1. Be yourself.
Besides being a fantastic writer, producer, actress and awfully hilarious comedian, Mindy Kaling comes across as very real and relatable. In today’s world of photoshop and plastic surgery, there are few people on TV that we can really look up to for being proud of their bodies. Her personality is extremely likable, and reading her book is like having a conversation with her. In her speech at Harvard School of Vengeance (as she calls the Law school), we saw the fun, fearless female that makes up Mindy.
2. Hard work makes the dream work.
Mindy’s known to work an average of 16 hours per day and only sleep for 5. As the producer, writer and lead actor in your own show, working hard will have to be ingrained into your character–especially when it comes to building something you passionately believe in.
3. Own your smartness.
A lot women often feel like we need to downplay our achievements to be accepted. Not Mindy. She is a Dartmouth grad, has 6 Emmy nominations for her work on “The Office”, has written a book, stars as the lead actor on her own TV show, and is also a writer, producer and director. Quadruple threat she is indeed, this lady can do it all.
4. Start where you are and do what you can with what you have.
This sounds like an overplayed cliché, but it really is true. Mindy got her big break from developing sketches with her friend Brenda when they were unemployed graduates living in New York. Mindy proves that if you never try, you’ll never know what could happen. Developing those sketches that eventually became a show Off-broadway led Mindy to Los Angeles and gave her the career break she needed. Sometimes you have to take destiny into your own hands.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
One of my favorite Mindy stories is when she had a dance audition and went dressed in a tutu–everyone else came in leggings and a tank top. At the end of the dance routine the instructor asked her if she’d like some water because she was breathing heavily. I probably would have turned every shade of red on the spot, but she laughed.
6. When you aim, aim really high.
There’s no fun in dreaming or playing small. Mindy is clearly an over achiever. She landed her job as a writer on “The Office” at age 24. 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.
Reading Mindy’s book gave me a deeper appreciation for comedy as an art. Prior to reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, I only watched comedy for the mindless banter and laughs, but I never really considered the process that went into making people laugh on TV. From details on the writers’ room to how she’d always loved comedy as a child, I developed a new appreciation for comedy and now I consider it pure artistry.
8. It’s ok to be feminine and professional.
Embrace your femininity. Mindy is as woman as woman gets, and has never let that affect her creativity or talent. She said, “I didn’t completely forget how to be nice or feminine because I have a career.” A lot of women believe we can’t show our femininity in the work place to be taken seriously. Mindy shows the world that you can embrace it–and be an award-winning writer, too. The key is to let your work speak for you.
9. Be nice.
It’s true that amazing things happen if you work really hard and have a kind spirit. Ike Barinholtz, a writer and Mindy’s co-star on “The Mindy Project,” has described Mindy as “the best boss ever.”
10. Live colorfully.
Mindy is one lady that embraces color in all elements of her wardrobe. From bold pants to glittery tops and colorblock dresses, she always looks gorgeous.
Photos: The Mindy Project / Facebook