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What is Life?

Pranav Mandlik shares his thoughts on the importance of being confident.

 Life is a precious gift. It does not matter if you are poor or rich, it still remains precious. While life may seem a puzzle at times, it is up to us to either solve it or let it remain the way it is. As we grow older, we realise that life teaches us many lessons, we should strive to learn from them.   

I remember a quote from JRD TATA, he said, "Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive.” His quote inspires me.

Some people live life as a race, their concern is to be the first one to finish the crossing line. However, life is about learning. While earning money is important but achieving happiness is also important. To live each day of your life as the last day of your life will help you figure out your priorities. Take risks and make your life memorable. It should be such that when you are taking your last breaths, you should feel satisfied that you tried everything.    

If you want any change in your life then first bring that change in yourself. Slowly, you will notice that the change you wanted has automatically taken place. We are always only one decision away from a totally different life. Another aspect about leading a happy life is to not compare yourself with people around you.

"Your mind can break you or it can make you. There can be a hopeless end or an endless hope. Either you can be strongly mental or mentally strong,” I live by these words. People might make fun of you or think that your questions are silly, I believe that questions cannot be good or silly.

I remember what my tution teacher said to me once, “Every field is a good field to build a career.” This is because everyone is unique. I rest my case with these words, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

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Overcoming negative self-talk about your body

Read actor Manav Arora’s story of accepting the way he looks by using positive self-talk

For Manav, acting is instinctive. He might feel hesitant to act in jest in front of friends and family members, but switch on the camera; and the actor in him springs to action. He is 25 now, and started his journey to become an actor whilst in college by doing a couple of street plays.

After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, his fall-back option, he started acting in a play that revolved around child sexual abuse. “I wanted to do theatre first.” Since the play catered to teenagers, most movements would be termed as “weird to look at it”, but exactly that made Manav comfortable in his own self. The rehearsals proved to be an excellent ground for experimenting with his body. It was then for the first time that he acknowledged his physical presence.

The play didn’t stage for another year, but Manav moved on. Meeting theatre director Omkar Bhatkar marked the turning point in his career. Thus began a furore of challenges where he was confronted with his own self. His next acting venture required him to act in a dhoti as he was playing the role of the mythological character of Karna. Five minutes before the play he got caught in a web of self-depleting thoughts such as “I do not look good enough” or “I have stretch marks on my shoulder.” That immediately hit his self-confidence. However, in that moment, he reminded himself that he came to Mumbai to become an actor. He shifted the focus of his thoughts back to the performance. He said to himself.

“This is my first play, this is what I want to do”

“What matters is how I perform and not how I look”

“It is now or never”

“I am enjoying the play and I just want to perform”

With an alternate thought process in mind, Manav went on stage with confidence, and the play went off successfully. However, this posed another challenge, “I realised I need to be body positive,” he says. Though he loved food, he found a way to work around his diet. There was no looking back for Manav after that. He has acted in several advertisements and films. He continues to enjoy food but does not forget to balance it out with exercise. Lastly, he keeps reminding himself that he is more than his looks. 

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