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Hello and welcome back to a happy place, I'm fine, Cotton.
Oh, it feels so good to be back with you after a very long, very dark winter. So hello. And look, there's no one better to start this series with than the woman whose voice just feels like the warmest of hugs. It's Priyanka Chopra.
Jonas, you know, it was great to take that breath. And I think I kind of like it. And now when I have those relentless schedules, I'm kind of craving it. You know, I would like to build when you go back to normal, you know, time with family and friends, because it was it was such a silver lining to be able to have, you know, my family to be at home, to feel protected. I had a lot of gratitude for that lockdown.
Forcing us to slow down has given us all time for a bit of cathartic self reflection. But Priyanka, as the overachiever, as I learned during our chat, has taken that to the extreme by using the time to write a brilliant, thoughtful and exciting to read memoir Unfinished about the experiences that have made her calm and confident and the woman she is today. But before we get into her incredible life, I want to introduce you to the sponsors of this series of happy place.
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Priyanka, thank you so much for being on the podcast, I'm utterly thrilled to speak to you. You're in the UK at the moment because you're filming. How how are you finding this bizarre lockdown down number three over here?
So sad. Honestly, I've been to London so many times, spent so much time here. And, you know, just I know that the whole world is going through a really tough time. It's been a really difficult year. But it's so sad. Just I was driving past Piccadilly today and it was just like empty and where there would be tourists and people and pubs and energy, it just wasn't. But, you know, whatever we can do to be safe and keep everyone safe, I guess that's the need of the hour right now.
And the fact that we're all in this together, I guess that's there's some solace in that. I'm just grateful to be going to work. I'm glad that the UK government allows for TV and film shoot. So, you know, I'm going to be here for a year in the UK every year.
Oh, my gosh. Well, welcome. And we're very happy to have you here. I mean, you know, your your career has been insanely busy.
I loved reading your book. It was such an exciting read.
And, you know, your schedule has been relentless throughout your whole adult life.
And I wonder if the happy moments during this pandemic that you've either slowed right down or stopped entirely and how that felt, it felt amazing.
And then it definitely slowed down. I had at least I've been back at work since October and since then it's been back to except for flying. Everything else is pretty much the same, especially with zoom culture. Like we don't have, you know, the drive to the airport to take a breath. You just have like go from zoom. Zoom.
Oh, I know it's going to go up. So I think it was great to take that breath and I think I kind of really liked it. And now when I have those relentless schedules, I'm kind of craving it, you know, and I think over time I would like to build that into my life. And I would like to build when you go back to normal time with family and friends, because it was it was such a silver lining to be able to have, you know, my family to be at home, to feel protected.
I had a lot of gratitude for that.
It's so good you felt like that.
So I think so often, if you are on this just, you know, Ferris wheel and I've definitely had moments in my career where it's been relentless, relentless, and then you stop and you actually feel a bit kind of discombobulated because stuff comes up that you've been keeping down because you've just been on this merry go round. So I think it's brilliant that you found, you know, happiness in that stillness.
That's that's really positive. I mean, I also ended up writing a book about my life which helped me deal with a lot of things. But you're absolutely right. I I think the fact that I creatively had an outlet during the pandemic outside of just being at home creatively, I could get a lot of stuff done. And the book being a really large example of that outside of production work and developing projects and stuff. But the book really gave me a sense of healing, a sense of sort of dealing with things that I would have never wanted to deal with.
Even when I was running as fast as I was. It didn't matter. And, you know, as soon as I was still there was so much that came up and writing the book helped me navigate those thoughts and sort of gave me a sense of support that I'd come out the other side and I'm OK.
Yeah, it's interesting, isn't it? You know, often even if I go on holiday for two weeks, I find it unnerving because I'm like, why? Why am I not getting tons of emails? Well, and it's it does take a level of adjustment. But I think I think it takes a level of choice.
Girl Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. At any point you have to choose that I'm putting this away like now, having done this for 20 years now, almost in the entertainment business, of course, there was a time in my life where I like lived and breathed and it was everything was my career. And that's all like I would wake up in the morning and that's all it was. And that was what I was building. And then you reach a place where you feel a sense of confidence and then prioritise, you know, sort of shift like life and wellness and family and memories.
I have become as crucial a part as my ambition to me now, which I used to put in the back burner for a very long time. And now when I go on holiday, I will not look at my phone like I will deliberately put it away. I will create time and create memories. And I've started really enjoying doing that, like investing in the good life. Um, maybe some of that is also due to confidence and there's a beautiful bit in the book where you talk about, you know, how your parents taught you about confidence, telling you, you know, it's not something that is just always there, permanent fixed in you, that it's something that can be practiced and learned and something that you can get better at.
And you know where I think I'm a bit older than you, actually, we're a similar age.
And I wonder if through that sort of life experience, you you feel that confidence is a little bit more omnipresent, just sort of naturally? I think so.
I definitely think that confidence has a lot to do with the environment. Your upbringing. We don't think about that a lot as adults, as adults. We think our confidence is like right now, it's like it depends on the job. I have, the house I live in and what my dreams are, how much of them I've achieved. But confidence is very deep rooted. It comes from your childhood. It comes from how you were raised. It comes from when you were your most vulnerable.
How did you feel? And I was very blessed to be raised in a home which gave me a sense of self. I was taught to have an opinion when I was four years old. You know, I was asked, I was not shamed. I was not laughed at. If I if I said something which, you know, people didn't agree with in the room, my dad would be like, well, that's an opinion. So I was always sort of given credence for whatever my thoughts were.
And that raised me into an adult that I've had insecurities. Of course, I've had millions of insecurities, but I come out of them a little bit better because I have confidence in myself worth, you know what I mean? And I that really came from both my parents teaching that to me at a very, very young age. And it's absolutely true that it's not something that you always have. It's not something that that live with you. You will not wake up every morning and with a spring in his step and walk out as if you're going to take over the world.
You're not you're going to sleep bad. Some days you're going to wake up feeling really, you know, not good other days. And the thing is, it's the difference is you should use your confidence only when you really need it. The days when you're feeling bad, feeling vulnerable. I think it's important to allow ourselves to feel that so that when you actually have the confidence, it's just something that is hanging out with you and you're like, oh, OK, I need it today.
I'm going into this really important meeting. I can access it. Yeah, you don't always need it. I think it's important to be human.
It's also liberating, I think, for everyone to know that it's something that can be practiced and cultivated by just, you know, going back to it and trying again and putting yourself out there and giving it another shot. And I think, you know, like you say, so much of that is down to your upbringing and the environment you're in. And you had quite a nomadic existence as a kid, not only because your dad was in the military, but also you you schooled in the states.
You went to boarding school as a young kid.
And I guess from reading it, that is all really sort of resilience building. And you talk about specifically when you were at boarding school, the fact that you learn to compartmentalize tricky situations so that you could then move on to think about what's the next thing I want to do or achieve. And I wonder if that sort of thinking still works for you today. Absolutely.
It's what I live my life by. You know, it's so easy to get stuck, you know, when when we're in a situation which is overwhelming or if it's scary, we'd rather not take the next step forward because we don't know what's going to come. But that's life. You don't know what's going to come. You'll never know what's going to come. I think the point of it is to keep moving. And no matter what happens right now, you have to say, all right, tomorrow's another day.
This, too, shall pass. What is the next thing that I'm going to do? Where am I moving? Am I going to stay stuck? Because then it's a quick sound. You're you're just going to keep drowning, you know, one step forward. I've lived my life like all all my life. I've lived with that philosophy and it's really serve me well.
It's like a balance with it, because I sometimes wonder, because I you know, I agree. There have been times where I've I've really needed to get moving and I've needed to keep the momentum up to not drown in something that felt quite heavy and awful. But is there a moment where you move from things too quickly and you don't actually deal with them totally?
That also happens. And it's happened to me. You know, I kept moving forward because you're afraid to deal with your emotions and and then it just hits you like a wall. And then suddenly all of it crashes on you together. But even getting through that is getting through every day, even getting through that is looking forward to the next morning and knowing it feels terrible and heavy right now. And, you know, you're going to bed not feeling best.
You might not sleep, you know, but even getting through that is taking a step forward, just one little step in the direction of yourself.
Yeah, I love that you talk about that exact sort of movement, like perhaps a very slow, incremental movement, really beautifully. When you talk about a period of depression that you had after your dad had passed away and you had sort of a couple of years where things were building and you really low. And I found it like such brilliant practical advice that you you just found these small movements daily.
And that might be I'm not going to watch TV on the sofa like I have every night for the last however long I'm going to watch it in the kitchen. And I think that that was just a really lovely way and I wasn't necessarily expecting it. I thought that, you know, you might have had therapy, medication. You know, I've been through all of this myself. And I did lean into the medical route for for some time. But I love that it was just a very grounded, incremental build.
And and, you know, that accumulation of it gave you the confidence to know that you weren't stock is not the right way of describing it.
That's what I felt. I felt like I feel like my fears always being stuck and because of which I always find like wiggle room and movement, I have like I don't like being stuck in anything outside of my control. You know, as you can tell, I'm sure that I like being in control.
Me too. But I think, like, you know, when you're in a situation where you're not in control, I felt like that was the only thing that I knew because I tried therapy didn't work for me at that point. I didn't think about medication as an option and I just didn't want to be stuck. And I think the when I started doing this and I don't know how it started, I just remember feeling really sorry for myself sitting on the couch like fifth month and, you know, watching binge watching TV, eating pizza and like for hours and just feeling like a glutton and, you know, not feeling good about yourself.
And I was just like, I'm just going to take the dog for a walk. You know, it started with that. Let me just get some fresh air. And slowly I was like, oh, OK. That made me smile a little more. And then I would go for a bath or I would sit in the kitchen. I'm still not going out with my friends and stuff, but I didn't repeat my routines like I got out of my routines.
And that sort of shook the world up a little bit for me. And slowly I started meeting friends and responding to people and they wanted to meet me. And I was like, let me just meet them for a drink. Half an hour won't make a difference. And it really started with stepping into light instead of like being comfortable in the darkness, which is very seductive. It is.
And I think, like a lot of us probably feel like this at the moment, you know, being in the horrible wintertime, in another lockdown with so few options, it's so easy and as you say, tempting to just get stuck in habits that, you know aren't necessarily great for us or just habit, you know, going through that same routine all the time. It's you know, we all know the definition of madness is doing the same thing, expecting a different outcome.
But we still do it. And I think it's just a really lovely practical way of looking at it.
And also, what I liked about the way you describe that is it's not a quick fix.
I think there are so many, again, very tempting quick fixes. If you do this, then you're going to be fixed. You're going to feel amazing. And I think you described in a really grounded way that this takes time. This is slow. This is a this is a slow process and perhaps patience has to come along for the ride.
Yeah, I think so. But I think instead of patience, the way I would say is not expecting an end result, but actually focusing internally on you. So you're not like you don't see an aim, you don't see an end game, you just kind of say, all right, today I'm not going to do this one thing which I do so often or today I'm not. And then slowly you look back a couple of days later and you're like, I've been to the gym for four days.
Wow. Shocking. You know, like little things like that. Like for me, for sure.
I hated working out and but during quarantine, that's one thing I picked up. I was like, I'm going to do one thing that is good for me, even if I'm like spending all my time on the couch, binge watching TV and writing a book, you know, I'm going to start doing that.
And I got really consistent that it and that was the one thing that I really stuck by. And, you know, I feel good about myself. And I think it's just like really the way I see it, I think it's investing in yourself instead of where you're going to get.
Well, yeah, because we're not going anywhere, are we? That's the thing. Like, there is no end game and I think we like it. Yeah, there isn't.
Like we all realize, you know, we might think, oh, I'm going to set myself this marker of success or, you know, if I have the perfect partner. Perfect job, whatever it might be, that we're going to internally feel different and we don't. So you do just changes.
You have your perfect partner, you have your perfect job. There'll be something else that'll make us feel like this unending quest of unending quest of satisfaction, which does exist, which is what I'm saying. Like, you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans. Like, literally, it's like, why are we making them? You don't know. The only thing we know is we're going to be born and we're going to die. I really believe that the purpose of life, I think for every human being has to be to find joy between those two points.
Yeah, to find euphoria, to find happiness between those two points, which are the only constants that we know. So then what are we really aiming for? I know, you know, you just kind of we all fall into this trap, don't we?
Like I wonder, you know, I started work Sepang, and I've at times got into that sort of trap of thinking, oh, you know, if I if I just get to this point or whatever, and now I'm sort of trying to run this business type thing. And again, I can fall into that trap. And I wonder at what point you kind of made that discovery that actually, you know, because you were working relentlessly without brakes points, doing sort of four films simultaneously, what point did you think this isn't going to fill the void or the hole or whatever it is that you might have been lacking in?
I have to say, it didn't happen. In my 20s.
I took a turn in my films and then I realized that I have to be able to compartmentalize. Then I started thinking about work and home. These are just mine to exist like a break my down into two and these many hours I'm going to dedicate to work because that's a really integral, important part of who I am. And the rest of my hours I'm going to be at home and they don't mix. They're like oil and water. I don't bring the baggage of one into the other and I don't bring the baggage of the other.
And so they're both my safe spaces, you know, just in case, like one is going to shit. I have the other one. And I think that's really helped me find a sense of balance. It's really helped me feel I think it was definitely in my early mid thirties when I came to the realization that you're always going to want something and there's you know, you're always going to have like a goalpost for yourself, which is sort of unreachable because sometimes it's we as human beings need to need something.
It's really important to need something. It makes us feel like, you know, we have a purpose, which is why it's so crucial to find your purpose, which is achievable, which is realistic, which is yours, which is tangible instead of something which is and you can still have big dreams. Like I'm a big believer of big dreams. I love big dreams. The bigger, the better. But I know that I'm not going to have my big dream tomorrow.
The big dream will start with the smallest step. And it's that step that will happen within the now and then. Slowly, after many, many of those small steps, you'll be closer.
And also, you know, I feel similarly. I love dreaming. I find it the most exciting, tantalizing thing. It's so exciting. But I think, you know, you get to I get it.
It might be an age thing or life experience thing, but you get to a point where you go, I'm going to dream big. And it would be so wonderful if that actually manifests. But I know I'm not going to be a different person feeling completely different when it does happen. And maybe that, you know, just takes the edge of it a bit. But if there are bumps in the road along the way, it doesn't really matter because we're not going to feel complete at the end of it.
We're still going to be like, you know, full of the worries that we have or the past that we've experienced.
They're going to manifest into something else. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It'll change into something else. Yeah.
I'd love to talk about the control thing because I'm a right control freak. I absolutely need to be in control. I'm not a classic Virgo and micromanaging everything.
And, you know, I wonder if a lot of the stems for you from, you know, being highly independent from a very young age, you know, travelling to the states, to school, going to boarding school, you have that element of detachment from the family home and also just that that sort of independence. And it certainly made me as a as a young kid working in this industry, really bother asking for help, which I'm still awful.
I think I've got to do everything on my own, which feeds into the sort of control element. How how are you delegating, asking for help?
I wasn't very good at it because I just didn't trust anyone to be able to do it as well as I do, you know. But to me, more than independence, the sense of control I think comes from having when you are independent, you kind of depend on only yourself, right? You're independent of everyone else. You've learned to only have. And on yourself, you've learned to navigate heavy or thick waters or whatever just by yourself, so that that becomes your person is like, you know, you go to I know if I do it, it'll be best.
If I do, it'll be amazing. But I think it also comes from we're not willing to find out that if we don't do it, will the sky fall?
It won't. We know it won't we? Still I'd like a lot of that country so scared of it because we're scared of it. Again, it was a of discovery. And I mean, things are magical for this one reason. As you know, you're old enough to know better, but you're still young enough to be stupid. Yeah. And I think that, you know, that's another realization that I came to. I was like, I can keep controlling and I can around everyone around me.
And I have a really large team and a lot of people that manage my business. And I'm always trying to control it. And I realize a little bit later after I step back, that it didn't come crashing down. And it was a big lesson to me. And I was like, OK, you know, I'm going to start actually depending on people's expertise because that's what they're here for.
Isn't it funny? I think maybe it's just sort of a feeling of safety as well for people that, you know, this resonates with that level of wanting control just feels safe.
That's certainly how it feels to me, because you've depended on yourself so much. That's. Well, yeah, true.
And also, you know, I don't think I have to caveat that with I don't think that it's a negative thing at all, because through that sort of analysis of of one's self, especially, like you've said in your 30s, you actually learn to have a really good relationship with yourself because you are only dealing with you if you're not asking other people for help or leaning on them or blaming people, which is sort of a similar thing.
You really have to own your share and look at yourself.
And I think you do build a good relationship with yourself, which is so important to then, of course, in turn have a decent relationship with other people.
And my mom used to say this since I was nine years old, probably was always have courage of your convictions.
So whatever your decisions are, you're going to stand by them. You cannot blame somebody else or you cannot say, well, this was not done, so this didn't happen. You chose not to do it. The buck stops at you. And I like that was something that was drilled into me and my brother for a very long time. And that really gave me a sense of confidence within myself to every time I took on something, you know, I come with a with a sense of like I have done one hundred percent of this because I like and even if it's bad, my failure like that's a I don't know, it makes you strong, I guess, when you have courage of conviction.
I think it's probably a hard thing to do as a parent as well. I'm maybe not at that stage of the age my kids are at, but I think that it takes a lot of courage to kind of say to your kid, you know, go and fly, be free, do your thing. But but you are responsible and it just seems like your parents got it so right. Like they knew what they were doing.
I think they just kind of built in a sense of like I think it was really important to me what the gift that I think my parents gave me was they never really treated me like a kid, like, you know, how some parents are like, go do this because I told you so. I would always have an answer. You I'm telling you to do this because blah, blah. Yeah, we had a rule. You have to come back home before the streetlights go on so I could go out and after school, go out and play with my friends.
But when the street lights started going on, I had to be back home and I was like, that makes no sense. It's not dark, the lights are just going on. And my mom was should never see because I told you so she sat me down and she told me that gives me a buffer to get home and say bye to my friends before it gets too dark. Because if it gets dark and I'm outside, somebody could pick me up Lalibela.
We went through a whole thing where she was like, it's up to you. You want to come back home in the dark. You can totally come back home in the dark. But I won't be there to protect you, you know. And it made me sort of think about the fact that I don't want somebody picking me up. So I'm going to come back home before it's dark. And this is me at eleven. It was just pros and cons having logical conversations that made me think about the decisions that I was taking.
The greatest gift my parents gave me is it's such a gift and it really set you up for life. I'm I'm certainly trying to implement a bit of that kind of choice theory stuff with my kids. Like, tell me why it's a good idea to not clean your teeth. Like, please do explain to me and it's not the easiest thing to reach for. So I think your parents just, you know, like reading the book, there's so many bits like underlined like, oh my God, I'm taking Franky's parents bit of advice for me.
Thank you very much. Like, it's full of beautiful wisdom. I love it. One of the parts of the book that I found so thrilling and exciting to read, obviously, is when you took part in Miss India and of course, Miss World as well, winning Miss World in the year 2000. It just like it was. The excitement off the page, it was just I was flicking through the pages just loving like it was high drama, part of your life and seismic change for you.
You know, you went from being a school kid. So then all of a sudden on the world stage and, you know, in with so many eyes on you as well.
And I wonder what effect that had on you, because at the time, obviously like pure excitement, but there is a level of it where absolute excellence and perfection and I'm not talking about just aesthetically, but you know, how you present yourself, how articulate you are. Your knowledge of the world has is so crucial for you to get to to actually win Miss World. And I wonder how that affected you and your views on perfection and achieving excellence later on passed in life?
I think it shaped a really large part of me. I didn't really have an opinion at that time about pageants. You know, I used to just love watching them. I used to watch Miss World. I love watching Miss India. It was the 90s, you know, it was just something that you did. I definitely did not realize what it entails. It's not just like you arrive one day and you walk on a stage and you win the pageants like 30 days of being with people like interviews and events.
And you're like it's almost like a coming out party, you know, but especially for all the girls that were there, I think we all sort of specifically Miss World, felt like you're representing your culture, your country. And I think when I was at this world, I didn't know anything about anything. So what I tried to do was I tried to learn and that's what really shaped who I became later. I always strive for excellence in everything that I do.
You give me a job like, you know, wash the dishes. They'll be the sparklies dishes ever, because I'm just that person, you know, you tell me, clean the room, things will be symmetrical. I just I love trying to achieve excellence, which is unachievable anyway. It's this futile quest that I have, but I'm still on the path. And I think it really came from this world when I was you know, I just I was thrown into the deep end and I was like, all right, this is a competition.
I like to win, how can I win? And I figured out the best way in this can be applied to any scenario. Is the best way of figuring out how you can win in a situation is to figure out what would get you the best scores. Right. Like if you're going in for a meeting and you want to get the deal, put yourself in the other person's feet and be like, all right, what would this person expect from me coming into a room?
Like if I was the boss of this company, what would I want this person to say? What would I want this person to be? And I did that during this world. I remember like watching what the other girls were doing, seeing how they spoke, reading a lot about the pageant and what people were expecting from the competition that year, what they what they expected from me as someone who comes from India, how was meant to speak, what I should be speaking about.
My mom and I used to discuss current events and what's happening in the world because I wanted to be that person. I wanted to have a world view. I wanted to be someone who could talk to a head of state and have something to say. So I like to be informed. It was such a great lesson to me because just going forward, even when I joined Bollywood movies and I started doing work in films, absurd. I was in 12th grade like a year ago.
I didn't know anything about movies. I didn't know how you stand on a market, learn your lines, see them in front of three hundred people who are watching you. And these lights like it's all extremely overwhelming. But that's the same thing that I applied is like what am I what is expected of me and then what other verticals on which I need to work on to be that person. I've always worked backwards, I've always made plans, and it's really helped me succeed in anything that I wanted to succeed in.
You know, if if it's like being a student of life, it's just going to get you the furthest you can go.
Yeah, I, I love hearing you talk about it. I loved reading your words on it because I feel the same a lot of ways. I really want to do my best in every situation and I really enjoy the process as well. And you showcased in the book how every step of that journey is hard work. It's discipline, it's dedication, it's omnipresent rumination is to how you're going to get to that next level or how you're going to reach excellence.
And I wonder how you feel when things don't go well, because on the flip side of that, you know, we all have moments when things don't go excellently. Even if you tried your best put the work in. There are moments where either just because we are fallible humans, there are mistakes made or that somebody else doesn't think that you were excellent. How how how hard you on yourself in those moments.
So initially when I joined the business of entertainment, I took it really seriously, like if a movie didn't do well or if I was. I would like get really upset and, you know, for two weeks, I'll be sitting and eating ice cream on my bed, but as I grew in the entertainment business, I realized I've literally picked a job, which is literally my job is to be critiqued. I will work on a movie for a year or a show in a year.
You can tell me in two minutes that you hate it, that's all.
It's only my job. Stressful God. But that's the job that we've picked. You know, when you're in a public profession, you're public opinion on your work is going to happen.
And I came to that realization a few years into my career, and that's when I made peace with the fact that the only thing I can control is not the movie, not with the directors, not the writing, but my role, my job. If I'm a producer, that's my role. If I'm an actor, that's my role. I can control me and I work really, really damn hard on what I bring to the table. After that, everything has its own destiny.
I really came to a peaceful place where I started realizing that my process is not the end game, my process and what is what I bring to the table.
And at every given moment that will always be one hundred percent. No one will be able to turn around and say, well, that was really, really, really shitty. Like at least be OK.
I'll never be like I'll at least be mediocre. No, you will be terrible.
But I think I think, you know, you you find that piece because, you know, you've put the work in, if you would if someone if someone critiques any any of us and you know, inside that you didn't work as hard as you can. If you didn't, then you think, oh, great, I have been found out. But I think the piece comes from knowing that you've done your best. And that is a that's a really lovely moment.
And, you know, perhaps marriage with that is your relationship with the Internet, which, again, you talk about in the book and that you have found. I know if you'd call it a balance, I'm not sure how you would describe it, but a way of dealing with it, what you do and can step back if you need to. So how would you describe your relationship with that sort of crazy, relentless feedback that, you know, everybody gets online these days, but you get it on such a magnified Skype?
I love the Internet. I am a big fan of social. I love being able to have a direct connection with people who are interested in me, especially because I'm in the performance arts. You know, I want to be in direct connection with fans and well-wishers and want to hear what they what they're feeling. And that's what I loved about Twitter and Instagram when when I first started. And then it just became like really toxic, like a toxic place which is full of, you know, negativity for attention for the sake of saying it.
Because if you're the meaner you are, the cooler you. I don't know what this negative culture is, but of course, I, I was a victim of that many, many times. And, you know, most people who put themselves out there are going to be you know, mine is just sort of magnified scale. But everyone is. And the balance that I found was most of us on social, we end up reading the negative comments a lot more than we end up seeing the positives.
So when you have a little heart or when you have someone saying, great, you just go past it because you're like, who's speaking shit about me, you know?
And I think that's on us to change. What I started doing is I started flipping that as I scroll past the negative comments completely. As soon as I start reading it, I'm just like, bye, thank you. Next, you know, and when you focus on the positivity and the support, the negativity doesn't seem as large. But when you focus on only reading the negative, then you're going to get sucked into that. And I did. And I had to really pull myself out of it and start focusing on so many people who send me so much love and support.
That's great. Count the blessings when people say that, like somebody really wise said it because there was merit in it. Yeah, I think the merit is just like forget the trolls, let them find their attention somewhere else, not you.
You do. You have to do otherwise. I think it does start to sort of isolate you and especially, you know, I worry about teenagers growing up with it being so the norm that this is how we communicate and there is that sort of toxicity that is present always. And how that affects one's self worth, I think, is something that we all really need to to keep check on. I I'm a total book nerd and I read every word in every book because I love I love feeling books.
I love the process of reading a book. And I read right through to the acknowledgments, which many people don't bother doing. But I'm intrigued by that. Who helped do whatever? And you actually make a thank you to the naysayers in your life, not necessarily Internet trolls, but to naysayers that they, you know, because they've given you such drive and determination to to prove that you're not maybe. They've said or that their beliefs were limited, that you've been able to push past that, how much do nay sayers bother you today or drive you in a positive way?
Well, thank you for noticing that. First of all, it was integral to me to say that because I've had a lot of times in my life where I've tried something new and people have been like, oh, no one's done that before. That's not going to work out. And I have chosen to deliberately walk past that opinion and still try. And I maybe not I wouldn't have had that kind of impetus. Maybe if I didn't have someone saying, no, girl, you're not going to be able to do that, you know, and that just it made me mad and it made me like feel like that's not true.
Why would you think that there's a ceiling for me or if I have a dream, why can't I achieve it? My parents always told me I could do whatever I wanted, like a brat. But like, I really think that whenever I've had someone say, you can't do something, I at least give it my 100 percent and maybe it'll work out and maybe it won't. Most of the time, I've sort of been able to navigate towards, you know, slowly having a little bit of an upward trajectory.
But there have been times where, you know, you fail, you fall, you have to dust your knees off and just stand up and try again. And that comes from like I take a lot of inspiration, I would say, from people who don't believe I could deliver if I'm taking on something.
I think it takes so much courage to do that, because so often we all in life will be told by it could be a teacher, it could be a parent, it could be a friend who who acts as a naysayer or outright says, you can't do that. And I think you have to really mentally have the resilience to go. I don't care that you say not. I'm still going to do it anyway. Is do you think that, again, comes from your parents, the resilience from going to boarding school?
Do you think there's a room in it or is it just how you all I mean, from what I've thought is I think it comes from a sense of like a soldier mentality. It's like this is what I have to do. I feel very strongly about it. And I know I could fail. And I know you're going to turn around and say, I told you so. I told you you're not good enough, but you don't matter because you don't put food on my plate.
Like, to me, it's very simple. If my mom, my dad, my husband, my family, my closest friends, my team, if they were like, are you sure about this? I'll step back and I'll think because I give merit to those people in my life. But everybody else, that's just an opinion. My life is not going to be dependent on people's opinions, you know, otherwise I'll I'll create glass ceilings for myself everywhere I go, because everyone's fear and everyone's limited possibilities of themselves or their limited ambitions of me would create my ceiling.
But none of that matters. And I really see social media like that, too. And I want to tell young people that that, you know, we give so much importance to opinions of people who are just writing comments. But are they really making a difference in your life? That that's what that's the question I ask myself. Is my job dependent on their opinions?
No, my job is dependent on if you like my movie or not, don't hand your power over so easily is the one thing I always kind of try and go back to.
I don't hand your power. You don't have to don't hand your power over. And that requires really having to connect with your intuition because, you know, often we all know the answers we might ask may we might, you know, consult someone that we really trust. But we kind of know we kind of have that answer there.
And I wonder if you've got anything, something you do or a method that helps you really tune in to that that inner voice that that has the answers that are right for you.
I mean, I don't think I have a like a tangible method, but I think it is listening to your vulnerabilities and listening to your fears instead of defending, you know, how you're feeling. I think like they say, listen to your body. Right, is the same thing. You got to listen to your mind. We always are told to be so tough. Put these, like, tough exteriors on that. Sometimes we get caught up in what our perceptions should be instead of being in tune with what you're actually feeling.
It's OK to admit that I'm actually nervous. It's OK to admit that I think I might fail. It's OK to admit I'm going to do this. But you know what? I think it's going to be terrible without berating yourself, but being honest with yourself, like and then if it is terrible, you know what? You always. But you still give it a shot and that's what's brave, trying is brave, constantly trying, and that's a circle back to that one step forward thing that I keep talking about.
It's that's the bravery to me is knowing, accepting and understanding your fears, insecurities, but at the same time, still taking that step forward and saying, at least I tried. That's the I think evolution is the name of the game. And movement, you know, is the only way to evolve. Yeah.
And, you know, perhaps it takes even more courage to do it in this day and age and the craziness we're living through, because I personally feel like mistakes are just not tolerated these days. And I it's a real bugbear of mine.
I've talked about it a lot on social media myself and in the books that I've written that we have to like everybody makes mistakes and everybody's going to it's your choice. And either trying again, otherwise, you know, you do just end up doing absolutely nothing because you're you're so vulnerable to all the exterior noise and opinion or whatever.
And it just feels like I don't know where this comes from, if it's the media, social media or whatever, but en masse, it feels like mistakes aren't tolerated. And I think that's really dangerous. Absolutely.
It's crazy, dangerous, and especially on the Internet and social media, you just see that people just take off on people. You know, I think that we everyone this is my hypothesis, but I think, like everyone has been given a public platform suddenly. And I think that people with social and people feel like that public platform requires power. There's a power and having a public platform, there's a power and being able to write something on someone's page and press, enter and see it, see it over there.
There's something that's permanent and that on social. And I think that some people can't handle that power. And I think that power gets twisted into, you know, into feeling like you have a sense of self. If you take someone else down, if you pull someone else down, you're stronger. And that is very, very dangerous. And you're absolutely right. There's so much of that out there right now. Yeah.
Like unless you're completely perfect as a perfect human sort that you can't say anything about someone else's mistakes because we've all made them. And if you haven't got compassion for the people, you certainly don't have it for yourself.
So no one is a perfect person anyway. No one is perfect, doesn't exist. So where are people coming from? I don't know. It's so warped that it drives me literally insane that what I can't bear it. There's a gorgeous quote that I wanted to read. I've actually written it down. Hopefully I've transcribed it correctly. It's a beautiful piece from Khalil Gibran. Am I pronouncing that correctly? Khalil Gibran.
OK, and it says, Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping for only the hand of life can contain your hearts and stand together, but not to kneel together. Now, that really struck me because as someone who's quite off with boundaries, me and also someone that is obsessed with love, the intoxication of love, I just absolutely love that moment of falling in love with someone where it does feel a bit boundaryless. I wonder how in your relationship and your marriage you found that beautiful balance that's encapsulated in that piece.
So I first of all, love that piece. It's called The Prophet by Colin Jibran, and people should give it a read. It's just so beautiful. But why? I love that it says that, you know, read together, but not too near together, because even the pillars of a temple stand apart. And if you think about that beautiful temple spiritual place, but even the pillars, the foundation of it, stand away from each other, but contribute to this glorious thing that we're all enjoying.
And that's what I think marriage is. And that's what I think finding a balance in my relationship is to be able to let the other person be themselves, but yet expecting, you know, a certain sense of respect. So you're not taken for granted, but it has to work mutually. It can't be one person expecting that from the other person. And, you know, we have to giving somebody else the sense of being who they want is like being with your best friend, you know, that you can be whoever you want without the expectations of of what you should be.
Because we're not in a relationship. People are not the same people. You cannot expect the other person to behave the way you would behave because you're not twins, you're not conjoined twins or siblings. You're two different people that have come together. And I think that's important to understand is that the other person would react in a different way than I probably would have. Why is the other person reacting to know that you always have to be in your person's corner, do no taking for granted that they would not deliberately hurt me?
Instead of coming from a place of why are you hurting me, that's such a great way of thinking of it, because I initially thought, oh my gosh, maybe it's, you know, are you trying to be too close to that person with love even? You know, I might be suffocating. Am I too intoxicating or whatever? Whereas actually looking at it from the point of view that you're two separate individuals who, of course, are going to have, you know, entirely different outlook on life due to your life experience or whatever.
I think, you know, I think we're all trying to reach that equilibrium in our own way and find that balance. And it was just summed up so beautifully in that piece. I thought I thought that was absolutely exceptional.
Priyanka, thank you so much for talking to me. I've so loved our conversation this evening. And I know you're so busy, so I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much. And I'm so glad you're sticking around in London.
Well, thank you so much for having me. And hopefully, you know, Boris will make some announcement soon and hopefully, you know, we'll be able to I don't know. I just have a sense of normalcy. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for having me.
Oh, Priyanka, thank you so much. Isn't she amazing? And her voice is like velvet.
And honestly, we conducted that chat over Zoom and getting to stare into Priyanka Eyes for an hour on Zoome was heavenly. I mean, she's so beautiful.
It's ridiculous. I just feel full of warmth after listening to that. Thank you, Priyanka. My wonderful chat with Priyanka is just the first of many conversations I'm so looking forward to sharing with you over this series. So I do subscribe to Happy Place if you haven't already. So you get all of them, lots of inspiring episodes that will make their way to your ears every single Monday. A massive thanks again to Priyanka, to our sponsors. We do natural hair care to the producers of this episode, Maryhill and Annushka Tait's Rethink Audio.
And of course, to you, gorgeous lot for listening.
I'll see you next week, guys.