This writer has put down the pen of late and picked up three inspiring books from three influential individuals in the urban music industry. The first was rapper/actor Common’s spiritual journey One Day It’ll All Make Sense, the second was business and music mogul Steve Stoute’s cultural exchange TheTanning Of America, and now the latest is R&B and movie star Tyrese Gibson’s How To Get Out Of Your Own Way.
This isn’t an autobiography; this isn’t a self-help book … it’s something in-between. Making for a powerful, motivating piece of prose, Tyrese’s success story is one of struggle, survival and self-strategy. Part religious and part spiritual, with God and self together, it all blends into the perfect recipe of success and self-fulfilment.
This book really should garner your self-worth’s attention. After a humbling, tragic foreword, this book begins with Tyrese detailing his humbling beginnings in Watts California, talking about how he had to ignore the financial and instantly-gratifying temptations of the world of drug dealers in the ‘hood. This millionaire actor and singer used to find it incredibly hard to string a couple of quarters together to get the bus to school and get his education.
We all remember his infamous Coca Cola commercial at age 16, and Ty’ inspires us with how this 30-second spot resulted in a 15-year-and-counting career. His journey really is incredible: he used to not be allowed on the bus, but following an advert where he sang on one about a soft drink, he now never has to take the bus again. If that doesn’t serve as encouragement and inspiration, then what will?
If this fact sends shivers down your spine, then this book is for you from the forward to the acknowledgments. From Tyrese breaking down the relationship between men and women, and that of positivity and success, he really lets you into his mind and guides you down the right mental path without sounding too preachy or like he’s trying to be the next Dr. Phil. Tyrese keeps it real with his talk and genuine accounts of his life’s experience. He doesn’t act all high or mighty or talk down to us; he acts like our friend sitting next to us through these pages. He tells us it’s fine to be labelled ‘weird’ if we are just different (citing Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and himself) but that if we are feeling down we shouldn’t label ourselves ‘depressed’, as the shoe will fit. It all makes perfect sense. It’s not cheesy or corny, it’s devoted and meant.
Tyrese shares the complacent life-changing advice he received from mentor and megastar, Will Smith, and along with the Fresh Prince’s five people theory, puts it into words for our own benefit and reflection. To conclude this great, game-changing read, the movie star – who this year starred in two top franchise sequels (Fast Five and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) – talks about his break into acting (with John Singleton’s Baby Boy) and how no matter how successful or happy, we should all strive to always better ourselves.
Millions of Tyrese’s social networking Twitter followers will know how much this man’s character inspires on a daily basis. It’s this constant motivation and feeling of self-worth that has just this week given this multi-platinum Grammy winner a new number one album. Counting and sharing his blessings, Tyrese offers us an Open Invitation to his way of life and thinking and it’s a real positive step forward. Like the man himself says, “don’t leave this on the bookshelf”. This is a real page-turner with depth that reads more into life. So open up and don’t let anything stand in its way. It’s really out there.