Russell Simmons: Super Rich

Having read almost every book in the personal development/spirituality section of the book shop I wondered what more Russell Simmons could possibly add to this subject matter that hasn’t already been said.

Following on from the success of Do You! @UncleRush takes us deeper into the art of spiritual practice. Throughout Super Rich: A guide to having it all’, he uses real life examples to help us grasp particular scenarios, then spells out very clearly how suffering can be encountered in that situation, or as he advises, we can simply choose to relieve the suffering of others. I stayed up all night reading ‘Super Rich’, and eagerly anticipated each new page as I flicked through the small hard back book. There were many a “aha” moment when I simply sat there allowing the last statement to resonate on a level which can only be described as that of resounding truth.

Though himself ‘super-rich’, Russell Simmons doesn’t share a business plan for your own success, but he does impart priceless gems on the ingredients necessary for all success. He says that true riches are defined as finding your hidden potential, making a positive impact on the world, and being happy with life. However, learning the secrets that lead you to true riches will also manifest itself in business, financial, and personal success. You will see that when you take the focus off your own success and care about the success of others, positive things will happen in your life. You will find favour with others and doors of opportunity will open. He even speaks from a personal standpoint and shares advice on how to handle previous relationships amicably, from a place of unconditional love. Bet you didn’t think that had anything to do with being ‘super-rich’ now did you?

Don’t get me wrong this book’s not airy fairy, it’s essentially about finding your gift and figuring out a way to express that gift and share it with the world. You’re already rich if your spirit is rich. He believes that each of us has a gift given to us by God. It is crucial to identify your gift, and pursue it in every way possible. If your gift is not pursued you will suffer, he warns. You must take every opportunity to share your gift with the world, and not worry about receiving money for it. A strange paradox, but Simmons reassures us the money will come. All the other stuff is just “noise” says Simmons, which must be ignored as we lose ourselves in what we’re most passionate about.

Russell Simmons also describes the toys which many wealthy people surround themselves with as “noise”, and redefines success not in terms of financial gain, but as a combination of consciousness and compassion – the “Two Cs”. At times Uncle Yogi gets a bit deep as he expresses his view on us having the same calmness at a funeral as you would when watching a baby smile. He’s probably at a much more advanced stage of enlightenment than me, but that sounds like a bit of a stretch for anyone, even Mother Theresa who he said at times questioned her own relationship with God. The message though is to break free of the boundaries that you have either imposed on yourself, or allowed to be imposed on you by others. Get rid of the constraints or feelings of the need for money and toys. Keep in mind this is coming from a man who lived in a 50,000 square foot house. He’s telling you to give it up, and try a new approach.

The Sanskrit and Bhagavad Gita quotes are great; however it would have been refreshing if the quotes came from a variety of sources which have inspired Mr. Simmons over the years (as with the stories) rather than from one area of his life, yoga. Having said that it’s still my favourite book of the year so far and one I’ll be encouraging my sons to read. This book has the ability to raise the consciousness of a generation.

Deb McKoy