YouTube phenomenon Lilly Singh’s reach keeps growing. Not content with over 11 million subscribers on her YouTube channel and being the highest-paid female YouTuber of 2016, the Canadian recently released her debut book How to Be a Bawse on March 28 this year.
Singh visited Singapore, the last stop on her book tour, on May 24 to share more about what being a #Bawse meant. In her book, she states that a #Bawse is someone who “excels in both personal and professional settings. A Bawse exudes confidence, turns heads, gets hurt efficiently, communicates effectively and hustles relentlessly”.
1. Give Yourself a Deadline
In a chapter entitled “Set Deadlines”, Singh tells her audience that one way to be a #Bawse is to force deadlines on yourself. Before she even begins a project, Singh hires an entire team and books a venue. As such, she now has to work with this deadline in mind, preventing her from procrastinating, which she says is “a hustler’s worst enemy”.
How you can apply it: Exam season is right around the corner! To study hard, set a deadline for yourself, such as, “I will finish this chapter by _____.” Tell others about it so they can hold you accountable.
2. Know What’s in Your Control
Perhaps the most important lesson Singh has for her audience lies in the first chapter. Entitled “Play Nintendo”, she uses the analogy of video games to tell readers to focus on what is in their control —them, their reactions and what their choices are. Singh writes: “If you can’t control people, then control your reaction to them. If you can’t control a situation, then prepare for it.”
How you can apply it: You may not be able to control what your exam questions are, so control how prepared you are instead! Have a plan for how you are going to study for exams. Do past-year papers and book consultations with your facilitators ahead of time.
3. Don’t Settle
Sometimes, all we want to do is go through the motions. Life is tiring, and sometimes we just want something done with minimum effort. Singh discourages this, encouraging readers to not just survive, but conquer their lives. “Don’t just try to pass your classes; try to ace them. Don’t just aim to pay your bills; save enough to travel. I don’t want you to write a script just to see a movie get made; I want you to win an Oscar. That’s the difference between settling like a survivor and conquering like a Bawse,” she writes.
How you can apply it: Look at your Daily Grades. Many times after a trying day, we feel hard pressed to write a great RJ. Next time you write your RJ, aim for an A instead of settling for a B. And during exams, aim for a GPA above three instead of settling for two!
4. Keep Yourself Healthy
To hustle hard, our body needs to be able to keep up with our minds. Face it, you will not be able to give your 100 percent if you are sick, tired or just plain dehydrated. So, exercise, drink lots of water and keep yourself in shape. Your mind will thank you for it.
How you can apply it: Walk instead of taking the bus to school. And to take a page out of Singh’s book, force yourself to drink water. Maybe even every time you post on social media.
5. Schedule Inspiration
Singh writes: “Inspiration is the fuel for your hustle.” Without inspiration, our motivation can hit a dead end. When we take time out of our busy schedules to pause, take a break, or even watch our favourite show, we power up our passion and motivation. And to keep that passion and motivation going, we will need to set aside time to inspire ourselves.
How you can apply it: Set aside a time each week and key it into your calendar. It could be the middle of the week or the weekend. During that time, take a break and watch your favourite show or an interview by someone you admire. You could even use it as motivation to get your studying done faster.
6. You’re an Empire
Sometimes a major event feels like a life altering moment. If you do not nail this, your entire life might as well be over. You put ridiculous amounts of pressure on yourself. You cannot ruin this moment. Yet, you are more than this moment. An empire will not crumble when a single pillar falls. Similarly, a major event will not make or break your entire life.
How you can apply it: We know, exams are serious. But no matter how serious they are, your GPA is worth more than a test. While you should absolutely give 100 percent, remember that you are an empire—one pillar crumbling will not and should not destroy you.
7. Give Yourself a Break
We get it. Studying and school in general can be taxing. That is valid and perfectly normal. Even someone who claims to love what they are doing will get tired sometimes. To rectify this, Singh recommends you pause every once in a while. “Don’t cheat yourself by blazing through your life,” she writes.
How you can apply it: Schedule breaks in your study plans. You do not want to suffer from burn out! During these breaks, disconnect from your technological devices. Take a walk outside, have a nice bath, or cook something nice for yourself. You deserve it!
8. Invest in Yourself
Just like everyone out there, in order to nurture and grow your talent or craft, you need to invest time, money and effort. No matter how good you think you are, there will always be something you can improve. A good #Bawse knows that to conquer life, one must keep up with the times. To do that, you must invest in yourself.
How you can apply it: Take the time to learn new things. Perhaps once every month, take the time to learn something new—pick up a new hobby, learn from someone you love, or watch a video online. And yes, makeup tutorials count. Wherever you choose to spend your time, make sure you give it your energy and effort. As students we may not have that much money, but splurging a little to expand your skillset is always worthwhile. You could use that money to buy new equipment or sign up for a class.
9. Stick to Your Values
There is a difference between having strong values and simply having hobbies. Singh highlights this with an example of bullying, saying that you might say you do not believe in bullying, but later on tweet something mean about a Kardashian or any celebrity. A #Bawse knows the difference between values and hobbies, and they stay true to their values even when no one is watching. “If you stay true to your values only when things are going well, then those aren’t values; they’re hobbies,” Singh writes.
How you can apply it: Write down some values you hold dear and put it somewhere you look often. The next time you find yourself in a situation that tests your values, remind yourself that you are a #Bawse and will stick to your values, no matter what others say or do.
10. Be Grateful
According to a popular saying, the happiest people are the grateful ones. Singh dedicates an entire chapter to this, entitled “Appreciate Things”. She writes: “To be a Bawse, you must constantly remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for and learn to truly appreciate those things.” Life can get rough sometimes, but at the end of the day, it goes without saying that we are extremely lucky to be living in a country like Singapore. If we want to conquer our life, we must first appreciate it and all the effort and time others have put in to help us.
How you can apply it: At the end of each day, no matter how good or bad, take a few minutes to write down three things you were grateful for.
Want more tips on how to be a #Bawse? How to Be a Bawse is available in bookstores or at www.lillysinghbook.com