- Posted by Peter McHugh
- On July 18, 2019
Why did we decide to read this book? What prompted us to pick it up?
In February 2019, Rhi and I attended a conference called “Think Better, Live Better,” hosted by Marc and Angel Chernoff [of marcandangel.com]. One of the distinguished keynote speakers was Humble the Poet, who is an author, rapper and spoken word artist. Humble, or Mr. Poet (we’re basically besties by now), presented on how to overcome fear and adversity to stay creative. Most notably, how to overcome failure, which is bound to happen at some point.
During his presentation, he discussed his upcoming book Unlearn and shared a few chapters with the audience and we knew immediately that this was definitely something we’d be interested in reading.
During the break after the afternoon speaking sessions were completed, we got to meet Humble and talk to him briefly about creativity and pushing forward even when you think you’ve hit a dead end. He was extremely eloquent, helpful and insightful [and we thank him again for taking the time to meet with us!.
We waited until the US release of his book and immediately snatched it up and read it in a day and a half.
Who would get a lot out of this book?
This book is a collection of his social media posts and they can be read as daily lessons. I chose to read it cover to cover, but you can literally pick it up and open to a random page and get some great life knowledge. Humble The Poet doesn’t spout off puffy cliches, instead, he tells it straight and lets you know that you’re not alone in whatever pain or suffering that you endure.
I think that anyone in the trenches of a creative career will absolutely get a lot out of this book. The author is extremely transparent about the battles that we face internally and externally as we continue our creative journey. Through both the ups and downs, his lessons ring true and they serve as a great daily reminder to stay on the level and to remember what we’re actually doing here.
What are our takeaways and how will we apply them?
I’ve paraphrased my favorite takeaways, but really, each of the 101 lessons are true takeaways.
- The only truth to life is death – everything else is what you decide to make of it. This message is incredibly helpful, especially when you find yourself in a distracting cloud of stress and fear. It allows you to center yourself and remember the big picture.
- Our minds are the cause of our unhappiness – not the actual world around us. We can’t expect life to be the fairytale that our brain feeds us. We’ve got to cut the cord of the rom-com expectations that we’ve created for ourselves and actually take a good look at how fortunate we are in our own lives out here in reality.
- We all experience pain – it’s how we grow, push our boundaries and do extraordinary things. If we spend our time building barriers of protection we are just setting ourselves up for catastrophic failure. We only learn from stumbling and falling here and there. In addition, the happiness and sense of accomplishment that we’re all striving for only comes when we step out of our comfort zones, experience new things [good and bad], and notice that this journey is exactly what we’ve been looking for all along.
- Don’t allow the opinions, expectations or narratives of others to affect you and your day to day life. You have to remember that each person lives their lives inside their own head and they’re only concerned about themselves. When you view it from this perspective, the weight of opinions and expectations of others is lessened. It is up to you to live your own life and make it what you want.
- You are the only thing or person that can make you happy. This is a big one. Our reaction is to look outward for happiness, but the truth is that it can only come from within. So in order to get a head start on your own happiness, immediately stop looking to any person, product, or vacation to create happiness.