Think of the “godfather of hip-hop” Russell Simmons and you definitely think RICH. He founded the music label Def Jam as well as clothing lines such as Phat Farm and American Classics. With a net worth estimate of $340 million, he is the third richest figure in hip-hop, only behind artists Diddy and Jay-Z. But do you also think of yoga and spirituality when you think of Russell Simmons?
Simmons is the author (along with Chris Morrow) of Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All. His business website www.rushcommunications.com relates his many business successes, which “have spanned music, film, television, fashion, video games, online and financial services” and his activism, which “has encompassed all of the areas touched by his businesses, including poverty, education, social justice and inclusion.”
It’s easy to daydream about being incredibly rich, but Simmons is more than just about having a lot of money. He grew up in a lower-middle class African-American community in Queens and recently was named one of the 25 most influential people of the last 25 years by USA Today. He has two beautiful daughters he adores (and a beautiful, well-known, and accomplished ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons). Not only does he practice yoga, meditation, and philanthropy, he also eats no meat. He believes that there is a connection between his spiritual practices and his worldly success.
The title of his book Super Rich might make you think it’s all about accumulating money, but to Simmons that term means “the state of needing nothing.” That’s powerful! THE STATE OF NEEDING NOTHING. Imagine being in that state. Surely, you’d feel super rich. But how do you achieve that state? Simmons says that we have to “clear out the clutter and quiet the noise” that keeps us from “hearing” or connecting with the happiness…or the richness…that is already inside of us.
He says that we attract the world to us by giving until the world can’t live without what you have to offer. Huh? To get rich, you just give away what you have? YES! He quotes yogis: “You never lose what you have given” and says that if you “just show the world a fraction of the sweetness and honesty that’s in your heart, it’s going to come running after you.”
What else can you do to attain the STATE OF NEEDING NOTHING?
- Access stillness…that “quiet, peaceful mental state that allows you to be completely present in life.” Then you can become “totally connected with the inspiration and imagination that’s inside [you].”
- “Stay focused on your work without any expectations for, or concern with, the fruit of your labor” and “operate out of a zone of pure focus and clarity” like Michael Jordan did on the basketball court.
- Be a business yogi and “only do shit you believe in. Period!” Vegan Simmons, for example, says he would never invest in a restaurant that serves meat. If you are a yogi, you won’t do work that creates instability or suffering in the world. Let go of the results…and watch what happens!
- “Be reborn every day.” Simmons went from being a drug dealer to a mega-rich businessman, yogi, author (he previously penned the New York Times best seller Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success), and humanitarian. How did he do that? He “began moving away from [his] unconscious state and toward enlightenment.” He says it is important to “get open”…to be fluid and creative and never rigid.
- Build bridges…with people of other races, religions, beliefs, etc…that will bring people together. Recognize that we are all connected.
- Practice and realize the power of acceptance and love of others and what is.
- Enjoy and be grateful for the material things, but don’t become burdened by or attached to what you have. Instead, achieve balance in life.
- “Make a real commitment to being conscious and compassionate.” He quotes the story of the Bhagavad Gita and Arjuna’s final words to Lord Krishna: “Through your kind conversation, I’ve woken up and am conscious of who I really am.” Simmons says that even if you fall short in all the above things, if you are conscious and compassionate, you will…like Arjuna…become more awake, which is “central to all your success.”
Simmons says that, armed with the knowledge in the book, we can be like Arjuna and:
To fight not for what you can get for yourself, but what you can give to others.
To fight not for your own abundance, but for the abundance of others.
To fight not for your own security, but for the peace and safety of others.
To fight not for your own joy, but for the happiness of others.
To fight not for your own upliftment, but for the enlightenment of others.
Russell Simmons, hip-hop, fashion, and multi-business mogul, yogi, father, UN Goodwill Ambassador, vegan, and philanthropist, ends the book by saying:
When you are devoted to fighting for these things with a smile on your face and love radiating out of your heart, then all these things will be yours. You will have it all. You will be Super Rich.
How refreshing to see someone who truly is super rich in every way practice what he says. Thanks, Russell Simmons.NOTE: This post also appears at http://project-prosperity.com/2011/07/30/hip-hop-yoga-and-being-super-rich.