Priyanka Chopra Jonas has been working in the film industry, both Indian and US, for the last two decades. In her memoir, Unfinished, Priyanka Chopra shares her life experiences and her journey from Bareilly to Los Angeles. Some of these can serve as useful lessons for all of us in our professional lives.
New place, new beginnings
This is a piece of wisdom that Priyanka comes back to again and again at different times of her life. She received this nugget for the first time from her father who was a physician in the Indian Army, when he was trying to make her feel better about their frequent transfers from one city to the other every few years. Priyanka strongly believes that you can leave your mistakes behind and become whoever you want to be in a new place. The lesson we can learn from this? Our previous mistakes or anything that has happened in our past need not define us because there is always the possibility of becoming a new person in a new place.
Confidence is something you can work on
While the actor comes across as a person who is brimming with confidence, she describes her adolescence, especially the years she spent studying in a US high school, as a time when she could not maintain her sense of self-worth. She remembers her parents telling her that confidence is never permanent; it’s something you can work on. For her, the loss of confidence was on account of bullying she faced in the US school. She talks about how she found her confidence again when she came back to India as she realized that the harder she worked to find it in times of need, the better it would serve her.
This is one piece of advice that could be useful for a lot of us because very early in life, we often put ourselves in certain boxes—introvert/extrovert, confident/shy, passive/aggressive. However, even if we have initially placed ourselves in one category, it is possible to move to a different one by working toward it. In a way, it makes it a level-playing field where everyone has to work hard to develop and maintain their confidence. No one has it forever.
Dream big and persevere
Priyanka describes her mother as the woman she always aspired to become because it was her mother who taught her she could be anything and everything she wanted to. Early in life, she learned one must have large goals, big dreams and work hard to achieve them. She gives the example of seeing her name on a billboard for the first time at the age of 18 and thinking that that’s how she wanted to see her name every time. After two decades of perseverance, she made those dreams come true.
We can all take heart from this example and set the dials of our ambition on "large" rather than merely "achievable." If you dream big dreams and persevere, you are likely to succeed in the end.
Through the stories of her life, the actor gives us many points to think about and draw parallels at work. More often than not, we carry the baggage of our past when we move from one role or organization to another. Feeling low on confidence and motivation to achieve goals are also common pain points at work. This easy-to-read book and its lessons, when applied at work, can help you emerge stronger through these situations, besides being hugely inspirational at an overall level.