[S1] [E19] How to Choose to Be Happy When Life Continuously to Stomp You w/ William Hung, Professional Optimist

William Hung

This week, I had the opportunity to speak to William Hung, the viral American Idol who looks adversity in the face and charges through with unwavering conviction. After his American Idol audition, William Hung’s rendition of “She Bangs” became famous for all the wrong reasons. Despite the harsh criticism he endured, William persevered—having gone on to attract a cult following, release three albums, and even perform live with Ricky Martin in Las Vegas. A strategic storyteller and professional optimist, William is proof that the underdog can succeed when you rise above the haters and choose to be happy. William has appeared on media outlets like FOX, ABC, CNN, and NBC and in such publications as Rolling Stone, TIME, and USA Today. He was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Born in Hong Kong, William now resides in Los Angeles.


In the segment, we went through his hardships and trials. Also, we look at how he is able to endure the adversity despite setbacks. He mentioned obtaining the record label was the hardest. The reason being the fact that he never had professional training for vocals. Yet, surprisingly he is able to break down boundaries and score a record label. Later he was able to do tours for four years, living a life that many can’t even dream of. He broke down typical Asian stereotypes and mentioned these few things that continuously helped him to move forward:

  1. Choose to be happy
  2. Choose to tell his version of the story
  3. Choose what is important to him

Lastly…he chooses to live a life with no regrets…

You can hear more about his experience at www.williamhung.com. As always you can get past episodes details here as well as links to the previous episode on Navigating the Rise website. Also, please leave a rating and feedback for the podcast.

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