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I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart and Neil Strauss

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What life lessons can be learned from successful comedian turned actor Kevin Hart? If you read the end of his book he says perhaps not best to listen to a comedian for life lessons, interestingly co-authored by the author of The Game, well written and worth a read – here is my summary. 

Each chapter in life is determined by how you act to it.

These are the eight qualities for success he recommends:
Persistence, patience, class (handle other with class not attitude), commitment, learning, passion-centered competitiveness, positivity and discomfort (never get too comfortable; don’t stop, don’t rest, don’t be satisfied. As soon as you get comfortable, you’re pressing a brake and halting your forward motion)

Follow your dream with passion.   An entertaining makes you laugh, an artist makes you understand.

Don’t let small steps go to your head. He saw other comedians mistaking success at a local club for fame. They’d confuse familiarity—like the waitresses and valets knowing who they were—for popularity.

The entertainer who chooses the easy road, lined with cheering fans offering flowers and likes, won’t survive when the terrain gets challenging. The entertainer who chooses the hard road, lined with jeering haters throwing chicken wings, not only learns to survive any terrain, but to run even the easy road better than the competition.

Key to success is being likeable and in a community, it is imperative to listen to others who have particular knowledge.  “Gotta do things alone, but make sure you do things alone with a team.” 

When it comes to the future, it’s impossible to have any certainty. If you learn to have confidence in your abilities and faith in your will to succeed you can develop some certainty.

What nobody knows is how we will fulfil our destiny as individuals and what that destiny will be.
If you wait for certainty, you will spend your whole life standing still. And if you grow discouraged and give up when things get rough, you’ll miss out on your best possible destiny. So the secret is to be excited about what is in your power to control, be accepting of what’s not in your power to control, and then move with certainty into an uncertain future.

Shrug shoulders if things don’t work out and move on, with a shoulder shrug, you let the information in and process it. Maybe it even feels bad for a moment. Then you shrug your shoulders and realize
that life goes on and you’ll be just fine.

Every experience is a potential life lesson. Even if you don’t appreciate it at the time, each struggle in the present is preparing you for something else in the future.

Do your best, always.  Because you never know who’s watching.

Struggling when you’re going somewhere is exciting. Struggling when you’re not getting anywhere is challenging. But struggling when you’re going backward is hell.

Bitterness is the enemy of success.

If you experience loss, it doesn’t mean you lost. It means you’ve been blessed with an opportunity to
take a moment, realize how special someone or something has been to you, and go through new doors that were closed to you before.

He found he needed to be honest and true to himself for comedy and television to be authentic and memorable. 

Outlines some of the difficulties he faced in childhood in which he had an overall good relationship with his mum but was physically beaten at times and his dad had assaulted by his dad had addiction problems.  His mother then dies and good reflections on bereavement. 

“When you mourn, when you hurt, when someone you love dies, it may feel like a void has opened up in your universe. But in the universe, energy can never be destroyed. So if the pain and the absence existed only in my mind, then it wasn’t real. It was imaginary, and me being hurt or angry about it wasn’t going to change anything. There was nothing I could do except let go of a tragic story and embrace one that served me—and her—better. So I did.”

Communication is the key that unlocks a plan.

If people are saying critical things about you, it means you’re worth talking about. And if they’re wrong about you, even better, because it means you’re worth making stuff up about

You should never trust a woman with a snake on her back!” From that point on, I had clarity on how to deal with women on the road. A few people have a snake on their back that you can see, but most people with a snake have one that you can’t see. You don’t know what someone is hiding— shit can go bad at any time and for any reason. So before getting into any situation, it’s necessary to think: What are the worst possible consequences that could happen because of this? If you can live with them, then go have fun. But if you can’t, then back the fuck away from that snake.

If you’re not careful, your dick will get you into relationships that your head can’t fix. But the deeper lesson is that what’s important in a relationship is the bricks that every one of your words and actions lay down, because together they add up to the home that you’re going to live in for quite some time.

Addiction is a nasty disease. Your tolerance builds up, and soon you need a bigger, more dangerous high.

Sometimes it takes experiencing consequences to your actions for you to learn that they’re wrong.

How you handle rejection is very similar to how you’ll handle success. If you’re strong enough to handle rejection without taking it personally, without holding a grudge, and without losing your passion and drive, then you’ll be strong enough to reap the rewards. But if you’re too weak to handle failure and
disappointment, then you’re too weak to handle success, which will only end up damaging your life and happiness. If life is a struggle, then struggle. If you get rejected, get rejected again. If your dreams are smashed, keep dreaming. Just keep your eyes on the prize—and always remember that you have to fail to win.

If you don’t believe in your own greatness, no one else will. You’re limited only by your doubts, your fears, and your desire to fit in rather than stand out.

Have fun – be the fun guy.

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