The Unfinished Priyanka
Beautiful wood panels decorate the walls while radiant gold flames dance in the fireplace. A handful of unique ornaments sit subtly in the corner.
At the center of it all sits the one and only, Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
This elegantly cozy backdrop wasn’t just effortlessly thrown together. Quite opposite, actually. It was done with purpose. Priyanka got into the ‘interviews via Zoom’ game early and set up a makeshift studio in one corner of her house.
“If I do something, I aim to do it well,” she said. “Overachiever, what do I do.”
It’s no wonder she holds so many incredible achievements under her belt:
- winner of Miss World 2000
- starred in the television thriller series Quantico
- acted and produced the recently released Netflix movie The White Tiger
- honored by the Government of India with the Padma Shri (like the knighthood in Great Britain)
- Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World
- Forbes’ World’s 100 Most Powerful Women
- invested in the dating app, Bumble and introducing it to the Indian market
Overachiever, she says?! More like, extraordinary!
But that’s just what you can expect from Priyanka—100% of her effort.
Her recently launched memoir, Unfinished exhibits just that. The book details her childhood and her rise to fame. Priyanka fills it with life lessons she has gained, sharing those stories in bite-sized portions with Mindvalley Talks with Mindvalley’s CEO, Vishen Lakhiani.
Priyanka’s Life Lesson About Struggle
“There are times when you have to be consistent, and just take one step and open one door. And slowly, you turn around and look back that you’ve walked a mile.”
No one is immune to challenges in life, not even a ‘desi girl’ like Priyanka. (Side note: a ‘desi girl’ is an Indian phrase describing the epitome of an Indian girl. It is also a song in the Bollywood movie, Dostana, that featured Priyanka as the ‘desi girl.’)
Having dipped her toes in pageantry, singing, acting, producing, writing, and more recently, technology, Priyanka is bound to have hit some speed bumps along the way. She doesn’t let adversity take the reins, though, but instead, slowing down and taking on one thing at a time until she gets to where she needs to be.
She explains that going full throttle in your life isn’t advisable, nor sustainable. It could cause you anxiety and exhaustion. Sometimes, you have to slow down and maintain a constant speed to avoid getting overwhelmed and burnt out.
Priyanka’s Life Lesson About Discipline
“I understood early on that I might be, as an actor, in a position of power, but it is my job when I’m hired…it is my responsibility from the time I clock in to the time I clock out that I give my 100%.”
Growing up as a military child, duty and discipline were values that were instilled by Priyanka’s parents, Ashok and Madhu, in the Chopra household.
She shares a story of when her father unexpectedly passed away. She was hired for a small-budget indie movie and even during such a tragic loss, she showed up to work and powered through. “If you’re hired, it’s your responsibility to show up 100% and immerse yourself,” she advised.
Even when competing in Miss World 2000, Priyanka was determined to be in the top five. She spent time observing the competition around her, so she could push herself to do better and be better.
Priyanka’s Life Lesson About Confidence
“I would implore most parents to treat their children with individuality, give their children a sense of confidence by believing in whatever they’re saying. Don’t shame them. Don’t laugh at them for crazy ideas. Ask their opinions. Inculcate thoughts in their minds.”
As part of the military customs, the Chopras had a name plaque hung outside of their house with Ashok and Madhu’s designation. Priyanka recollects a time when she demanded to know why her name wasn’t on the plaque given that she also lives there. Her parents made a new plaque for their daughter’s endearing request and hung it proudly with the designation, ‘Priyanka Chopra, Upper KG’.
This respect from Priyanka’s parents helped Priyanka build a foundation of strength. It allowed her to be courageous and tenacious, qualities that would help her get through adversities easier and navigate through the competitive and comparative world that is Bollywood and Hollywood.
Priyanka’s Life Lesson About Money
“It doesn’t matter whose daughter you are. It doesn’t matter who you marry. You will be financially independent.”
One of the many sage advice from her mother, Madhu, was about money. Madhu advised her daughter from a young age to earn her own money and not be dependent on anyone for it.
Priyanka may have not understood the merit of it at the time it was given, but she realized the importance of it when she started working at the young age of 17. “I understood how much freedom and a sense of self a person has when they earn their own money,” she said.
Priyanka’s Life Lesson About Perseverance
“Your laurels should be your springboard to take you to something else.”
Priyanka always seems to dream a little bit bigger. Her success is a reflection of her ambition, taking her for the ride of a lifetime from Miss World to Bollywood to Hollywood.
She admits that she’s an ambitious person. To her, success is not a destination, especially not in the entertainment industry where she has to keep having success in projects in order to be considered successful. That idea became her guiding drive to keep moving forward from one achievement to another. It pushed her to break ‘impossible’ barriers in Hollywood and pave the way for women, especially those from South Asia.
“The world sets glass ceilings for us anyway,” she said. “Don’t do it to yourself.”
What advice would she give to be as ambitious as she is?
“Not resting on your laurels,” she responded.
Living Your Unfinished Story
Behind stories of incredible successes are failures, rejections, and unexpected pivots. More often than you know. Without exception, it comes hand in hand with courage. Lots of it. Courage to keep moving forward, to find another path, and to try in the first place.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas is not the only one with incredible successes and an unfinished story. You do, too.
You, too, can show up in the world with courage, perseverance, and a strong sense of self. You, too, can confidently keep moving and keep rising above when adversity strikes. You, too, can break ‘impossible’ barriers.
Mindvalley’s free personal growth Masterclasses were created to help with just that. Head over to Mindvalley and reimagine the way you think about reaching your goals.
And if you’re in India, check out the recently launched Mindvalley Membership especially for India.
We’ll see you there!