After a successful first book release, Kevin Hart decides to once again enter the literary arena. His memoir, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, written with assistance from Neil Strauss landed the comedian on the New York Times Best Sellers list, a coveted ranking for authors.
During a virtual press conference attended by theGrio in May, Hart shared the meaning and motivation behind his latest project, The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success, an ebook which doubles as a life coach for all eager listeners. Released as an Audible exclusive listen, and in audio format only, the book is not available on print mediums.
Taking a new approach to deliver his message of self-confidence, he takes the role of a life coach to whoever is listening. His goals with the ebook release include informing his audience how to take different approaches to their lives, whether up or down.
“This is about me using my trials, tribulations, and journey, to get to where I am today, as an example of my thought process that helped me along the way,” says the actor when describing the project.” It isn’t a ‘follow my guide and do what I do’ audiobook, this is a, ‘here’s the things that helped me.’ Basically, I’m giving that to open up a different POV [and] an opportunity to look through a different lens, and possibly handle things in your life differently.”
Presenting his own reality, Hart offers comical, sometimes profane, examples to guide readers through multiple scenarios.
The material in the ebook, like his first novel and multiple comedy stand-ups, comes from his own transparency and ability to admit his wrongdoings. Without claiming to be new-age sage, he simply suggests an introspective look from the audience, taking into account their full-self as he does during his own “mental fitness.”
“I’m only able to say the things that I’m now saying because of the look that I had to give myself in the mirror,” remarks the Night School star when asked about the meaning behind the book. “When you–understand, to become the best you got to check you, and if there’s a lot of checking that people are afraid to do, you know, that’s hard. The hardest thing is to go, I’m f**ked up, or I’m wrong. I’m really not doing what I’m supposed [to do.] That’s very hard for a lot of people.”
He continues, “It’s a tough thing to process, but when you are okay with that, and you’re okay with acknowledging your flaws and understanding your weaknesses, then that means that you’re in a position where you want to get better. That’s information. What I’m saying isn’t profound. This isn’t a prophecy.”
Hart goes on to explain how his mindset has been recently in overcoming his own battles, trials and tribulations.
“Here’s the mental fitness that I’ve been able to put myself through the ups, the downs, the crazy,” he says. “So, yes, you have to accept your flaws, you have to accept your wrongs, and you have to be okay with working on those things to see a change. But it starts with you. That’s the biggest thing man, it’s you.”
Alongside self-improvement, the stand-up star hopes to become a vessel of information to Black communities, providing advice and messages that are sometimes absent. Overall, he hopes for communal change provoked by his work both on stage, on a digital page, and through other endeavors.
“I’m partners with Chase, with JPMorgan Chase, where we have this big agenda called Advancing Black Pathways and the agenda is to try and score financial literacy within our communities,” explains Hart. “As we started this agenda, and I go out, this will all go full circle, I started to go around. The craziest thing was the realization of why our culture has no idea how money works. It’s really not our culture’s fault that we make the decisions that we’ve made or that we do the things that we do. The alternative option of understanding was never offered. There’s lessons that are never taught in our community nobody teaches us how to save, how to bank, how to prepare for future.”
He adds, “But I’m talking only because I’ve been able to get on the other side, and now that I’m on the other side, I’m privy to information that has never been offered to me.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps most people indoors or outside in masks, the comedian sees the experience as a wake-up call and hopes in the future, disaster is not necessary for action.
“We’re in a pandemic, and we raised over, f**king $200 million to solve world hunger. Why does it take a pandemic? If money can be raised that fast, why did it take a pandemic to say, ‘Oh these people over there are f**ked up, and these people over here are f**ked up too? These people down there are f**ked up, we should try to figure out how to help.’ It shouldn’t take a pandemic, but the pandemic is a light bulb. So [when] the light bulb goes off does people take it and run with it, do we become better?”
The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success was released via Audible on May 21, 2020.