I have to admit that I don’t know much about James Brown and his music. My greatest memory of him is his cameo in one of my favorite movies, Rocky IV, where he sang “Living in America.”
I read a quote from Pharrell this week about Mr. Brown that resonated with me. It said, “James Brown’s music never spoke to an age. It spoke to a spirit…the spirit to be free.”
That quote stuck with me because, as my brother and I get ready to release our book, The School of Hard Knocks, in the next few weeks, it is our expectation that what we labored on the past twelve months will speak to the spirit of our readers.
We have been asked what is the book about and who is it for? The book is full of lessons we’ve lived. Some birthed out of pain. Others birthed out of joy. Yet, all of them with one purpose: to encourage the reader that regardless of what education they are receiving, whether in a classroom or in the workplace, that they would align themselves in the best position to succeed.
Who is it for? It is for the person who knows there is more to life. It is for the person who cannot understand why certain things have happened to them. It is for the person who is willing to risk everything to pursue a dream. It is for the spirit that longs to be free, whether it be from mediocrity, a toxic relationship, or the negative expectations from people who cannot see the greatness within.
I close with an excerpt from the introduction of our book, with expectation it will speak to your spirit.
Every person chases after something. So often those who are running are judged by where they are in the race or, sadly, by onlookers’ perceptions of where the finish line lies even while the contest continues. One lesson we have learned, however, is that how a person comes out of the gates when the gun goes off is less important than if he or she finishes the race. Along the way, we all will do foolish things that will cause us to stumble, and many people will want to dismiss our participation outright because of this. Life will occasionally weaken us to the point that we will want to give up on all that we have set our hearts and minds to do. Failures will humble us, perhaps so much that we will feel as though we are nobodies. But like the song we sang back in Sunday school says, “Nobody’s a nobody. Everybody is somebody.”
Because of faith, hope, and love we have committed ourselves to staying loyal to who we are and what we have set out to do. The lessons you are about to read are the truths we have discovered along our path toward finding success and purpose in our own lives. They have set us free. May they do the same for you.
Pre-order The School of Hard Knocks by clicking here.