‘I became an actor because I had a problem’: Sushant Singh Rajput’s moving speech about meaning of success goes viral
A 2016 video of actor Sushant Singh Rajput speaking about the biggest lie and the only truth he’d been told about success is being widely shared online. Sushant died by suicide on Sunday, at the age of 34.
The actor began his speech by saying that he is an extremely introverted person, and that was because he was pampered as a child. “So excuse me if I falter, excuse me if I get a panic attack right now,” he said to a rapt crowd at IIT Bombay in 2016. The biggest lied that he’d been told about success, the actor said, was that money plus recognition is equal to happiness is equal to success. “I come from a middle-class family, and when I was growing up, money was a big differentiator in my life,” the actor said.
“My family told me I had to become an engineer. Once I am an engineer, I can try the Civil Services Examination and that will be opening the doors for all kinds of happiness,” said the actor. “Finally, I slogged and got admission in Delhi College of Engineering.”
The actor said that he wasn’t feeling fulfilled, and just two semesters before getting his degree, he dropped out of college with dreams of becoming a movie star. “I became an actor because I had a problem,” he said. He started as a background dancer for all the big stars, and would tell himself that he was literally three steps away from being where they were. Two years later, he was selected to star in a primetime television show.
He said that after the show became a success, he bought himself a house, and a car, and was drowning in female attention, having the time of his life. But then, he added, “I got used to everything. And I felt cheated. I stayed with all these dreams for 10 and 15 years of my life. I was promised happiness and I was promised success, but all these things stayed with me just for a few days. And I am punctuating me because I started from zero money and zero recognition. So I was not happy. How can that be?”
He continued, “I didn’t like this version of success, and the future me again was living the present me. But this I decided...otherwise. I would something else. I would do something else.”
“All these years, I was obsessed with what’s going to happen. I was constantly swinging from past to future, not living in an actual sense. And for the first time, in a long a time, I understood the true meaning of success, which was not money plus recognition but ‘now’ plus excitement,” he said.
The actor concluded, “Here I am right now, five years down the line. Money and fame, all this still could not earn back the reputation in my life. But let me assure you one thing. I have much more of them than I had ever planned.”
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