Anupam Kher is a Bollywood actor, director, producer and author. He has appeared in more than 400 films, including the international successes Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice. Kher, 57, was in Dubai recently to launch his first book on life coachin.
1. Being optimistic is a way of life. Hope is the best quality you can have. I'm an outcome of optimism; I came to Bombay with less than a dollar in my pocket. I was bold and thin but I had optimism. I wanted to be an actor so I knocked on doors and though people thought I was crazy, I persevered.
2. Happiness is a state of being you have to practise. You have to make the conscious decision to be happy; it has nothing to do with your circumstances. I do everything with a happy state of mind. Try it and you'll see the benefits. Laughter therapy is popular in India and it works - you tell yourself to be happy and the way you think changes. Sadness is a luxury of intellectuals. The poor man on the street doesn't have the money to think about it.
3. Compassion is the most beautiful emotion. Look at life from other people's perspective and life becomes easier. Have compassion for everyone. Anger is the only emotion that makes you ugly; your nostrils flare, your eyes become red and it gives you a feeling of self-importance. You have no control over this. But when you are compassionate you are calmer and look calmer.
4. Develop and high-tune a sense of humour. Humour is the best medicine. Happiness is all about your inner self but humour is something that decreases your sense of self. My first lesson in teaching acting is, don't be afraid of making fun of yourself. The moment you do you make others feel relaxed.
5. A sense of fear shouldn't be the sole motivator in life. Fear does not encourage you to do what you need to do. It's not having the fear of failure that has made me who I am. I'm not scared of failure. "If you try, you risk failure; if you don't, you ensure it."
As told to Jemma Nicholls
The Best Thing About You Is You! by Anupam Kher is available at Amazon, www.amazon.com