I’ll just start this off with a strong statement: Lilly Singh is one of my heroes. I’ll be totally corny and say, she really is a Superwoman. She went from living with severe depression to being a largely successful entertainer by the age of 28. As a blog dedicated to mental health, I have to talk about this inspiring story.
If you don’t know who she is, Lilly Singh is a YouTuber (born and raised in my beautiful city of Toronto) with over 11 million subscribers. She posts hilarious and honest videos every Monday and Thursday on so many topics, from avoiding confrontation, dealing with long hair, and people at airports, to global warming and racism. Lilly Singh is also a performer and rapper and now, a best-selling author. Her new book, How To Be A Bawse, provides fifty different tips on success and conquering life.
What’s a bawse? In two words, I’d say a successful person but Lilly explains it much better in the video below.
I thought that in today’s blog post, I would write a review of Lilly Singh’s book and why I think it has already changed my life, even though I finished it five minutes ago.
Even though the success of Lilly Singh is an extreme example and I will probably never replicate it, reading her book was so inspiring and made me feel as if I could achieve any goal I choose, as long as I work hard.
After reading How to Be A Bawse, I feel well-equipped with specific tools and tricks to help me become the person I want to be. And I truly feel like it is actually possible to manifest my aspirations for how I want to be defined. I know that it will be a life-long battle but I am not overwhelmed or scared right now. I’m actually more excited about life right now.
This is pretty amazing because I have been dealing with a major depressive episode as part of my bipolar disorder for MONTHS. I have been experiencing horrible and negative self-talk as well as a complete lack of interest in life. Most of my days have been spent very un-Bawse like: lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, paralyzed with anxiety and dread. But now, after absorbing Lilly Singh’s words, I feel more compassion towards myself. I don’t hate myself anymore. I actually like myself a little. I believe that I can do this (life). I feel so free right now – like a load of weight has been taken off of my shoulders. Everyone this weekend kept telling me how “chipper” I was, which means the change was definitely noticeable. I am so sure that in a few weeks, I will credit Lilly Singh with giving me a little push out of my depressive episode. I am eternally grateful that this woman exists.
The book was well-written, funny and mostly relatable. (Our lives are just in such different places right now.) It was easy to read with short snippets of information, lots of numbered lists and beautiful, colourful photos, and bold quotes to spice things up. I also loved how most chapters involved an engaging activity that the reader could use to apply the knowledge that Lilly was dispensing. And besides being hilarious, the book is also effin’ intelligent and incredibly insightful. Lilly Singh is so wise for someone who hasn’t even turned thirty yet.
I wanted to share five things I read and learned that really inspired me.
1) Be In Love
To be successful, it is imperative that you are in love. With yourself! Why? According to Lilly Singh, if you love yourself, you’ll want to make yourself proud, take care of yourself so you can be productive, encourage yourself when you face failure, and advocate for yourself and your needs.
When Lilly Singh was in a bad depression, she embraced the following techniques to start on the journey in loving herself: hugging herself (literally), and taking herself on dates. Through the process, she became her own best friend. She advises others to get there by not being hard on themselves, encouraging themselves and being patient with themselves.
In reading the entire book, it was very clear to me that Lilly loves herself. Not in a cocky way, but in a way that is evident that she is proud of herself and confident in her decisions. It made me want to be more loving towards my own self. Thanks, Lilly!
2) Say What You Mean
According to Lilly Singh, to be a bawse, you need to communicate with purpose, using authentic words that reflect your true feelings. Don’t just say what sounds good, because there is nothing polite about lying. A bawse is sincere and does not use empty gestures. They are charming and straightforward. They communicate messages that are meaningful, genuine and deep.
Something that struck out with me was when Lilly said that a Bawse should follow the phrase: “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean”. Meaning, they should be honest without being rude.
When reading the book, I really felt like I was already on the path to being a Bawse because I already try to live my life through honest, open and raw communication, particularly when it comes to raising awareness about mental health on this blog. So thanks again, Lilly, for increasing my confidence in myself.
3) Have Values, Not Hobbies
Something that Lilly taught me was that when our values are tested and attacked, they must be strong because values don’t take vacations. Without staying true to our values, we might start doing things you don’t believe in, and this can really impact your mental health. Our beliefs shouldn’t falter, even if no one is looking.
How can we make sure this doesn’t happen? By holding ourselves accountable. To help with this, Lilly suggests creating a personal manifesto that you can review and study when you feel like you are losing yourself. That way you have a clear value system to dictate your actions. This made me really inspired after reading because I feel like I can really take control of my mental health and my life if I have a set of defined values. I feel like I could love myself more and feel more confident in my ability to navigate the world if I knew how I wanted to behave. So again, thanks Lilly for the kick in the butt. Stay tuned for my next blog post on Wednesday which will be my personal manifesto.
So, there is my review of How To Be A Bawse. If I fangirled too hard over Lilly, well, I don’t care. I love her! Do you have any heroes? Tell me about them in the comments below.