BENGALURU: We all lie. We all exaggerate. In fact, in seven years of being a stand-up comedian I’ve come to learn that often times, exaggeration is the essence of humour. So the airline makes you take out your laptop at security? Big deal. But what’s next?
Shoes, Underwear, Tattoo Inspections? Even in our own personal stories everybody likes to add a little masala. It makes communication interesting, even if sometimes the facts get diluted in the process. It’s bad for things like world news, friendship rumors and things where other people’s lives at are at stake. But for own growth, often times you gotta bluff your way through life.
Remember that Nike phrase “Just Do it?” which I might have mentioned before. That slogan is so great because it also says “I don’t care how you do” and “I don’t care where you did it” and “I don’t care why you did it.”
We grow up in a world that values credentials, education, experience, awards and random objects of status that indirectly persuade us to avoid many things. So many don’t think they can start a business until AFTER they get an MBA. So many people won’t build an app until AFTER they spent 4 years in computer science realizing they hate it. Ironically, those some people then work for many of the folks who didn’t go for those status symbols.
In life, when you think like that you indirectly cast a shadow of doubt on yourself. When I moved to India I was just a year into stand up comedy. In the US, since I knew all the people in my neighborhood and the local scene I couldn’t exactly just walk up to a hotel or pub and say “Hi, can I have your busiest night and try a comedy show?”
But in India, with nothing to lose I realized something. In the world of business and beyond, you’re the only one who thinks from your shoes.
When I approach a bar to ask them to let me perform, all a business owner sees is a perspective sense of income. In my head, I am worried about if he’ll check my youTube clips, does he read my blog, is he going to ask me about my comedy background or the types of jokes I do. And none of that, to be honest holds true.
You want to build a house. You’re nervous the contractor is going to see right through your lack of construction experience. So you might be too scared to go through with it. In reality, the contractor just wants to finish his job because he has 4 other projects, a kid at home to worry about 10 other things.
Pardon the simple examples, but so much of life would be easier if worried less about what we don’t know so that we can actually know more.
The second I started acting like a comedian, even if I felt like I was just pretending to be one…something interesting happened. I became one. And you know what? I found out that the rest of the comedians I would meet, no matter how big or famous…had started the exact same way.