Priyanka is more than a beautiful face — she’s one of the most talented entertainers to come around in a long time. Sure, she won the Miss World 2000 pageant, but Chopra is also a celebrated actress, singer, and producer. And while she’s enjoying moderate success and celebrity in the US thanks to her hit TV show Quantico, she’s one of the most popular movie stars in India, a country with a booming film industry that celebrates its leading ladies and leading men with fervor and pride.
Chopra has received her share of accolades as well. She’s been nominated several times for her work on Bollywood productions, and 2016, she won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Actress in a New TV Series. Plus, she was named to the Time 100 list in 2016 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
How did Chopra reach such a high level of achievement? We can learn a lot from her career arc, and she’s just getting started. Here are the ten rules of success according to Priyanka Chopra.
1. Set a target for yourself by having clear goals.
Not only does goal setting give you something specific to aim for — like Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” — but it boosts your self confidence as well. This may seem like a minor aspect of being successful, but self confidence is huge in your interpersonal dealings, your level of motivation, and your ability to walk your path with your head up. Chopra has said that as a child, her self confidence was low, but by setting goals and achieving them, she’s come to believe in herself and believe that she can accomplish anything.
2. Work outside of accepted convention.
Following the path that others have carved out may be a more likely road to success, but there’s nothing innovative or exciting about it. Instead, flip the narrative of what it means to be successful and go for an unconventional approach. For example, one of Chopra’s first major roles was not as the leading lady, but as a villain. Most actresses would try for the protagonist role, but Chopra found that playing the bad guy (or girl, as it were) was a more exciting and unconventional way to get noticed. She didn’t want to be just another pretty actress on screen in designer clothes.
3. Hard work is one of the biggest keys to success.
It’s not that you have to be a bull headed workaholic, but a good work ethic is absolutely essential to achieving success. Slack off, and you’ll find it difficult, if not impossible, to reach your goals. Chopra has a tremendous work ethic and has a lot of projects going at once. She stars in films, she’s a singer, and she’s an active philanthropist. Chopra juggles a lot of proverbial balls, but she knows that hard work is what has made her successful and what will keep her successful.
4. If you believe in yourself, other people will too.
Whether self confidence comes naturally for you or is the result of enthusiastic pep talks you give yourself, it’s a crucial component of a successful attitude. It affects how you carry yourself, how you interact with others, and how well you’re able to get projects done. Chopra may seem like she’s always believed in herself, but when she was first starting out, that self confidence didn’t come so easily. She had to continually encourage herself to persevere and work hard before it was part of her everyday outlook.
5. You can’t say yes to everything — and you shouldn’t.
No matter what line of work you’re in, you need to have boundaries. Whether you’ve got distinct ethical and moral lines that you won’t cross, or you refuse to overload your calendar with tasks and favors, there have to be times when you simply say “No.” Chopra, for example, refuses to appear fully nude in her films, and she also draws the line at gratuitous sexuality. She wants her acting skills to stand out on their own, not because she’s wearing next to nothing on screen. Those are her boundaries — what are yours?
6. Find a good balance between challenge and comfort.
If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you probably won’t be able to make your success last, plus you’ll get bored and lose your motivation. However, if you constantly challenge yourself and push yourself to do things that are extremely difficult, you’ll run yourself ragged and burn yourself out. The goal is to always strike a good balance between the two. Chopra, for example, tries to take at least one challenging role each year — something that will push her out of her comfort zone and force her to work on some part of her acting skills. However, she also loves the less challenging blockbuster roles that apply to a lot of people. She tries to both challenge herself and take comfortable roles, and feels extremely fortunate that she’s in a position to do both.
7. Always be achieving.
Instead of looking at yourself as an entrepreneur, look at yourself as an achiever — as someone who always gets the job done and does it with skill and flair. It’s a freer and less limiting perspective that will take you far. It allows you to do much more than you think you can, and it’s an ideal attitude to have if you want to be successful. Chopra doesn’t see herself as an actress, or as a singer, or as anything like that. She sees herself as an achiever, and this outlook has taken her far.
8. Commit to excellence and accountability.
Most people who want to be successful make an initial commitment to do outstanding work, but a commitment to accountability is just as important. Your word is your bond, as the old saying goes, and if you can’t keep your word, you’ll find that you lose valuable opportunities because people doubt your accountability. Being professional means doing great work and keeping your word. Chopra knows this, and it’s one of the reasons why she’s become so successful.
9. Dream big.
Small goals are fine, and on some level, you have to be realistic, but everyone should have at least one stretch goal to shoot for. Chopra always dreamed big, even though she knew she was a female in a world that placed more value on men, and even though she was hoping to find success in a difficult industry. Still, she had her dream in her sights, and she kept working toward it.
10. Make sure people know what you do best.
If you have the same skill set as a lot of other people, you become replaceable. If, however, you make sure people understand that you excel at certain things, you become irreplaceable. Chopra’s goal is to always be irreplaceable, and it should be your goal too.