1. Be yourself.
Mindy Kaling is an amazing writer, producer, actress, and comedian. She is also very real and relatable. In today’s world of photoshop and plastic surgery, it can be hard to find people on TV that we can really look up to for their confidence in their own bodies. Mindy’s personality is extremely likable, and reading her book feels like having a conversation with her. Her speech at Harvard School of Law (which she lovingly calls the “School of Vengeance”) showed us the fun, fearless female that makes up Mindy.
2. Hard work makes the dream work.
For anyone looking to achieve great things, hard work is a must. This is especially true when you’re the producer, writer, and lead actor in your own show, like Mindy. She typically works 16 hours per day and only sleeps for 5! But because she’s passionate about what she does, it doesn’t feel like work to her.
3. Own your smartness.
Most women feel the need to water down their accomplishments to be seen as likable. Not Mindy Kaling. She graduated from Dartmouth, has 6 Emmy nominations for her work on “The Office”, wrote a book, stars in and is the lead actor of her own TV show, and is also a writer, producer, and director. A quadruple threat if there ever was one – this woman can do it all!
4. Start where you are and do what you can with what you have.
It may sound trite, but it’s the honest truth. If Mindy had never made an effort, she would have never achieved her dreams. She and Brenda were unemployed college grads just trying to make ends meet in New York when they started developing the sketches that eventually became a successful Off-Broadway show. From there, Mindy was able to move out to Los Angeles and jumpstart her career. Sometimes you really have to seize the opportunity by the horns if you want things to change
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
One time, Mindy went to a dance audition dressed in a tutu while everyone else came wearing leggings and tank tops. By the end of the routine, the instructor asked her if she wanted some water because she was breathing so hard. I would have been embarrassed, but she laughed it off instead.
6. When you aim, aim really high.
There’s no joy in having low aspirations or sticking to mediocrity. Mindy is certainly an overachiever. At only 24 years old, she got a job writing for “The Office.” In her own words, “I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded.”
7. Comedy is an art.
After reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, I came to better appreciate comedy as an art form. I used to only watch comedies for the mindless banter and laughs, but after learning about all of the work that goes into making people laugh on TV, I realize that there is a lot of talent and artistry involved in the process.
8. It’s ok to be feminine and professional.
You don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to be taken seriously at work. Mindy is proof of that. As a successful and award-winning writer, she embraces her femininity while still being respected in her industry. According to Mindy, “I didn’t completely forget how to be nice or feminine because I have a career.” So if you’re ever doubting whether you can show your softer side at work, just remember that the key is to let your stellar work speak for itself.
9. Be nice.
As Ike Barinholtz, a writer and Mindy’s co-star on “The Mindy Project,” describes, if you work hard and have a kind spirit amazing things will happen to you. He went on to say that Mindy is “the best boss ever.”
10. Live colorfully.
Mindy IS color. From her bold pants to glittery tops, and even her color-block dresses – she always looks gorgeous.