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13 Wise Life Lessons From Mindy Kaling's New Book

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ‘Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?”

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In September, Mindy Kaling released her second book of essays, Why Not Me?, which follows her second coming of age and muses on life, love, work, and friendship. Here's what we learned from it.

"People talk about confidence without ever talking about hard work. ... I don't understand how you can talk about self-confidence if you don't do the work."

2. Maturing means embracing life's nuances.

"Sometimes a story just needs an ending, and I used to not be a creative enough person to think of an ending to a romantic story that isn't wedding or death. This story didn't end in fireworks, because the truth is, fireworks are something from my twenties. I could have made fireworks, but I chose to make a nuanced memory of a person who is neither a hero not a villain in my life. All I had to do now was move on."

"In my late twenties, when I moved to Los Angeles and all my friends seemed to spread out around the country, I would tell myself, Once I am on hiatus from the show, I will visit them and everything will be the same. But the hiatus would come and go, and a movie role or rewrite job would keep me in L.A. Until I realized: This long expanse of free time to rekindle friendships is not real. We will never come home to each other again and we will never again have each other's undivided attention. That version of our friendship is over forever."

4. Entitlement should be a byproduct of hard work.

"If you are entitled, you are the most insufferable person ever. If you are entitled and hardworking, which I am, you are still pretty insufferable, but at least you somewhat earned your entitled behavior."


"There are not many relationships more powerful than that of two women who fall fast and deep into a friendship."

6. Tantrum-throwing is rarely worth it.

"Throwing a tantrum feels good because you think you are ruining everyone's good time when you feel your very worst. But the truth is, you're not ruining their good time, you're just giving them another good story."

"My secret is: Even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don't wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things."


8. Show business is stressful.

"That's all show business is, really. Transitioning panics."

"I'm trying, guys."

"If you've got it, flaunt it. And if you don't got it? Flaunt it. 'Cause what are we even doing here if we're not flaunting it?"


"It's not that I think I'm so great. I just don't hate myself. I do idiotic things all the time and I say crazy stuff I regret, but I don't let everything traumatize me. And the scary thing I have noticed is that some people really feel uncomfortable around women who don't hate themselves. So that's why you need to be a little bit brave."

"Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you'll be fine."

13. Wield your power wisely, however or wherever it comes.

"Understand that one day you will have the power to make a difference. Use it well."


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