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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 30, 2020

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                                You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                                This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                                According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                                Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                                There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                                How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                                When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                                Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                                1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                                One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                                The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                                Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                                2. Be Honest

                                A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                                If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                                On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                                Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                                3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                                Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                                If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                                4. Succeed at Something

                                When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                                Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                                5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                                Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                                Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                                If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                                If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                                Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                                6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                                Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                                You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                                On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                                You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                                7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                                Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                                Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                                Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                                When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                                Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                                In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                                Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                                It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                                Final Thoughts

                                When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                                The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                                Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                                Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                                Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                                More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                                Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                                [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                                [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                                [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                                [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                                [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                                [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                                [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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