Mindy Kaling's Advice For Life After Your 20s? Learn to Let Go of Your Checklists

Mindy Kaling is one of the most inspirational actresses in Hollywood, but it took years of hard work and dedication to get to where she is today. The 38-year-old is known for her hilarious and relatable persona, but she's always had a clear view about where she wanted to go with her career. During POPSUGAR Play/Ground on Saturday, Mindy opened up about how her ambition has guided her life while chatting with journalist Elaine Welteroth during the Smart Girls Win panel.

"When I was 19, I was incredibly organized and that was one of my defining qualities," she explained. "I was very organized about my ambition at a time that that was weird to be." Just like many young adults, she mapped out her whole life by making checklists of what she wanted to accomplish. While it certainly proved useful when she was in college at Dartmouth, it had a different effect on her when she finally graduated.

"Once I graduated from college, I would make a checklist like, 'I'm going to get married at 24, I'm gonna have all my kids by 30, their names are going to be Angelica, Ethan' — I had the whole thing mapped out in my brain, and I'm a 38-year-old single mom." Although her checklist didn't work out exactly like she thought it would, she's learning to be content with her new normal.

"Having structure and ambition is really helpful to some people, and it was very helpful to me when I was young, but it wasn't until recently that I was like, 'I just need to let all of it go and be OK with it,'" she said. Now, instead of making these big goals for herself, she's trying to see herself the way her fans see her. "Other people seem to think that I'm doing fine, so I need to get on the same page as what people who love me think of me."