6 Things We Can Learn From Joan Rivers

Controversial comedian Joan Rivers was also an actress, producer, writer, and television host whose successful career spanned over 5 decades. Here are 6 things we can learn from her incredible life.

Joan Rivers might not be everyone’s favorite comedian, and indeed some of the things she came out with as part of her comedy routines were shocking to say the least. However, nobody can deny that she was one feisty female who stayed at the top of her game right to the end and kept standing in the ring no matter what punches life threw at her.

Plus, she was genuinely funny!

Here are some things we can take away from the incredible Queen of Comedy’s 81 years.

#1 Keep a Sense of Humor

“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”


Never take yourself too seriously. Joan certainly lived by this motto and part of her comedy routine included self-deprecating remarks about herself as well as her targets.

Joan knew tragedy personally. After her second husband committed suicide, it was her sense of humor that eventually got her through it even though during this dark period she developed bulimia nervosa and contemplated suicide herself.

#2 Never Give Up Hope

“I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”

Joan’s personal life and career were far from smooth, but she never gave up on her optimism that something better was just around the corner – even during the time of the ill-fated The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, which saw her break up with her long time mentor Johnny Carson. According to Joan, this was one of the factors that led to her second husband’s suicide. She then went on to host the successful The Joan Rivers Show which was to win her an Emmy.

#3 Live Life to the Max


“I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive. Things are happening.”

There wasn’t much that Joan shied away from; she just accepted the things that were happening to her – good or bad.

In life, things are constantly changing and it is a good thing to remember that “this too shall pass.” When we go through bad times, they will eventually change. Likewise, if our lives seem relatively smooth then we need to accept that there will still be challenges ahead at some point.

Life changes. It is up to us if we make the most of it. As the saying goes: Make hay while the sun shines.

#4 Go for What You Want in Life

“I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.”

Okay, so perhaps you don’t need to go to Joan’s extreme measures of acerbic wit and  cutting put downs; after all, that was just a stage act.

But at the same time don’t be afraid to go for what you really want in life. Joan didn’t, and this is one of the reasons her career spanned five decades. She knew exactly what she wanted…and went for it with a passion.

#5 Trust Your Intuition


“Don’t follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise.”

I think many of us have been faced with decisions that just didn’t feel quite ’right,’ but we went with them anyway because on the face of it the choice seemed perfectly logical. However, we should always trust our own inner intuition about things; we need to make choices that sit well with us. Not to do so, in extremes, can lead to dis-ease.

#6 Never be Afraid of Expressing Your Feelings

“Anger is a symptom, a way of cloaking and expressing feelings too awful to experience directly – hurt, bitterness, grief, and, most of all, fear.”

This is an interesting quote because, with the barbed comments and abrasive humor of her stage show, anyone would think that she herself was angry. But, at the end of the day, what Joan did was make many people laugh, and that along with love, has to be one of the greatest feelings of all.

Whatever your feelings are in life, don’t hide them. Express them, that is what they are there for.  You will feel all the better for it and most likely learn something about yourself along the way.

So, YouQueens, is there a Joan Rivers type among you? A feisty trailblazer waiting to take on the world? If so, there is an empty throne for the taking….

About the author

Eleanor Goold

As well as being an avid reader, Eleanor is also a big time animal lover; especially of dogs. If you have a tail, four legs and you bark…. you’re in! In her spare time she enjoys swimming, and vegetable gardening… but not at the same time (it can get a bit messy).

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