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Biography Personal Growth

The Story of a modern Superwoman

Who is a superwoman?
This is the first thing came to my mind while starting this post. When I searched in the dictionary I found-

The definition of a superwoman is a woman with superhuman powers or a woman who performs well in her various demanding roles.

Nature has designed women in such a way, when it comes to certain roles women are more efficient. Like managing multiple things, playing different roles in life. For me every mother is superwoman. Imagine the different roles of a mother. From taking care of her children to family to other stuffs of home and sometimes even working full time in a job. That’s a lot to do at the same time. Mother’s do all these things without ever complaining. That’s why they all are superwoman.

However, the superwoman about whom I am going to talk about is neither a mother nor has some superpowers. But, instead of that she deserved to be called a superwoman for her journey and how she inspired milions across the globe to chase your dreams and live on your own terms.

I am talking about an Indo-Canadian woman named Lilly Singh. Many of you probably know her and have seen her videos on youtube. But what you probably don’t know is her journey from battling depression to highest paid female YouTuber in the world.

Lilly Saini Singh was born on September 26, 1988, and raised in Scarborough, Toronto. Her father Sukhbinder Singh and mother Malwinder Singh emigrated to Canada from Punjab, India. Growing up in childhood, Lilly was a very extrovert child who grabs attention all the time from the people. He was the center of attraction in parties or any public gatherings due to her talkative nature.

In one of his interview, Lilly said she wanted to be a power ranger and raper in childhood but her parents wanted her to be a counselor. Lilly has done her bachelors in psychology from York University, Toronto to her parents wish.

After finishing bachelors Lilly becomes worried about her future. As she didn’t want to be a counselor. Although her parents wanted her to pursue further masters in psychology, the sheer feeling of the conventional career as counselor made her anxious.

She took a one year break before pursuing anything. She was in a state of depression at that time. At one side her parents told her to do masters in psychology and on the other hand, she was not interested in psychology anymore. It reflects when she reminds those days-

I remember writing the application for my masters and then going ‘ Oh my god! I don’t even want to do these applications, how am I going to do this for four years? ’

‘ If not psychology then what I am going to do in my life” was her biggest concern. And this insecurity slowly leads her to depression. To curb her bad feeling she started making videos on youtube in the year 2010. Remember YouTube is not that famous at that time and one cannot think it as a source of living. Many of her friends were also making videos and uploading videos on YouTube for fun at that time.

The real insight happened in Mexico, where Lilly was in for vacation after coming out of depression. When answering a question about when did she think of becoming a YouTuber she said-

I can tell you the exact moment it happened. I had a few videos out at that time and I was coming out of a state of depression and I was confused. I was on a vacation in Mexico with my family and going for a walk – it was so like Bollywood – sat at the beach and had a talk with myself. I think for the first time I asked myself – ‘What makes you happy? What do you want to do?’ And the answer was: ‘Entertaining people makes me really happy.’ ‘What am I doing right now that involves that? I am making YouTube videos. So let’s put all my effort into that and see where it goes.’ The second I flew back home, I started making YouTube videos.

There is no looking back after that for her. It’s not that she became famous overnight but her perseverance and the joy of making videos kept her going even in times when her videos were not getting many views or subscribers.

“Every video and every tweet has counted,” she told Marie Claire magazine. “My climb was slow. I took the stairs, not the escalator.”

Today she has two channel on YouTube. One is called ‘Superwoman’ with more than 14 million subscribers and other is ‘Superwomanvlogs’ with close to 3 million subscribers. Forbes Magazine has listed her as the highest paid female YouTuber and overall third highest paid YouTuber in the world with 7.5 million dollars per year.

Lilly has received an MTV Fandom Award, four Streamy Awards, two Teen Choice Awards, and a People’s Choice Award since she started her channel.

When someone asked her what makes your videos so appealing to people? She said-

I think it’s the relatability. I think what people like about my channel is that I am not perfect. I always point to my pimple, my bad hair day…people relate to that. They are watching somebody who is exactly like them and talking about things that they experience as well.

Today Lilly has worked with some of the most influencing people on the earth from Bill Gates to Michelle Obama to Selena Gomez to Dwayne Johnson and many more. She is also a Goodwill Ambassador of ‘UNICEF’ and helping empower girls all over the world.

On asking what she meant by ‘freedom of expression’ she gave a beautiful answer-

No matter what I put out, somebody will be offended. I made a video on 10 reasons to smile, and it has dislikes. That should be an indication that there will be some who get offended no matter what you do. The best you can do as an entertainer or as someone who performs is to follow what you believe in.

You can’t really do anything else. If you say ‘I don’t want to offend anyone’ then don’t get on stage. Just ask yourself ‘Do I think it is right? Do I think it is offensive? And do I think that everyone is okay to hear this? If I truly believe this then I should go and do this.’

The story of a woman who becomes the most entertaining Youtuber from a confused and depressed teenager teaches us a lot of lessons. Let’s distill some of them.

  1. Exploration is the best way to find out your passion/calling

Just like Lilly most of us remain confused at our teenage years about what to do in life, what am I good at? But merely thinking about it not give any solution we must try our hands at different things to find out what suits us. Imagine if Lilly Singh would have never tried making videos on YouTube and did his masters in psychology, her life would have been completely different. It’s her choice to explore YouTube that made her fall in love with YouTube. Your passion is hidden inside multiple layers. The more you explore, the more you get close to that.

2. Persevarance is the key

Perseverance is probably the most important factor in anybody’s success. Lilly Singh shows us the same. Her first video got just 70 views, but she started making even more videos after that. Although initial days were not great but she kept making videos as she loved to do that. For all of us we feel many times to give up at what we are doing, the only thing that can keep us going is the love towards what we are doing and the bigger picture (the why) of what we are doing.

3. Your background should not define you

Many of us born in some place, brought up in another place and then work in another place. In all these endeavors we come across different culture and people. Many times people try to restrict us by defining us with our background. It’s very important you connect your identity with something bigger. We should be universal not defined by a particular race, religion, or place.

When Lilly started her YouTube career western media used to define her as an Indian girl who is also getting views and stuff. But very soon she realized that she don’t need to be defined always by her background. She said-

Earlier on my videos used to be so geared towards Indian people because that’s what I thought I had to do”. “So I would call my videos things like ‘My Indian Parents Do This’ or ‘Indian Girls This’ and very quickly I realized that I didn’t have to do that. All the girls are pretty much the same and all parents are pretty much the same, so I stopped doing that and I stopped cornering myself into a niche that I thought I had to be in.”

4. Success comes with a cost

You should define your own success, not other people. What is a success for other people may not be for you. For some people having a big house, an expensive car and a luxurious lifestyle is a success but for you, just these may not be the success. Every success comes with some sacrifice, some cost.

If you want that Ferrari may you need to work even on weekends, maybe you have to lose your sleep a little bit. If you want to be famous then maybe you have to compromise with your privacy, you will be constantly chased by people everywhere. Define your success by yourself, what kind of life you want to live?

Lilly said it best-

“When I was younger, I had this fairy tale that you can have eight hours of sleep and be a healthy, balanced, person and still achieve your goals,” she told Vogue. “That hasn’t always been the case. On an average day, I will spend 90% of my waking moments working on Superwoman. I’m a huge workaholic. My hobby is Superwoman.”

5. Be humble and open minded always

Warren Buffet said-

“Humility is the first step towards learning. You can’t learn until you are humble enough to realize there is something for you to learn.”

Continuous growth is the secret to maintain success. And to grow continuously one need to learn continuously. The success of Lilly Singh over the years shows us exactly this. She has collaborated with some of the most influencing people whether it is Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Bill Gates or Michelle Obama. The Knowledge and wisdom she gathered from her own experience and from other wise people helped her remain in the ground and learn continuously.

This superwoman has even written a book to describe her journey and help others in their journey-

I am posting one of her interviws where she reveals many insights-

We all are at some point of our life confused, anxious, sometimes even depressed like Lilly Singh. It’s our connection with our inner being, our courage, our appetite for exploration and learning can make us a superwoman or superwoman.

Wish all of you a great new year and may this new year bring the superwoman or superwoman from within us.

Have a great week. See you in the next year. With Love -Joy

Source:

  1. Lilly Singh with THE HINDU
  2. The Toronto life on Lilly Singh
  3. Lilly Singh Biography
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Why Being Polymath is the way to success

How many times in your life have you heard the line ‘ Focus on one area, give your everything to this and you will be successful’. I guess every one of us has heard this pretty common lines. There is a very famous line which says

                                  “Jack of all trades, master of none”

Which means you may be good at a few things but if you are not excellent or outstanding in one thing, your chances of being successful will reduce. Think about your own life, what are the skills you have? How many areas have you studied? Chances are that one, two or very few. We have grown up believing that we need to study one subject deeply and stick to that forever. 

However, if you see the lives of the most successful or I would say the most impactful people in the world they don’t fall in the ‘One area specialist’ category. Take anyone for example from Elon Musk, Steve jobs, Richard Feynman, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos to Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Charles Darwin, Galileo and many more. If you look closely at the lives of these people you will find no one of them studied just one area. Wait, What’s going on here? If we all are being taught to specialize in just one area then why all of the successful personalities did not follow this. 

Something is wrong right!                                                                                                                   Even Scientific research today firmly believes that people who have wide interests are likely to have the creative impact. Have a look at this paper.

But what is the meaning of ‘Polymath‘? (you must have noticed in the headline)                   A ‘Polymath’ is someone who has knowledge of diverse fields and integrates them into one particular skill set. Many examples you will find in my previous posts from Johannes Gutenberg, Steve Jobs, Leonardo Da Vinci, modern entrepreneurs like Naveen Jain, Elon Musk etc. All of them had or have diverse interests and knowledge and they combined all the knowledge to produce something unique. There is a great story about Charles Darwin how he discovered ‘Theory of Evolution’. To solve the natures mystery he had to think like a biologist, geologists, naturalist all at once. He approached the problem from different angles. Take our beloved president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, how do you describe his specialization. Although an Aeronautical Engineer, you can see his life how diverse it was and the kind of knowledge he had about various fields.

So you want to be a Scientist. Study about Science of course but have time to read about history, business, literature or whatever interests you. Still pondering why to study all those. Remember what one of the greatest ‘Polymath’ Leonardo Da Vinci said

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In fact in this modern era becoming a ‘Polymath’ is even more valuable and easy. Need justification. OK.                                                                                                                                      Things are changing most rapidly in this generation. What was precious yesterday becoming obsolete today. Now if you give all of your time and energy in just one particular skill set. What’s the guarantee that it will not become obsolete tomorrow? No guarantee right. You must know what’s trending now and what is the possible future. Imagine the scenario where someone is giving all his energy and time for becoming an excellent driver and tomorrow the driverless cars become famous. What will he do?        One must be aware of possible future like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Nanobot and many more. Having knowledge about more than one domain gives you access to know the broader and better picture of the world. It will make you much more valuable.

And it’s so easy to become a ‘Polymath’ today than ever before (if only you have interest). The world is connected all the time. You have access to almost all the knowledge humankind have acquired. There are many examples today where someone learns amazing stuff from home just by using the internet. There are Online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, edx which has courses about almost everything you want to learn. Masterclass, Khan Academy is another good platforms. Youtube is a great learning platform, which is completely free. Today a 13-year-old learning coding and developing best apps. 11-year-old learning about astronomy. Issac Newton said

                             “If I have seen further than others,                                                                                                                              it is by standing upon the shoulders of  giants”

Today we have more giants than ever.                 

So ask yourself an honest question ‘what are you willing to learn’? What interests you?      And what is stopping you from learning them? Is it the deep-rooted belief that we can’t be good at more than one things. You have got this one life, learn as much as you can.

Be grateful that you born in this era, your ancestors didn’t get this much chance to learn things so easily like today. 

robert_greene_mastery_the_future_belongs_to_those_who_learn_more_skills_and_combine_them
Robert Greene quote

Have a learning week. Until next time                                                                                                                                                                 -Joy

 

 

 

Source-                                                                                                                                                                  1. Michael Simmons on ‘People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely                   To Be Successful According To Research’

 2. Hidden Talents