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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 March 14, 2019

                                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                                For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                                Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                                1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                                A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                                It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                                It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                                How it helps you:

                                If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                                Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                                2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                                Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                                Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                                How it helps you:

                                Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                                Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                                If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                                Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                                3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                                Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                                Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                                How it helps you:

                                This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                                For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                                Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                                A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                                4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                                To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                                A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                                How it helps you:

                                One word: hierarchy.

                                All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                                In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                                If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                                5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                                Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                                Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                                How it helps you:

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                                Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                                If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                                This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                                6. What do you like about working here?

                                This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                                Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                                How it helps you:

                                You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                                Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                                Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                                7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                                What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                                As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                                How it helps you:

                                What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                                First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                                Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                                Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                                Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                                Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                                Making Your Interview Work for You

                                Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                                Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                                More Resources About Job Interviews

                                Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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