All Jokes Aside: Life Lessons From Steve Harvey

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

(Image: SteveHarvey.com)
(Image: SteveHarvey.com)

Steve Harvey has become an international icon by re-inventing himself using proven principles of success and bouncing back from adversity. When he shares his story, masses are instantly magnetized because of his authenticity, style, charisma, philanthropy, “no nonsense” persona and, of course, his comedic genius.

If you ever had the chance to hear Harvey talk about his life journey, you’d be absolutely amazed and motivated to make necessary adjustments. No matter what stage he’s on, you won’t find a message that’s corporately scripted, but rather one that’s straight from the heart. To hear the details of his downfall in 2007 – that resulted in failed finances, failed relationships and forsaken friendships – to his “destiny awakening” and triumphant turnaround is nothing short of empowering.

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I had the privilege of speaking with him personally about the perils of people discovering their gifts and knowing their purpose but failing to create plans of action and execute them. He candidly expressed that to go through the process of discovering your gift, knowing the purpose for that gift, but not doing anything with it, only serves as an injustice to oneself. Period. He challenges, “Why would anyone have a wonderful [gift] on the inside and never explore it? Why wouldn’t anyone ever take the chance to see what could be [possible] for them?” The gift is freely given but it must be explored and acted upon.

We’ve all heard that “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Harvey believes that if what you’re experiencing in life is not what you want, then you have the opportunity to change those circumstances with the discovery and active use of your God-given gift to serve someone. To perpetually ignore, procrastinate, and make excuses is a sheer misfortune and disservice to your own destiny.

Speaking of not making excuses, Harvey spoke of the hope he endured even while being homeless for three years and living in his car. Most of those times, he was still doing comedy gigs knowing that his living conditions weren’t ideal. “I was still cool in the car. I knew it wasn’t permanent. I’d rather be living in purpose and doing what I was born to do than to be somewhere else just because they are passing me a [pay]check.”

Harvey is thriving today off of the fruit of fortitude, the bountiful grains of gratitude, and the resiliency of reinvention. His success story is a living testament that no matter how many times you fall down, you have complete autonomy to decide whether to get back up again. Yes, Harvey’s story confirmed my comeback mantra, which I’ve clung to for the past five years: Refine. Reinvent. Recover.

Because success is never solo, having an opportunity to meet some of his brilliant team, including Doreen Rainey, vice president of operations, transformation division at Steve Harvey World Group and CEO and founder of The Radical Success Institute.

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