkward, talking dirty is fun sometimes. Talking dirty or discussing something vulgar makes you connect with your friends and even can help your relationship grow stronger! Yes, this too has been scientifically proved. Your comfort level and rapport with the people around you too grows if you talk on topics such as sex or the lack of it. Simple it makes you comfortable in your own skin.

                8. Danger is everywhere, watch out!

                  Are you driving your work or is it driving you?

                  Peters is everywhere! You can’t possibly escape his omnipresence. One moment he is talking about his Dad and his funny encounters with him and the next moment, he picks up a Dad and his kid in the audience and takes a dig at them. Nothing ever escapes his observant eyes.

                  In short, life is like that. Be on your guard and stay vigilant while you are here. Danger in the form of an unproductive job, bad relationship, health problems, finances maybe lurking nearby and you would have dismissed them or busy making other plans. Only to be met with dire consequences at a later date! So watch out for the danger signs in your life.

                  9. Dare to be different.

                    Take up a job you love!

                    While choosing a career people are usually attracted to the conventional ones. Peters dared to be different and went where his heart took him. He says” I like the sound of laughter. I was the guy in the group of friends that would always make the friends laugh. And everyone was like, ‘You should do stand up,’ so I gave it a shot, and ta-da! They were right”.

                     It took him some time to reach where he is now. In midst of all the biggies of American comedian kings like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, he carved a niche and has stood on his own.

                    10. It’s OK to make mistakes.

                      Learn from the tiny misgivings and forgive yourself.

                      Like any other person, Peters has made mistakes or should we say lessons? He himself refers to his rushed up marriage turned a quick divorce as one of them. I am not sure of the rest but surely he has emerged as stronger from his mistakes.

                      Everyone has done somethings in the past some of which we may not be so proud of or may have done those things back then in the heat of the moment. That’s perfectly ok and mistakes make you more human. Learning from them, bouncing back and putting them behind you is more vital.

                      11. Cross the cultural barrages.

                        Friend someone who does not share your first language.

                        “I’ve never had to change my act on my international shows; I just make sure that I’ve taken some time to get to know the people in those countries before I perform. That’s been really useful”.

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                         I don’t know how many feel the presence of a unity in diversity concept amid all the laugh riots and guffaws when Peters performs. Or the audience always consists of a mixed race of Americans, Indians, Chinese, Europeans, British, Spanish and of course Mexicans. What could be a better way to have all the people of different origins sit back and enjoy a show? Or things that one discovers about his Mexican friend or Chinese boss are hilarious as well as knowledgeable.

                        Don’t stay huddled up in your groups or comfort zones. Talk to somebody whose language you don’t know or make friends with someone from a different continent. The benefits are immense and fun.

                        12. Don’t forget your roots.

                          That beach by your home where you crawled.

                          “The fans in Canada have been there since day one. They’re the originals. When people say that’s your roots, that’s literally my roots. I’ve just cut this tree off and replanted it somewhere else and it started growing. But the roots are there”.

                          You may be a globe trotter but always remember your roots. Those might be the ones that have got you so far. It’s important you stay grounded and remember the place that you belong to and the values that you grew up with.

                          13. You may not always get your due.

                            You don’t always get what you deserve.

                            Peters is now by all means more than just a money making man. He is riding new success waves but has mentioned in many of his interviews that he still feels the need to be accepted. He says “I’m not a media darling. I’m forever the outsider, for whatever the reason is”. The fortune is there but he is still known as America’s unknown comedian. The reason here are his endorsements and his un-Hollywood connections. But look at where the guy has made without it.

                            Life’s complexities are the same way. You need back up, references and pre-introductions from almost everything in life nowadays. A job, a hook up and even to get something that you deserve completely you need to stoop sometimes and ask for it. Well that’s the shorter version. The harder and the tougher version as everybody knows is to avoid shortcuts and work painlessly to reach your goal. Get something easy and that won’t be that sweet.

                            14. Always remember people who care.

                              Acknowledge people who care for you.

                              “I have a phenomenal memory. I remember every single thing that anybody said to me, ever did to me, who was nice to me and who was not nice to me. In the business at least. And I see how these guys react to me. It’s all smiles and ‘I’m so glad to see ya! You’re doing really well!’ I’m like, ‘Wait, I remember you being a dick to me back in the day’.” Peters admits unabashedly that he never forgets who were not so good to him in the past. which is but natural isn’t?

                              Sometimes in life we ought to be the same way. While you may not be able to forget about who let you down also remember to acknowledge people who had been kind to you. This helps you to be thankful and to be reminded at times that although some people try to put you down but there are others who silently care.

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                              15. Every Peters has his own day!

                                Your day is not far away!

                                Peters started his career way back in 1989 and he had to wait a good 15 years to taste success in 2004. I doubt if some of us had reflected on this, did we? The guy whose crackpot jokes and impeccable digs would have left you with tears of joy didn’t see success soon. So walk a mile in his shoes, before you get judgmental.

                                Like Peters getting his shares of days, you are not too far off. A dream job, a world tour, the perfect match, the 4 bedroom apartment beside the lake and the perfect body, everything is there waiting for you. It may be a while but you will get there. How soon or fast depends upon your honest and untiring efforts. So keep on walking undaunted towards your moment of glory.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Featured photo credit: Russell Peters via i.ytimg.com

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                                Last Updated on December 4, 2020

                                How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

                                How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

                                We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

                                However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

                                Let’s take a closer look.

                                Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

                                A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

                                Builds Workers’ Skills

                                Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

                                Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

                                Boosts Employee Loyalty

                                Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

                                If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

                                Strengthens Team Bonds

                                Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

                                However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

                                Promotes Mentorship

                                There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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                                Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

                                Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

                                How to Give Constructive Feedback

                                Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

                                Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

                                1. Listen First

                                Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

                                Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

                                You could say:

                                • “Help me understand your thought process.”
                                • “What led you to take that step?”
                                • “What’s your perspective?”

                                2. Lead With a Compliment

                                In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

                                You could say:

                                • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
                                • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

                                3. Address the Wider Team

                                Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

                                You could say:

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                                • “Let’s think through this together.”
                                • “I want everyone to see . . .”

                                4. Ask How You Can Help

                                When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

                                You could say:

                                • “What can I do to support you?”
                                • “How can I make your life easier?
                                • “Is there something I could do better?”

                                5. Give Examples

                                To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

                                What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

                                You could say:

                                • “I wanted to show you . . .”
                                • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
                                • “This is a perfect example.”
                                • “My ideal is . . .”

                                6. Be Empathetic

                                Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

                                You could say:

                                • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
                                • “I understand.”
                                • “I’m sorry.”

                                7. Smile

                                Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

                                8. Be Grateful

                                When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

                                You could say:

                                • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
                                • “We all learned an important lesson.”
                                • “I love improving as a team.”

                                9. Avoid Accusations

                                Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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                                You could say:

                                • “We all make mistakes.”
                                • “I know you did your best.”
                                • “I don’t hold it against you.”

                                10. Take Responsibility

                                More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

                                Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

                                You could say:

                                • “I should have . . .”
                                • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

                                11. Time it Right

                                Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

                                If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

                                12. Use Their Name

                                When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

                                You could say:

                                • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
                                • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

                                13. Suggest, Don’t Order

                                When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

                                You could say:

                                • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
                                • “Try it this way.”
                                • “Are you on board with that?”

                                14. Be Brief

                                Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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                                One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

                                15. Follow Up

                                Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

                                You could say:

                                • “I wanted to recap . . .”
                                • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
                                • “Did that make sense?”

                                16. Expect Improvement

                                Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

                                By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

                                You could say:

                                • “I’d like to see you . . .”
                                • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
                                • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
                                • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

                                17. Give Second Chances

                                Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

                                You could say:

                                • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
                                • “I’d love to see you try again.”
                                • “Let’s give it another go.”

                                Final Thoughts

                                Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

                                More on Constructive Feedback

                                Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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