I am overwhelmed. I am overstimulated. As much as I love social media, I'm feeling like my attention span has shrunk to record lows and my mind is now spinning like a top that's borderline falling. I do a lot, but I sometimes feel like my mind is in a fog and I'm just going through motions...not really connected to what it is I'm doing.
I can't blame it all on social media. This has been a rough year for me - lots of good and lots of challenges. But whether it's stress, anxiety, overdigitalization - whatever the case, I've been feeling like I need some kind of tether back to myself.
Sound crazy? Maybe. But after seeing Russell Simmons at the Seattle Public Library last week for a talk on his new book, Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All, I couldn't wait to dive into this book. And I was right. I feel like I've finally found what I needed to whip myself back into shape (figuratively.) Reading this book was exactly what I needed.
First of all, I should note that this isn't about how to make tons of money. In fact, Mr. Simmons (or Uncle Rush as he is affectionately nicknamed) stresses repeatedly that he's not giving out advice for pursuing material wealth. It's about investing in yourself by giving to others and the world around you. Uncle Rush isn't a religious man in the sense that he identifies with one religion, but his intense passion for yoga and enlightenment play a huge part in his life and subsequently in this book. He speaks a lot about his experiences - from drugs and parties to Def Jam to Kimora and their family to Phat Farm to philanthropy to the many people he's made connections with over time. All of these people and experiences help him convey the principles he teaches in Super Rich; among them:
- sharing your talents and gifts with the world wholeheartedly (and how that attracts opportunity and success)
- operating from stillness
- focusing on happiness from the actions of your hard work versus the fruits of your labor
- staying inspired
- loving unconditionally
- being conscious and compassionate
I read this book like a textbook, jotting down countless notes and quotes chapter by chapter. Everything spoke so powerfully to me. Without giving the book away too much, here are some gems I took away from Uncle Rush:
Be present in the moment. Be committed.
I am the master of having 85 million tabs open in my browser in addition to TweetDeck, checking my phone, listening to music on my headphones while trying to pay attention to what's going on around me in real life. Environment for being productive? Nope. I need to focus on one thing at a time. I'll get so much more done that way.
Only do shit you believe in. Period.
Being active in social media has made me a target for anyone and everyone who wants to have an in at my firm, or "partner" on or promote events, products, you name it. I've become much more selective in the projects I take on, the blog pitches I pay attention to (if at all), the events I attend and most importantly, the people I keep around me. If it's not something I feel passionate about, I can't be involved. Sorry!
Hang with people who lift you up. Separate from people who bring you down.
I absolutely love to give. I love helping others succeed and I'm all about bringing my team up as I succeed as well. I am fortunate to know so many amazing people who are a lot like me in this sense. I just have to remember to always emanate compassion and giving. I know a lot of people with a lot of negative energy as well :/
Uncle Rush calls it "operating from stillness." Whether it's meditation, yoga, listening to your favorite song, going on a run or walk, whatever - clearing your mind of all the noise will help you get so much more done with much sharper focus. Ugh. If there's anything I've been craving more, it's this. It's nothing earth-shattering but something I really needed to read and instill back into my life. Thank you Russell Simmons.
I'm not perfect. I never will be. I have a long way to go in being anywhere as awesome as Russell Simmons, but I'm grateful he's shared some of his insights with the world. I truly needed it. I highly recommend you take the time to read Super Rich too!