7 Life Lessons To Learn From TV
Not merely for LOLs, Naoimh Wilkins is discovering how television’s famous female characters can inspire you to live your best life.
1 Be Confident
Brazen and brilliant, Mindy Kaling, creator and star of The Mindy Project, is the queen of the witty quip and her unshakable confidence is inspirational. Mindy’s self-belief really is something to be admired. And applauded. We live in a society that’s constantly wagging its finger telling us we’re not pretty enough, never slim enough and definitely not achieving enough. So, a character who doesn’t let this get to her and who hilariously replies to any suggestion she needs to lose weight with a retort about her hotness gets a thumbs up from us. Case in point: ‘It is so weird being my own role model’. #LoveIt. Fine tuning your own self-belief will only have a positive knock-on effect in both your professional and personal life.
2 Stick to your guns
On the telly during our own angst ridden teenage years, Angela Chase in My So Called Life was the ultimate girl crush. And also hands down one of the most authentic portrayals of a teenager on the small screen. Angela was confused about pretty much everything and had the lip wobble down pat but she also really knew her own mind. She might have fallen hard for Jordan Catalano’s floppy-haired ways but soon as he started pressurising our heroine into having sex with him before she was ready, Angela left the building. Literally. She climbed out the window at a house party. Good for her, right? So, what’s the lesson here? Remember, don’t ever let anyone, whether it’s your fella or your friends, push you into compromising your boundaries to make them like you. To paraphrase Mark Darcy, they should like you, just as you are.
3 Trust Your Instinct
We ask ourselves – ‘What would Jessica Fletcher do?’ on the regular… in any and every given conundrum. The smart and savvy detective really is a top-notch, feminist role model and learning how to mimic her finely tuned gut instinct is a life skill we want to master. The writer proved on a weekly basis that she was smarter than all the men she worked with and had an uncanny knack of solving puzzling murder mysteries within an hour. Detective-by-default Fletcher could be counted on to suss out a suspect and always trusted her instincts if a hunch told her something was awry. Learn to do the same by trusting your own intuition. Nine times out of ten, you’ll be right. And the more you practice, the better you’ll get at reading between the lines in different situations.
4 Value Loyalty
The trio of gal pals on Friends taught us to value loyalty. Rachel, Phoebe and Monica provided each other with a support system and always had each other’s backs. Sure, they occasionally fought and fell out with each other but they always made up and ultimately their friendship never faltered. The friend you stay out dancing with until 4am is no doubt great fun but is she also reliable? If she’s fickle the friendship is never going to be close. Everyone needs a few good friends they can really rely on; these are the friendships worth investing your time and energy in.
5 Go After What You Want
In Mad Men, the ambitious Peggy Olson started at the advertising firm as Don Draper’s secretary. But after she impressed an executive, Peggy was given the chance to do some copywriting and when the higher-ups liked her work she was promoted. The moral of the story here is how Peggy took on extra work even while continuing to do her normal duties. It’s this diligence that created an opportunity for her to advance her career. In other words, if you want something to happen you’re going to have to make it happen. You can daydream but not winning the lotto is kind of a safe bet, so make sure you go after want you want in the workplace. Looking for a pay rise or to take the next step on the career ladder? You’re the only person who can put in the hard graft in order for that to happen.
6 Pick Your Battles
The Dowager Countess of Grantham is a bit of a badass. Wait now, hear us out. Throughout Downtown Abbey Violet Crawley presides over her family’s comings and goings. And the matriarch’s pragmatic nature means that she knows how to pick her battles and focuses her efforts on matters she can influence and ultimately fights she can win! Learning to pick your battles is an important life lesson – you can’t win ‘em all and sometimes it’s better to know when to just walk away from an argument.
7 And finally… Ab Fab’s Patsy and Edina teach us not to take it all so seriously. Pass the bubbles, darling!
This article first appeared in STELLAR’s February issue. Our October issue is on shelves now!
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