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"No Person Succeeds Alone"

Updated: Sep 8



Comedian Kevin Hart reflects on his life.


"Growing up, the best thing I had was nothing.


"All the experiences I disliked in my childhood - sleeping in the hallway, not having a car, and being too poor to afford a haircut - were essential to building my character."


Mom ruled over the household creating structure to keep Kevin out of trouble. When Mom was working, Kevin was either at school, active in sports or at a neighbor’s house doing chores. Being poor and vertically challenged, Kevin struggled with insecurity during high school. He found humor a way to fit in and make friends.


Kevin would have been labeled an under-achiever in school.


"One of my biggest regrets is taking my education and opportunities for granted in my youth and being content with just barely getting by. Today, I often think: Damn, what if?"


After high school, Kevin briefly attended community college. His first full-time job was working at a shoe store. He discovered his humor and storytelling sold shoes and built relationships with his customers. Co-workers loved his stories and suggested he enter amateur night at a local comedy club. He said yes.


Kevin performed a 5-minute act. He was pretty good. For the next few months, he worked during the day and performed at local amateur nights. He won first prize multiple times which built his confidence. Then, he made the decision to quit his day job to follow his passion. Committing to comedy full-time, Kevin toiled years before succeeding. He learned life lessons along the way.


Commitment

"…Though my sleep, time, finances, relationship, and even my patience and self-esteem were negatively impacted and I wanted to quit many times, I remained committed.


"That’s the biggest difference between the amateur and the professional, between the wannabe and the star, between the dabbler and the expert. The unsuccessful get halfway to the finish line, then turn around. The successful get halfway, then keep going. Both run the same distance, but only one makes it to the finish line.


"To win the race, then, having talent, speed, and endurance help, but those things are nothing without commitment. To commit successfully, you don’t have to always believe in yourself—because, let’s face it, we all have our doubts at times. But you do have to believe in something higher than yourself; your purpose. If you believe in your purpose, you can survive the most challenging times, because God or destiny or your will—or whatever you prefer to believe in—is on your side. If you know it’s your purpose to win the race, then you’re not going to turn around, because there is no other option but to win."


If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. -African proverb. Over the years, Kevin’s success was also attributed to the community of people around him, working together, helping each other survive.


Community


"No person succeeds alone. Success is a community effort. The more relationships you have, the better you’ll be able to survive, thrive and grow.


"In always respecting and acknowledging people as equals and going through their own struggles, whether their status in the room was higher or lower than mine, I noticed a side effect: Eventually, I wasn’t grinding alone anymore. Comedians, bookers, bartenders and waiters started telling me about openings and opportunities.


"In more action movies, one person rises out of a humble beginning to discover that they have been chosen by destiny to save the world. But that’s not how it works in real life. You rise out of your humble beginning to become part of a community, and it is only together and as equals that we will save the world."


Kevin Hart's purpose is bringing laughter into our lives.


You have a purpose. Where your purpose meets a need is where God wants you to be.


quotes from Kevin Hart: I Can't Make This Up; Life Lessons

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