Words to Live by (According to a Birthday Girl We Love)

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Mindy Kaling
Photo: Courtesy of Parade

Mindy Kaling is not one to follow convention. The unmarried actress had a baby at 38 – and flat out refuses to disclose details about the father. She wrote the screenplay to Late Night with Emma Thompson in mind – before ever meeting her. She’s one of the few South Asian showrunners in Hollywood – but refuses to center her career around race. And if her quotable quotes are any indication, she’s also a sheer genius in the guise of a colorfully dressed comedienne. Here, in honor of her big 4-0, we reveal our favorites.

1

“If you don't see a clear path for what you want, sometimes you have to make it yourself.”

2

“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”

3

“I'm constantly in a state of self-improvement, but I don't beat myself up over it.”

4

“Work hard, know your sh*t, show your sh*t, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you'll be fine.”

5

“A lot of people ask how to get to where I am, and the single biggest thing, which is not profound, is that I work like a dog.”

6

“If you got it, flaunt it. If you don’t got it, flaunt it.”

7

“One day you will have the power to make a difference, so use it well.”

8

"Far too many women are much more hurt by being called fat or ugly than they are by being called stupid or not a leader."

9

"Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something – especially not yourself."

10

"You need the tiniest bit of bravery. People get scared when you try to do something, especially when it looks like you're succeeding. People do not gets scared when you're failing."

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