Actor Shah Rukh Khan added yet another feather to his cap when he was recently invited by TED to deliver a talk about humanity, fame and love, thereby becoming the first ever Indian actor to speak at TED.
Known for his wit and humour, SRK, as he is fondly known as, remained as charming and funny as ever throughout his talk. Be it his references to humanity as an “aging superstar” like himself or his innocent childhood when he thought ‘lesbian’ was the capital of Portugal, he had the audience in splits with his witty persona. But despite all the jokes he cracked and the little ‘lungi dance’ he performed, he gave everyone in the audience a lot of food for thought. Here are five key things one can learn about life and success from SRK’s TED talk.
- Adversity can make you stronger and teaches you skills that you probably never thought you had. When he was all of 14, SRK lost his father. When he was taking his father to the hospital and the driver walked away, SRK started driving back home from the hospital. When his mom asked him when he learnt to drive, he said, “Just now, mom.”
- You have to be true to yourself. When the internet boom happened, SRK took to Twitter like a “canary in a bird cage” without realizing that everything he said or did was being observed. In order to reconstruct his identity, he even started tweeting about the philosophical part of life only to get responses like ‘LOL’ and ‘ROFL’! There were times when he got saturated (yes there comes a saturation point even in the life of a movie star). But he never gave up. He just reinvented himself and moved on with the times.
- Focus on the present for a successful future. When he was asked by the TED organizers to speak about the “future you”, he said he will talk about the “present me”! In order to build a great future, we must stop dreaming and start working on the present. This is because as SRK says, “The present you is brave. The present you is hopeful. The present you is innovative and resourceful, and of course, the present you is annoyingly indefinable.”
- Being unconventional can work wonders. When he first entered films, SRK was considered “ugly” and “not chocolatey enough”! Yet today, he is the biggest star in the nation and in his own words, “the best lover the country has ever seen”.
- Success will fall flat without love, grace and compassion. As you climb the ladder of success, you will get fame, fortune and everything that you had hoped for. But in the end, it all comes down to the basic emotion of love – the love we have for ourselves and the people around us. “Mankind will never be wiser about its future unless it is coupled with a sense of love and compassion for their fellow beings,” he says and adds, “The future “you” has to be a you that loves.”