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20 Life Lessons from Shah Rukh Khan’s Speech at Edinburgh

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan received an honorary doctorate from the United Kingdom’s University of Edinburgh on October 15 for his philanthropic work. After accepting his degree, Shah Rukh Khan gave an insightful speech on things he real life lessons he learnt from working in Bollywood films.

SRK at Edinburgh Doctorate Degree

Here are 20 quotes from SRK’s speech. Read on and be ispired!!

1. All the names you give yourself are just labels. You aren’t defined by them. What defines you is ‘your heart’.

2. Being brave means being shit scared all the way to the party but getting there and doing the ‘Funky Chicken’ in front of all your teenage kid’s friends anyway. Don’t let your fears become boxes that enclose you. Open them out, feel them and turn them into the greatest courage you are capable of. I promise you, nothing will go wrong. But if you live by your fears, everything that can possibly go wrong will go wrong and you won’t even have done the ‘Funky Chicken’.

3. It’s OK to be confused. Confusion is the route to all the clarity in the world.

4. If you can’t find a resolution easily, don’t panic. Even disaster eventually dissolves. You don’t have to figure things out.

5. Stop whining and start moving. Don’t attach yourself to sadness or happiness. Laugh at yourself. Shed a tear or two.

6. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’. That’s just another word for lifeless. Madness (of the particularly nice/romantic kind) is an absolute prerequisite to a happy and successful life. Don’t ever treat your little insanities as if they are aberrations that ought to be hidden from the rest of the world. All the most beautiful people in the world, the most creative, the ones who led revolutions, who discovered and invented things, did so because they embraced their own idiosyncrasies.

7. Don’t become a philosopher before you become rich.

8. Art is more important than the artist – have no attachment to your own art – it’s regressive, move on.

9. Study hard. Work hard. Play harder. Don’t be bound by rules, don’t hurt anybody and never ever live somebody else’s dream.

10. Live now, live today–don’t be bound by rules, live your own dream.

11. If you ever find yourself cheated of all your money and sleeping on a grave, do not fear, a miracle is near, either that or a ghost.  In other words, no matter how bad it gets, life IS the miracle you are searching for. There is no other one around the corner. Develop the faith in it to let it take its own course, make all the effort you can to abide by its beauty and it will not let you down. Use every resource you have been given, your mental faculties, the ability of your heart to love and feel for those around you, your health and good fortune: all of the thousands of gifts life has given you to their maximum potential. Honour your life. Honour each gift and each moment by not laying it to waste. There is no real measure of success in this world except the ability to make good of life’s endowments to you.

12. Our values are our values, they don’t make us any better than anyone else, at best they make us different. Always try to see the other person’s truth because like every movie has a story, every human being has one too and you have no right to imagine that yours is better than anyone else’s.

SRK a Doctor

13. If you aren’t charged up about doing something, if you don’t have what in Hindi we call the “Josh”, the fire in your belly for it, then don’t do it.

14. Don’t let your fears become boxes that enclose you. Open them out, feel them and turn them into the greatest courage you are capable of. I promise you, nothing will go wrong.

15. All the planning in the world, won’t take you where you want to get to. It’s fine not to know what you want to be twenty years from now. Most of those who had it all figured out became bankers anyway.

16. Hindi filmon ki tarah life mein bhi, anth mein sab kuch theek ho jaata hai. Aur agar na ho, toh woh anth nahi hai…picture abhi baaki hai mere doston.

17. Give of yourself to others. And while you’re at it, make sure you realise that you aren’t doing anyone any favours by being kind. It’s all just to make you feel that sneaky little twinge that comes from being utterly pleased with yourself.

SRK Quotes at Edinburgh

18. An act of goodness becomes worthless when you assign a brownie point to yourself for it, no matter how subtly you allow yourself to do so. Regardless of how rich, successful and famous you become, don’t ever underestimate the grace that other people bestow upon you just by being the recipients of your kindnesses. You might be able to buy your friend a Rolls for his/her birthday but it’s no substitute for a patient hearing of your sulky rants on a bad hair day.

19. Don’t forget where you came from and who you really are. It ought to be the compass by which you navigate through life’s vicissitudes. The North that keeps you oriented despite a series of misfortunes or a shower of privilege.

20. Embrace all that this life has in store for you, let your heart be as deep as the deepest ocean and as wide as the farthest horizon. Know that it is limitless. Love is not an excuse to grab or to hold or to own or to barter. It is the only excuse you will ever have to call yourself special. And if someone you love lets you down, don’t fault yourself for not trusting him, fault yourself for not trusting your love enough to forgive his/her trespasses.

Shah Rukh also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire. Other Bollywood stars to have been given honorary doctorates in the UK include Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar and AR Rahman.

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