I didn’t just read this book. I devoured it.
As a person with a certain level of ambition, I seek out the stories of those who “made it,” the ones who have gone on to become the best, or one of the best, in their field. The undeniable ones.
Kevin Hart is undeniable.
The man has sold out an NFL stadium, and his entire show is just him alone on stage with a single microphone, talking about his life. And people love it because he is hilarious.
Sure, he has a gift for being funny, but to be able to entertain over 50,000 people at once and succeed at it goes far beyond natural talent. It takes a team of people working together for the greater good, and it requires a certain set of core values to guide the team to make the right decisions along the way.
Persistence, patience, class, commitment, learning, passion-centered competitiveness, positivity, and discomfort; these are the eight qualities that Kevin Hart singles out as being the ingredients for his particular success recipe.
With any book I read, I have a highlighter in my hand. As I read, if something is relatable to my life or adds value to it, I highlight it. Once I finish the book, I type all of the highlighted passages into my computer and organize them to work for me. I do this to maintain a personal “commonplace book.”
From Ryan Holiday’s How and Why to Keep a Commonplace Book:
“Some of the greatest men and women in history have kept these books. Marcus Aurelius kept one — which more or less became the Meditations. Montaigne, who invented the essay, kept a handwritten compilation of sayings, maxims, and quotations from literature and history that he felt were important. Thomas Jefferson kept one. Napoleon kept one. Bill Gates keeps one.
“And if you still need a why, I’ll let this quote from Seneca answer it: ‘We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application — not far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech — and learn them so well that words become works.”
After reading Kevin Hart’s words in his new book I Can’t Make This Up, co-written with one of my favorite authors — Neil Strauss — I got right to work.
The reason his story is so powerful is because it is happening right now.
This isn’t someone who waited until the end of their career to distill the secrets of their success and share their life lessons with the world. By the time most of the undeniable ones tell their stories, so many years have passed that the tools and techniques they used to succeed are no longer relevant to the era in which we live. They aren’t practical, but nostalgia.
The tools Kevin Hart used to build the foundation of his superstar career are available to most people today: our brains, our bodies, and the Internet, specifically social media.
I’m persistent — I’ve been in the game for over 25 years.
I practice patience — this one is the most difficult of all, but becoming easier.
I have class — ‘ello, Guv-nah!
I am committed to my goals.
I love to learn every day.
My competitiveness is passion-centered.
I accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.
And I have become most adept at tolerating discomfort.
More than ever before in my life, I am ready to floor it down the highway of my dreams. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years learning how to live, how to build a foundation for a career as a creative artist, how to put a team together with the right people in the right seats, and how to execute and manage the process.
The wheels are in motion: I’ve got three podcasts in the hopper ready to be finalized for release, one song almost complete and two more coming thereafter, and my excitement is boiling over into my blog.
Plus, if you recall the judge I worked for as a journalist on her winning campaign, she reached out to me about co-authoring a book. Nothing is set in stone yet, but the opportunity is there.
And after a couple of minor setbacks, the band is rehearsing and moving forward together as a unit.
We’re putting our brains, our bodies, and the Internet to work.
The future looks bright!
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Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates