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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 September 18, 2020

                                13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                                13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                                For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                                “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                                “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                                Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                                You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                                Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                                1. Take a step back and evaluate

                                When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                                1. What is the problem?
                                2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                                3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                                4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                                5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                                Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                                2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                                If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                                At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                                Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                                3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                                Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                                4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                                Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                                1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                                2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                                3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                                4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                                5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                                Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                                By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                                Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                                6. Give yourself a break

                                If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                                7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                                A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                                Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                                After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                                8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                                As Helen Keller once said,

                                “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                                Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                                9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                                In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                                1. What’s the situation?
                                2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                                3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                                4. Take action on your next steps!

                                After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                                10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                                A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                                Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                                For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                                11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                                No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                                12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                                No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                                13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                                There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                                After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                                Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                                Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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