How to Turn Depression Into Millions | Lilly Singh on Impact Theory | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "How to Turn Depression Into Millions | Lilly Singh on Impact Theory".


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Intro (00:00)

So that's inevitable. We're all going to get heartbroken over and over again. We're all going to deal with failures all over again. But it's how we think about those moments in that moment. So I've kind of trained my brain to allow myself to be upset when I'm heartbroken, allow myself to feel failure, but not be down the dumps about it for too long. Getting hurt efficiently means we're hurt. How can we efficiently learn a lesson in this moment so that the next time you will be heartbroken, which you will be, it's inevitable you're better equipped to deal with it. Hey everybody, welcome to Impact Theory.

Discussion On Lilly Singh And Personal Growth

Introducing Lilly Singh (00:32)

Our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that will help you actually execute on your dreams. All right, today's guest is a comedian, actress, entertainer, New York Times' best-selling author and one of the biggest YouTube stars on the planet. With over 2.5 billion views to her name and a combined subscriber count of over 30 million, it's not hard to see why Forbes magazine named her the #1 influencer in the entertainment category. Her rise to superstardom, however, was anything but obvious. Her first video on YouTube only received 70 total views and it took her the better part of a decade of serving her viewers her signature brand of hilarious positivity to rise to the top. Her determination, hard work, and blinding commitment to her fans, however, paid off big time and Forbes recently estimated her annual income at over $10 million, making her the top earning female on YouTube. She's also collaborated with some of the biggest stars in the world, including Will Smith, Bill Gates, Zendaya, Selena Gomez, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. And proving that she's bankable beyond YouTube, she's also landed roles in the major motion pictures, Bad Moms, Ice Age, Collision Course, and HBO's Fahrenheit 451. Her reach even extends beyond entertainment. In 2017, she was appointed UNICEF's Global Goodwill Ambassador, and her female empowerment initiative Girl Love was backed by Michelle Obama. And as if that wasn't enough, she's also a proven entrepreneur who has launched her own lipstick with makeup juggernaut Smashbox and done brand partnerships with global giants such as Coca-Cola, Pantene, and Calvin Klein. So please, help me in welcoming the woman Verve magazine called "A Pop Culture Superhero," the superwoman herself, Lily Singh. How you doing? How you doing? Oh, thank you for being here. Can you do my intros all the time? That's the plan, isn't it? That was the best thing. I was standing there and I was like, let's keep going. This is really good. Well, we could have kept going. I think.

How Lillys YouTube journey began (02:42)

Really insane what you've done with a platform that started out as a unknown pretty much back when you started YouTube was not like a future career thing like it is now, which is weird in and of itself. But also that it was born of the depression and trying to kickstart and do something that was going to shake you out of that. How did you begin that process of building something? What does the march to success start with? Yeah, for me, honestly, it was unplanned. So it wasn't, I think right now, we're in a time where a lot of creators think, YouTube is a very sustainable platform and I want to be a YouTuber, so let me be rich and famous on YouTube. When I started in 2010, that was not a thing. You know, I was the last person to catch on to YouTube. All my friends are watching this thing and I was like, what are you guys wasting your time with on this video platform? I think it's going to disappear. And I spontaneously one day posted a video, not because I thought it could be my job, not because I thought I could make money from it, but literally because I was sad. So the story is that I was getting my psychology degree and I wasn't passionate about it. You know, I was doing everything my sister had done before me and I was following her footsteps blindly and after I graduated, my dad was like, great, now get your master's degree. And I was like, okay, this is, I don't think I can do this anymore. I don't, I'm not passionate about any of these things. And so in that little funk, I discovered YouTube. So it's kind of like the stars aligning perfectly and I posted a first video really spontaneously. It was a spoken word piece about religion. It was very, very, very bad and it got 70 views. And I think I just fell in love with having a goal during that downtime and learning something new. So I think I wasn't trained at psychology doesn't really help that much with learning how to use a camera. And so I had to make it up as it went along. It was very exciting.

How to...Hurt efficiently? (04:21)

- Speaking of making it up as you go along. So your book, How to Be a Bouse. - Yeah. - Nailed the pronunciation. I know you were nervous. Everyone's nervous. - Right. - How to be a... - You got to practice it a few times. - Nailed it. - And reading the book, air was impressed because it's really good. And so that I hope people really pick it up. It's got a lot of stuff that's incredibly usable. And in it you were describing what a bouse is exactly. - Nailed it again. - Huh? - I'm going to keep it the whole time. I got you. And what I loved about it, there was something in it so surprising and I wanted to ask you about it. And you said that a boss is somebody that is hurt efficiently. - Yes. - And I thought, whoa, what does that mean? How does one... - Yeah. It's kind of another way of saying it is that there's no failures or lessons. I mean, that's another way of putting it. But it's just this idea of when I reflect back in my life. And I think about all the times, I really became a better person or a smarter person. It's because of something that was very hurtful or painful or an unpleasant experience. And now, I think very often in the future now when I'm through those experiences, that's inevitable. We're all going to get heartbroken over and over again. We're all going to deal with failures all over again. But it's how we think about those moments in that moment. So I've kind of trained my brain to allow myself to be upset when I'm heartbroken, allow myself to feel failure, but not be down in the dumps about it for too long. Not be like, oh, well, I'm worthless or, oh, well, this is just how it's meant to be in the world's against me. Getting hurt efficiently means we're hurt. How can we efficiently learn a lesson in this moment? What could I have done differently? What could I expect to differently? How could I have reacted differently so that the next time you will be heartbroken, which you will be, it's inevitable, you're better equipped to deal with it. So you've got a lot of codifications, ways of conceptualizing life and how things are and how you should react to them.

Your Code (06:01)

You talk about getting control of your mind. Where did you begin to put all of this stuff together and what are some of the really important parts of your code of beliefs? You know, it's funny. When I was writing my book and I was sitting in my room all alone, I thought, oh my God, I think I'm really smart. Honestly, I was writing all this stuff because these are all things I've done in my life and experiences I've had, but it wasn't until I was compiling them in a book that I thought, oh, these are just organized lessons of my life. And so the book writing experience was liberating for me and very educational for me as well. And I'm so glad that people at read it feel the same way. But the code honestly came from being unhappy. That's the truth. I think I learned how to be happy because I know what unhappiness felt like. And I was able to dissect all the reasons I was unhappy. You know, all the reasons, one of them blindly following my sister, she was doing, listening to everyone else accept myself. I'm not paying attention to all the signs my mind and body were giving me saying, we're not doing the right thing. And I think having so much experience in that dark phase really helps you become better. Because how can you become better if you don't know what the worst version of yourself is? And what are some of those signs of the mind and body?

Signs of your Body (07:19)

What do they look like? What do they feel like? Because I think this is something that people struggle with a lot. Yeah, people often ask me, they watch my vlogs, my second vlog channel, where I'm doing a whole bunch of stuff in a day. You know, I'm in today, for example, I already had two meetings, I'm going to go home, I'm going to go to prep for a shoot. I do so many things in a day. And people are like, how? How do you do this? Like, what is the trick? It's because I really love what I do. And I'm really passionate about what I do. And I think one of the signs my body and mind were giving me before is that I would get lazy really quickly. I would get tired really, really quickly. I would cut corners and come up with little justifications as to why that was okay. Like, I would be studying for my psych stuff and being like, oh well, like, you know, is this section really important? Probably not, you know, we'll just skim this over. I don't do that with what I'm doing right now. I'm really thorough. And I think that's the sign of doing the right thing. Of course, if I'm real, we don't always have that luxury. You know, we don't have the luxury of doing what we want to do all the time. So it's important to kind of pay your dues in that way. The first video, I made Sock. It's totally stuck. My body wasn't like, this is the right thing to do. You know, I had to pay my dues and get better at it. But I think you shouldn't just not try because you have to pay your dues. I want to talk about that. So what I love in that, and you've got the whole thing of take the stairs over the escalator. And that your whole path to success has been the stairs. It's been the long grind. It's been the slow build. Just amazing. And you talk about that creates a much better foundation. So if this is a process. You like to really read the book. I'm so impressed. Wow. This is like more than like a little synopsis. You read this is very good. Yes. So you should subscribe. Thank you. And what I really want to know.

Finding the Right Path (09:00)

So if this is a process like, OK, so I begin to recognize the things that are making me tired, fatigued. And these are signs that I'm not on the right path. But I know the next question is going to be, so how do I find the right path? What is that process? Yeah, you know, for me, I went through this phase where I just stopped saying no to things. So when I first started YouTube, I thought, OK, I'm opening the gates up to this new platform and this new type of creation I've never done before. But I've also started going to shows more often. I started to meet different types of people. I think a big part of finding out what's right for you is stop confining yourself to a path that you've been convinced is the path. This, what I'm doing right now is nowhere on the path for a young Indian girl. That's a part of my family. Like this is nowhere on the path. It was very much so go to school and get married and have kids. And that's a success. If you're able to have those kids and give my mom from grandkids, you're successful. And I think it's about really stepping outside of that and exploring whether that's in school and taking classes that you might not take at first glance, whether it's going and experiencing different types of arts, meeting different types of people, making new friends. I think there's so much out there that you don't even know exists. And I'm a testament to that. I make videos on the internet. Ask my mom if she thought that could have been a job when she was growing up. You know, so I think it's all about just really getting out there and seeing what's available. And so then what are the signs that somebody should look for to know that, OK, this is something that resonates. I think, I love sleep. I just need to have to say I love sleep. But there's some mornings when I wake up and I'm like, I don't even care how tired I am. I'm so excited about this day. So I think being excited to wake up. Also, you'll just see it in your energy, I think as well. The little pep in your step I have when I'm walking to set is really telling also the people you surround yourself with. I think when you start to get surrounded by people, and my team is a great example of this, that really bring out the best in you. And you feel yourself growing and learning. And maybe a little more patient or a little more creative, or you think about things a little differently. Any type of evolution like that, I think is definitely signs are doing the right thing. Now this entire career path has been everything but comfortable. No part of it's comfortable. So even on the days when I come home and I think, that was horrible. That audition was horrible. I can literally feel part of me evolving as like, OK, but you did it and now you know for the next one, what to do. You'll know what to expect for the next one. And those scary things are all signs that you're doing the right thing because you're growing.

Getting outside of your comfort zone (11:21)

That's really interesting. And the concept of getting outside of your comfort zone, I know that's really big for you. How do you push yourself to do that? And how do you make sure that you're getting something out of it? Because I'll give you like a real fear that I have for people because it's exactly what happened to me. So I forced myself out of my comfort zone. Same thing, I know that famous quote, like your dream world, just on the other side of your comfort and all that. So I put myself into business. I was learning it. I was always behind. I was embarrassing myself and looking stupid. And so as I was gaining skills, I was also gaining a massive amount of anxiety. And so how do people make the most of those moments of discomfort? Well, you know, I'm happy that you touched on anxiety because it's a real thing. And a lot of being an entrepreneur is stressful and it does take a toll on your body, your mind, and your health. And so something I believe to be equally as productive as work is meditation and taking some time to recover. I have something called rejuvenation Sunday. I mean, it's in my calendar. It prompts up sometimes on that Sunday. I'm like, "Need even work." But it's in my calendar and it goes off every Sunday. I think taking those times to actually consolidate those lessons and resetting yourself is very, very important because at the end of the day, we are beings that get tired and we wear down. And I think that's important. But making the most out of the stuff about your comfort zone, I have this thing where I like to visualize things. I know because it's easy to talk about all of these things and then talk about tumbler clothes. I'm like, "Cool success." But when you're actually down to it, it's hard. It's hard walking into an audition, for an example, and then doing really badly and going home and thinking, "Oh, well, I stepped out of my comfort zone so I should be happy." That's not a practical thing that's going to happen. You're going to go home. You're going to be sad. You're going to eat the ice cream. I've done it. I've done it all the time. But I think visualizing, "Okay, this is me. This is my goal." And I literally do this with my hands every time I have a failure. "This is me. This is the goal." There is nothing in between there. I need to create whatever is in between there. Whether I do really well or really bad, that's going to be a step. And I think visualizing every failure is a little stone towards where you need to go is really helpful. You talk really powerfully about ownership and taking on personal mistakes. In those moments where you've just fallen on your face and you're feeling uber shitty and you want to go eat the bowl of ice cream or maybe you're knee deep in the hoggy does, how do you begin to get yourself out of that to tell yourself something that's ownership-based? That's like, "This was me. I created this situation." Yeah, the reason I'm so big on ownership is because I'm obsessed with efficiency. And I just look so much more efficient to take ownership of things than to not. Because if you don't take ownership of something, who's going to fix it? Then it's just hanging there in the air of this all-in-solved problem that no one's addressing. When you take ownership from a stake or a decision or something you did, not even a mistake, maybe a bad audition you did, you are then able to at least work on it and improve for the next time. If you don't take ownership, like, "Oh, it was the casting director. Oh, it was because I was sick. It was because of whatever." You literally said, "Okay, I need to change nothing now. It's not in my control." Taking ownership means you've taken control to actually make a different impact the next time you do that thing.

Taking control (14:27)

So it's just the smart, factual, scientific, efficient thing to do. And when you take that control, how do you keep it from damaging your sense of self? Oh, yeah, that's a tough one. This is where the ice cream helps as well. Here's the thing. A lot of this, and I'd be lying if I said that I was always super confident and always feeling myself, "I'm not. I have days where I'm super low and I'm on a roller coaster just like everybody else." It's okay to feel crappy sometimes. I think it's important to feel crappy sometimes. Everyone should know what it feels like to feel crappy because when you don't feel crappy, like, for example, when I was standing there and you were introducing me and you were like, "Hi, it's paid for me." I thought, "Oh my God, remember when I felt crappy?" And it's really important moments when you don't feel crappy. But I would say your self-worth has to come from not only yourself, but your environment. I'm really big on your physical, spiritual, and even the people around you are really important. So when I went through a lot of failures, it was hard to dig myself out when it was me alone in my bedroom and my parents were downstairs, not because my parents are bad and parents are lovely, but they had no idea about the world I was in or what I was going through. When I'm with my team and my friends that are kind of not only supportive, but can really relate to what you're going through, and it's really helpful. So how do you dig out of that? Obviously, you got to love yourself. That might be hard. It's around yourself with good people and good environment. Put sticky notes around your room. You know, have things that make you happy around your room. My room and my whole home is just it's like a positive rainbow, willy wonka, amazing. I have a drawer that's just full of skittles. Like, it's not because I want to eat else. It's just full of skittles. Just because opening the drawer makes me really happy and I want to see that many skittles every time I open the drawer. I so get that. So when I'm feeling bad at Freddition, I just go, they're in skittles. You know, small things. I have quotes all around my house. I have certain friends that are my go-to friends that not necessarily because they give the best advice. They're just going to listen, they're going to be there, not going to judge me. It's impossible to think you can do these things on your own. You can do a lot of it by yourself, but you're going to reach a point where you're like, I need good people and a good environment to pull myself out of these funks that I get from stepping out of my comfort zone. That's amazing. And it's super interesting given your context. So now, back to your parents, you're surrounded by sister, parents, a whole culture. They all have ideas for where you should be going. And it seems like from the things you say that your family is just like beautiful people that want good things for you. But at the same time, they were pushing you in a direction that wasn't making you happy. So how do you buck against societal trends? How do you push against your parents? How do you build the courage, the self-confidence? Maybe it's the vision to live a life that hasn't been lived before.

Proving It (17:09)

The simple answer is I had to prove it. There was no fairytale scenario where I went up to my parents and said, I want to do this. Let me do this. I'm going to go do this now. They were like, come back here. You have a year to do this. And they literally told me, if you don't get anywhere in a year, you're going to go to grad school. So I had a timeline on my success where I needed to prove in a year I could make something happen in the entertainment industry. Greatfully that worked out, but not easily. All they wanted to know is my daughter's going to be okay. She's going to be able to sustain for herself. And she's not going to be on this free. It's quite bluntly. That's what they wanted. And so I had to prove it. I had to take them to my shows. They saw me perform. I had to look, here's a check. I got a check. I bought this thing. I bought a camera. I bought this with money and I had to prove to them that this could become something. Because listen, a lot of our parents, especially mine that are from a different time and place, it's not that they want you to be unhappy. They just don't get it. You know, my mom grew up in a time when, like I said, making videos on the internet, she didn't have the internet. There wasn't even that option. It was like, you're going to be a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer. That's what we know. And that's all. So they weren't telling me to go to school because they hate me. They were telling me to go to school because they were like, that's what you have to do. What else is there to do? And I had to teach them. And I think there's learning curve that's really important there. So you talked a lot about obsession. And you said you worked relentlessly hard to do that. Do you cultivate that obsession? Like how do you separate yourself from the people who are really good? How do you become really extraordinary? It's exactly what you said. You have to be obsessed. And I know the word obsessed has a negative connotation. And rightfully it should a little bit. I think anyone who's really great at something is because they're obsessed. They wake up and they're thinking about it. And throughout their day, they're thinking about it. And when they sleep, they're thinking about it in the middle of the night, they might wake up thinking about it. That is me with this video ideas. I wake up in the middle of the night and I have to wake up and jot something down. Some of my video ideas are little dreams. I've had some like working in my sleep. There is a level of obsession. And when I say that, usually people say, well, that's not really that healthy. And you're right. Some of it is a little unhealthy. Sometimes it does take over my life. Sometimes I do other draw the line. And I say, nope, I need to go meditate in my room. I can't do this. But I don't know of a single, successful person that didn't for at least a little period of time have that obsession over being successful. Let me ask you, in those moments where you decide that you're going to go meditate, is that based on hours you've spent or how you feel? How I feel 100%, how I feel, which is more reactive than proactive. So I would love to change that. But I'm very scientific with things. I'm very like, when I write down my thoughts, I will literally dissect them, figure out what problems they are, come up with solutions, and then write down the solution. So I'm very mechanical. I do believe that humans, we are complex. We have feelings. We have emotions. But I do think when we strip all that away, through our very easy solutions to a lot of our problems that we make complicated. Yeah, that kind of process based self awareness, I find really, really interesting. How much time do you spend doing that? Depends how I feel. Sometimes it can be like hours, or sometimes it can be like a quick 30 minute thing I need to do. So picking up on that, how you feel things. So, first of all, I'm way an enabler for people that are obsessed. So if being obsessed is bad and it's a drug addiction, I'm like your dealer. I appreciate that. I always say that with a bit of caution, where I'm like, is there something that is not okay with this? I don't know. My thing is that you want an extraordinary life or you don't. And if you want an extraordinary life, you're going to have to pay an extraordinary price. That's just the way life goes. So I'm actually really interested in that. And when I hear you talk about it, I always hear the hedge. And I get it because you live in a world where people are going to make comments. And if you can just eliminate some of that. I've had videos where I've talked about this. I had a bunch of people that are like, well, that's not healthy, but you're encouraging kids. You're encouraging them not to sleep. I'm like, no, I sleep. I'm not encouraging them not to sleep. But I do want to realistically tell people that if you want to achieve something at such a level, it's cost-surprised. Because I do fear right now with all the cute tumbler quotes and all the idea that you're special and you're worth it.

Really Going to Get Them Success Though (21:03)

Everyone's special and you are with it. But you need to work for it. It's not going to, a tumbler quote of you believing in yourself is not going to get you success. So I also do fear that the opposite of that is letting kids know like, yeah, get your sleep and get this and just believe in yourself and you're special and you'll get it done. Is that really going to get them success though? It's that in combination with a lot of hard work. And I think that latter part is never told in a very straightforward, accurate way. Yeah, I love that. You had a quote that really hit me. I'll paraphrase it. I'll get close. Yeah. The universe may like the law of attraction, but it likes a good hustle even more. That's like word for word. What it is, by the way. I love that quote. Please subscribe immediately. That was the word for word what the quote is. Wow. It's such a good quote and it's so important for people to understand. And one thing I would love for you to try to capture for people is, and I'll serve this one up because I know you like the hard questions.

What's the beautiful part of this obsession (21:57)

I've watched your live answers. Yeah. You're great, by the way. And what is the beautiful part? The beautiful part of an obsession because I know you don't want, so the reason I kept harping on do you do it based on time or feeling and you set always feeling, which means you're in tune. So when you give the advice, you're assuming that person's in tune that they listen to themselves. And when it's getting unhealthy, you would expect them to stop. But what's that beautiful part of the obsession of going after something extraordinary that you want? You want that young girl or young boy to see and chase. Honestly, it's purpose. My obsession has given me great purpose. I know what it feels like to wake up and just aimlessly be like, I guess I'm going to go through the motions of my day and maybe I'll talk to this person. I'll eat these fruit loops, cool. I'll do whatever I need to do. Waking up with my obsession is, it's honestly exciting. I get to wake up and I get to make rules and break rules. When you have an obsession, no matter what industry you're in, you get into that mindset where you're like, what else could I do to innovate this? What could I do differently? What could I do that's never done been done before? So every day you really feel like you're adding value to the world and adding value to the people around you. That's a beautiful part of obsession. My obsession has led me to 13 million subscribers that watch me and also gain inspiration from what I do. And you know, I'm hoping the people that surround me every day are also inspired by some of the stuff we do. So it's the chain reaction you cause, you know, that purpose and you give other people a person now, they're going to give someone else purpose. So it's just, you lose a little sleep, but look at the result. It's a small cost to pay, I feel. And I love sleep. I love sleep. I need to emphasize that I love sleep. But like, there's going to be days like on tours of prime example on a regular day. Like how many hours of sleep do you need? And if you're like, I'm rested, I need this many hours of sleep. Six. Yeah, see that for me, that's amazing. You're a superhero. Me, if I could choose 10 hours, I would like want 10 hours of sleep. But then on tour, when I'm traveling around the world and performing, there's days where I get two. And I wake up and I'm like, let's go, let's do the thing. It's a small cost to pay for sometimes for a big result. I love that man. And your ability to create energy is extraordinary. And I'm going to reach in your soul because I know you did this on purpose. You filmed a few videos where you were sick or exhausted or whatever. And you would leave four frames of your exhaustion at the very end. So you'd be like, hi, right as you cut the camera at the very end. And I was like, that's so smart. Because I can in that realize the power statement, which is, if you want something in life, you're going to have to create energy. You're not always going to feel like doing it. Yeah, I listen, in addition to entertaining, I do funny stuff. That's primarily what I do. But a lot of what I would like to do, I believe I'm doing is encouraging the hustle. It's like, I'm doing all this funny stuff. It's not a 10 minute video. It doesn't take 10 minutes. You know, it takes a village and it takes a lot, a lot of time. And you're absolutely right. I do do that in my vlogs and my main channel videos. I did not shy to let people know how much work this takes. I think that's what makes what I do so special. Because back in the day, traditional, for lack of better word, celebrities, they were perfect. They were always on and always flawless. I would like to show people a person who works really tired, who's really long hours gets really tired, gets pimples and that's what it takes to do what I'm doing. You know, it's not just that I show up and everything's glamorous and then I reap all the benefits. That's not what it is. That's not what it's for anybody, but it's not. It's a lot of work. So if you're watching this and you're like, let me dissect this interview. Like, what are the tips and tricks? There's no tips and tricks. There's just a lot of work. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of focused work. And that's the biggest message I can drive home is that, of course, there's practices and things you can do, but you need to stop making excuses. You need to put your head down and you need to make a plan and then you need to execute the plan. I love that. Word. Yeah, it's true. And the two things I think stall people out is one, they're looking for a tip or a trick or a shortcut, which means that they're just coming at it from the wrong way. And then two, nobody does what you just did. We just talked about the beautiful part, the reward, the purpose that you get out of something, which is really, really extraordinary. Talk to me about this was arguably the most surprising thing that I read in your book. And that was that for somebody who was so vulnerable, you don't always want to show all your vulnerabilities. You want to keep some secrets. Chapter two. Yeah. So. Yeah, I think I grew up and I think many people do grow up thinking that a successful relationship or a right, correct relationship is one where you are completely transparent with other people.

The stigma behind ssecetiveness (26:40)

And I want to say yes and no to that. You know, I grew up with a very strong mother that had to deal with some challenges in her life. And she wasn't always able to show all of her cards to everyone. And that's something she taught me at a young age. She thought you can be honest, doesn't even lie to people, but there's no need to share every detail about your strengths and weaknesses in your life with other people because you never know where life is going to take you. You never know what that information will be used for. And so it's the same thing of what I'm in a meeting. You know, if I'm listening to someone, I've been told very often that I have a poker face in meetings and that the person doesn't know what I'm thinking. And that's my version of being secretive. It's I don't want them to know if I'm really, really excited or from super disappointed what they're saying because I want time to think about it. And I want to, after this meeting, go back and consolidate my thoughts and then approach it with, you know, tactic. So I don't want to always be so revealing. I think that's important.

Self-Improvement Lessons From Lilly

How does Lilly make her moves (27:36)

I love how much you make moves, right? You calculate, you do things according to a plan. Yes. And I calculate to a plan, but sometimes I also just like, if I'm feeling something is right, I'm like, this is not part of a plan, but this feels right for me. That's interesting. How often do you override? It's hard to put a ratio on it. I'd say I do like to be calculated, but on the off chance that there is something that needs to be addressed that's not calculated, I will do so accordingly because I still want to have that human instinct in me. I think that's important to not die. Plan, plan, plan, that's good, but I still want to have the ability to act and jump right away on this thing. What I find interesting about people that have a degree of like, okay, I know exactly what I'm trying to get from my life. There's really a plan here. There's a roadmap. There's something I'm executing against is they're just able to accomplish so much more. And then the intriguing part becomes that the ability to believe in the big thing. And you've been really open about just how much you want to accomplish in your life. How have you stepped into owning that, which I think is really, really difficult for everybody and can be almost paralyzing for some women because they're not rewarded for it oftentimes. So how have you learned to step into that? What are things that people could take away and implement in their own lives?

Dwayne The Rock Johnson (28:48)

I'm glad you said the women part because I think that's something women really struggle with. I've had this conversation with, I think, a mutual friend of ours, Cassie as well. And I talk with a lot of my fellow women and I'm like, okay, we are all bomb. We're doing a lot of cool stuff. Every time we have to talk about it, we're kind of like, okay, let's just beat around the bush a little bit. It's difficult for women. I think we're not praised for that. I started to care less about that. And the prime reason for that is I have a very good idol. And his name is Dwayne the Rock Johnson. And I think he is someone who is so successful. And the number one thing I've learned from him is how he shares the success in such a humble way that also validates himself. Have you ever just gone as Instagram? It's from a place that's like, this cool stuff is happening and it's really exciting and important for me. So I'm going to share it because it means a lot to me. But this doesn't make me better than anybody else. And nor does this put me on a pedestal of any type. Not because it's going to alter the way you think about it. I'm just proud of this thing. And so I think we need to change our association, our relationship with our success in that way. It's interesting. So you talk about taking the GPS deep and really going inside yourself, really figuring out what your issues are, what motivates you.

How To Get Good At Listening To Yourself (29:53)

How do people do that? How do they get good at that? How do they get good? Because you even broke it down. Like this is level one discovery. So how do you help people figure out what the realities of those tiers are? Yeah. So quick summary would be that anything we do, any action we make, I believe we have many layers as to why we made that decision. At the top is like, oh, I made this decision. What I want to tell everybody else of why I made that decision. The second layer is what I tell myself. So say if I took this glass and I broke this glass. What I tell everybody else is like, oh, it slipped. The glass slipped. Then what I tell myself when I dig a little deeper is, oh, I thought it would be funny. So I broke the glass. But if I dig really, really deep into like, well, the real reason I smash this glass, it would be because honestly, I think the segment I was doing really, really bad and I wanted a distraction. That's not true. I think I'm killing this. But from a point of this example, what I'm saying is when you dig really, really deep, there's, we lie to ourselves so often. And that's the number, not the number one, but one of the ways to succeed is just to really address that. Because people think of lying to other people only. When you think of lying, you think, oh, I lied to my mom, I lied to my boyfriend, lied to whoever. We lie to ourselves all the time about why we did something, why we said something. Sometimes our instincts can kick in. Like if you ask me an uncomfortable question, I'll respond right away because it's uncomfortable. But what I'm saying to you is not true. If I dig deeper, I understand why I acted that way. It's really important. You need to be in tune with yourself if you want to be successful. I mean, the world, it gets really uncomfortable, success gets really uncomfortable. Sometimes it's a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. If you're not truly in tune with your biggest teammate, which is yourself, there's no way you can succeed. You need to learn yourself really well. So I encourage everyone to actually write down things like, I made this decision. Why did I do that? Write down all the reasons you did it and be real with yourself. Say that loud in an empty room where no one can hear you. So there's no pressure. Why did you say that? Why did you do that? Were you scared? Were you nervous? And then why? It can go back to your childhood sometimes. It can go back to some horrible experiences you had, but it's better to address it. Yeah. For sure. You talk a lot about loving yourself. So in that process of going in, how do you help yourself or maybe how do you help other people when they dig deeper and they realize some of their motives are ugly to them, right? That they know that it's coming from an insecurity or something. How do you help them even in those moments love themselves sort of warts and all?

How To Love Yourself When You Find Out Your Motivations Are Ugly (32:18)

I have this analogy in my book, which is like, listen, when you dig really deep, sometimes you find things that are horrible that can't be fixed. Sometimes you've had a childhood or experience where you're like, I can work really hard on this, but I know this is so embedded in my very every molecule of myself that I won't be able to change it. And then my analogy is all right, then put a bucket under leaky faucet. If you know what's there, you can at least be really honest about it. The example I gave in the book is I have major trust issues. I will openly admit that everyone watching is like preach girl same. I know you can all relate, but it's when you when you dig deep down, you'll find the reason for those trust issues is either something you can work on and then hopefully you can fix or something you simply cannot. And my bucket for that leaky faucet is every relationship I get into, literally I tell them this exact sentence, I like, listen, I have really big trust issues. If you lie to me, I will not be able to forgive you. I'm telling you right now, that's why I'm single. First date, that's what I say. But no, you know, but it's true. It's what I say. I say, I want to. It's not that I don't want to forgive you. Every part of me will want to forgive you if you lie, but I will not be able to. I'm openly telling you this right now, so that you know if you lie, that's going to be the leaky faucet that comes out and all you're going to have is a bucket. You're not going to fix it. So it's about addressing it and being honest and like, there's no solutions to every problem. That's okay. At least you know the problem. At least the problem isn't that you don't know the problem. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So as people go into this and as they begin to accept themselves, how do they start getting momentum going in a positive direction so that they really do feel love for themselves that the first thought that they have in the morning isn't one that's negative.

Advice: How To Love Yourself (33:44)

How do they from a process standpoint make that happen? For me, there was a period of time where I really didn't love myself. I think it's that time before I started YouTube where if I loved myself, I would have got out of bed. If I loved myself or that's not fair. I guess there's a lot of reasons, but for my personal journey, I guess not to generalize. If I loved myself, I would have had goals at that time. I would have taken better care of myself. I would have spent time with my friends. My change came with not only within but how I was treating myself outside like I mentioned. So I stopped putting myself in a dark room. I started opening the curtains. I started to answer my friend's phone calls. I started to talk to people. The first time I ever talked to my parents about anything I was feeling really, really strongly emotionally was when I got out of that depression. Prior to that for all these in my life, I'd never had a conversation with my parents that was like, "This is what I'm really feeling inside." So I started to accept that I needed help and I need to talk to people. I even started dressing differently. I was like, "These shoes are fun. I'm going to wear these shoes. They just make me happy." It was making all those small decisions every single day. A lot of positive self-talk as well. I think even now when I accomplish something, I don't care how many people come up to me and say, "Congratulations, it did really well. This is a cool thing." When I lie down at bed, I literally hug myself and I'm like, "You did really good. That was a really good thing you did today." Even today with all the people that are validating me, it still means something. For me to tell myself, "You did a really good job." If I'm having a bad day, this is something I've practiced for years, I will talk to myself as well. If I had a really bad meeting, I'll get into my car and I go, "That sucked. It's okay. You know what? We're going to do better next time." It's just about being your friend. Just like how you would talk to another friend, you got to talk to yourself the same way. It's a journey. There's no easy solution. There's no like, "Now I love myself." It's a process. It's a journey. It's going to be hard as all things are. Now let's really make it complicated. When you mess up, you're going to have an internal critic. It's always brutal. In today's age with social media and you're an extreme example of somebody that has to deal with this, but every kid now has to deal with the one-off tweet about them being fat, ugly, stupid, whatever, how do you encounter something like that and not let it become part of your internal narrative? Yeah. I think with social media, we really need to understand why people use it the way they use it.

Getting control of your emotions (36:03)

I truly believe this should be a class in school because social media is such a big part of everyone's life. When someone writes something on the internet, we need to really put ourselves in their shoes. This is what I literally do. I get a lot of hate comments. Someone commented saying, "I slept with YouTube execs to get my subscribers." I'm like, "Who told you?" Literally, I just imagine the person sitting there writing this comment. I think, "Okay, I didn't write a comment like this to someone today. I didn't wake up and think that I need to write something mean to someone. Why didn't I do that? Let me think. It's because, well, when I'm busy, I'm happy. That doesn't make me happy. Doing that won't make me happy. I just don't see the need to do that. Why did this person feel the need to do that? I put myself in their shoes. Clearly, they gain something from this or else people don't do things. Everyone does things because it makes them feel good or they gain something from it. That's why people smoke, even though they know they're getting cancer because it feels good. They're gaining something from putting someone else down, which means they're not happy. They're not in a happy place. They're not accomplishing the goals they want to accomplish. I think it's really important at a young age for kids to know that. When someone writes something on the internet, they're not telling your story. They're telling theirs. They're telling their story of unhappiness and not being where they want to be. I really believe that. There's many times where I read a hate comment and I go, I'm going to roast you and I write something. I literally just delete it because I'm like, you have your own issue you're dealing with and it's going to be to no benefit to me to respond. I know you talk really interestingly about getting control of your mind. You've talked about treating basically life like you're playing Nintendo. How do you get control of your emotions? How do you get control of your mind? Nintendo watches by the way because I would love a brand new. Nintendo, if you're watching this, it's in my book. You might as well. I think it goes a little bit back to taking ownership. When you take ownership, it's not like when you're playing Nintendo, you go, "Oh, Mario died because the thing..." No, Mario killed Mario. Just take the ownership. So I think it goes back to you can't control the environment you're in. When you have a really, really bad day, you can't control the other driver that cuts you off. You can't control whoever was mean to you. You can't control the fact that you missed the elevator. You can't control out of those things. You can only control yourself. So it's about being more proactive. How do you do that? Well, okay, if a driver is going to cut you off, play some really good music so you're in a good mood. Leave five minutes earlier. You know what I mean? If you missed the elevator and you were late, wake up earlier. It's about doing those proactive things and the simplest example, the simplest example everyone can relate to. What's the most infuriating thing that happens to us every day? Our phone dying. Back in the day, this used to infuriate me. My phone would die and I'd have to go to a meeting and I wouldn't know where it was or where to park and I went to GPS would die. You know what I did? I played Nintendo. I was like, "Well, I can't control the phone. I can't control the environment. I can't control the parking and the meeting. You know, I had to control putting a damn charger in my car." And then that's what I did. And then that whole situation was solved. That's a really small example, but we have things like that throughout our entire lives. You're not having the thing you need when you need it or not getting somewhere on time, not having the conversation you're talking. There's solutions to all those things if you just take control and figure out what's in your control and stop blaming the environment. And then I use Mario because it's a prime example. The platform is not to blame. You can't blame Bowser. You can't blame the Cooper Troopers. It's Mario. You blame Mario. You are Mario. Those are some good references.

Attitude Towards Plans And Initiatives

F a Plan B (39:29)

So talk to me about your concept of F plan B. Yes. F a plan B. I'm sure this is probably a thing in a lot of cultures, not just specific to Indian culture, but my parents always raised me with a huge, huge importance on having a plan and then a plan B. So something to fall back on. And that's very often how my parents view the degree as well. I would always be like, "But I don't want to do psychology. I don't want to use my psychology degree. I'm never going to do something related to this." And my dad would always be like, "Well, it's something to fall back on." But that was always what they thought. You should have a backup plan. I felt that when I decided to take that year to hustle really hard, that backup plan was always in my mind as something to fall back on. So anytime I would work really hard, I would think, "Oh, well, if I don't figure this out, I have that backup plan. And if this video stuff doesn't work out, then I won't fail because I have that backup plan." But because I was doing that, I think I wasn't putting the 2,000% effort I needed into things because there was always that safety net there. When I officially decided like, "No, I am not going to do that. I'm going to do what I set out to do, which was do entertainment. And in this year, I'm going to become successful." I started doing things with so much more effort and relentlessness where you could see the difference in the result. And I know that's really scary. And a lot of parents disagree with me when I say this, but I think it's important. I think kids need to be given credit. I think if they have a plan A and really, really give it their all and say, "Yours and years, you're not a dozen go anywhere?" They will figure it out. I think kids these days are really smart and they have a lot of options and they have a lot of resources. And the fact that I'm sitting here with a career that I have is a testament to that. Well, it's interesting. And I loved earlier when you said that there should be a class for figuring some of this stuff out, which is... I think there should be a class for figuring out the internet and also figuring out just working hard. Honestly, a lot of the things in my book are not things I learned in school. There are courses classes. There's biology, there's English, all that. There should be a class that's just about work ethic, how to work well. And also how to work differently. Not everyone learns in the way school is structured. That's something that really drove me crazy at the end of my university career was I can't learn through sitting in this lecture for three hours with a professor that's just talking to me. Like, I'm not really applying this information any such way. I've learned so much being practical in the world and learning things hands on. And some people are like that. And I think school needs to let them know that's okay. Because a lot of kids leave school thinking, "I didn't learn however else to learn, so I must be dumb." No, you just might need to learn a different way. And there should be an actual class. Find your way of learning. That's what we called.

Girl Love Initiative (42:08)

Yeah, no. I actually think that's really powerful. And I think a lot of people struggle really profoundly with that. Let's talk about Girl Love, the initiative. What is it about? What made you kick it off? What do you hope comes of it? Well, I want to start this conversation by saying back to your point of what do you do when you fail? How do you get over it? Girl Love is a prime example of a huge failure that I turned into something that was not a failure. So Girl Love was started because I was planning to do a collab with someone that was a really, really cool actress that's in the room in Maine unnamed. But I was so excited to do this collab with her. And the idea for our collab was the Girl Love Challenge, where we would sit together just like me and I, and we would complement girls. Because of whatever happened with the studio and the books and the flights, whatever, it couldn't happen to no fault of her own. And that's why I don't like to name her name because I don't want the internet to make it something. It's not. But it never happened. And I was so bummed about it. I really loved this concept of having a Girl Love Challenge, but it never happened. So I was super upset for three, four days. I was like, "I don't want to make videos anymore, forget it." Until I was like, "You know what? Why don't I just still do it?" But with all of my friends. So we made this Girl Love video where we all complimented other women that were very inspiring to us. And it was a huge success. So many news outlets picked it up. Other very notable celebrities, Tyra Banks, Picharda Priyanka Jopras, that something about it. And it just became something online that people are using the hashtag Girl Love. So in my mind, it was just a video that was supposed to happen. But after the success of it, I thought, "No, we should make it a movement." So a couple years ago, I decided to make it a full-fledged social good campaign. And Girl Love is aimed at two things. One, from a local level, it's just about letting girls know that it's cool to support other women. Because I feel culturally that's not encouraged. You know, everyone's talking about Taylor Swift versus Katy Perry and the argument that girls have in movies and how girls have to fight over guys. And it's not very much so spotlighted that women can support other women. And that's cool. It's not just right. It's cool, cool being the keyword for young girls. And the second part of Girl Love is helping women around the world. You know, whether it's education, whether it's rights, whether it's health. Because a big belief of Girl Love is one woman cannot be successful. Women around the world are struggling. I really view humanity like that, even aside from Girl Love. I don't feel that anyone can sit there with a lot of money and fame and think, "I'm really successful if other humans in the world don't even have water to drink." I think real success is making sure everyone on the planet has those basic needs. So that's what Girl Love is all about. It's about banding women together and really showing strength and sisterhood. That's interesting. And so from that, what, like when you think about creating a social movement or having grand impact, how possible do you think that is? Here's the thing. I struggled with this a lot. And I think a lot of people are so hesitant to give to causes, whether time or money to causes because they think, "What difference is really going to make in such a big, bad world? My little contribution, what can it do?" And I'm going to argue it can do a lot because impact is not just affecting millions. It's affecting the one or two people that get impacted with creative solutions. An example I always like to give is in Kenya, one of the places in the Massi-Mar where I do a lot of my work, is a really common problem. And that problem is, girls don't usually get to go to school because they're too busy fulfilling the demands of the family life. So they have to go in fetch water from a well that's miles away and they have to spend most of the time doing that. So there's no time to go to school. Now at first glance, a lot of people are going to be like, "Well, what are you going to do about that? You can't change the culture. You can't change what needs to happen. They need to drink water." And then a great organization by the name of we came in and they're like, "Well, what if we put the water well at the school?" And I was like, "That's a really creative solution to a problem which you would otherwise thought, 'Oh, there is no solution to.' So I would say every little contribution, every bit of creative thinking, awareness, time, money does make a difference. There are solutions to most problems. I will say, we might not know what they are, but they exist. They need to be creative and innovative to come up with those solutions. But I do believe solutions exist. I love that. All right. Before I ask my last question... I have to leave, but I like it here.

Where to Find Lily (46:24)

Sadly, very kind. So where can they find you online? Oh, I mean, where can you not find me? L-L-L-Y. It's three L's altogether saying S-A-N-G-H. Instagram, I-I, superman, I-I. Same on Twitter, same on Facebook. But all this exists. That's pretty much it. That I use. Those are the things. Every Monday and Thursday, I make comedy videos on YouTube and I blog every single day on my second channel as well. Nice. Yeah, so this will be in the vlog.

Passion And Impact

Lily's Passion and Making a Lasting Change (46:53)

Nice. Yeah. Cool. And then last but not least, what is the impact you want to have on the world? The impact I want to have on the world. I think I really want to encourage people to believe that whatever they want to be, even if it doesn't exist, is possible. And that is because my job is so unconventional and everything I wanted is so different from what I was raised to believe I could have. And if you're creative, if you mix creativity with hustling hard, any job position, anything you want to become is possible. Show people what your value is and then they'll pay you for your value. I love that. Lily, thank you so much for doing my show. That was incredible. Thank you. All right, guys, I'm telling you right now you're going to want to dive into this woman's world. It is absolutely incredible. The content that she puts out is amazing from the hilarious scripted stuff through to the live stuff that she does answering people, telling them all kinds of crazy stuff and often tormenting herself by eating tomatoes and doing all kinds of weird things that she hates to entertain and educate. And I think this is somebody who uniquely understands that you have to entertain before you have the right to educate. And because she does both, her content is insanely powerful. And to see what she's done for the journey of her own life is absolutely breathtaking from being a UNICEF goodwill ambassador to going and doing work in Africa to what she's trying to build by touching women's lives all around the world through her Girl Love initiative and the fact that she tours literally tours around the world's absolutely incredible, really trying to be an example for people that you can set your own path. And what I love is that her message is actually real. And so she's not BSing people, she's really telling people the hard truth, which is that you've got to have something that you love that gives you more energy that you become obsessed with and that you're willing to pour your time and energy into to do something extraordinary. And that is a lesson that I think everybody can take something incredibly powerful away from. So while I know 99.9% of you are already following her, hence the numbers, if you're not already, be sure to, you will not regret it. And if you haven't already here, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. Everybody, thank you so much for watching and being a part of this community. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. You're going to get weekly videos on building a growth mindset, cultivating grit and unlocking your full potential.

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