He’s only 32, but after contending with everything from ghastly gangbangers to evil extraterrestrials, actor, recording artist and South Central, L.A.-product Tyrese Gibson figures he’s learned a lot about life, love and happiness. And now he’s itching to share that hard-won knowledge with the world. Gibson covers a lot of territory in How to Get Out of Your Own Way, an earnest self-help book aimed at improving lives and fostering positive relationships. But for a man who’s gone from the depths of poverty to the heights of fame and fortune, it’s really more of a solemn duty than a labor of love.
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What’s been the most satisfying part of this experience for you?
I just love the idea that people are going to know the things that I know, because I want to share what I know…It’s arrogant to believe that the next second belongs to you. It’s arrogant to believe that tomorrow’s guaranteed because you’re praying about it or whatever else. Tomorrow is not promised. So, while you’re here, what are you doing with your knowledge and your information and your awareness that can impact the lives of other people? Are you keeping it to yourself?
It’s very fulfilling knowing that what I write on Twitter, what I’m speaking on, what I’m thinking and putting out in the universe, people are actually paying attention and holding onto every word. It doesn’t matter that I’m 32 years old. If there’s something that I’m aware of, [that] I’m thinking and I’m feeling, then it’s my responsibility and obligation to pass it on because you just never know how it can impact somebody’s life.
Who were you thinking about when you were putting this book together?
I was thinking about everybody, man. This ain’t no book that’s specifically targeted toward kids. I wanted to cover [ages] 15 through 90. There’s something in there for everybody. I’ve gotten so much knowledge and information and wisdom from so many different walks of life. I’ve even had a 12-year-old girl tell me, “You’ll never know who you are until you discover who you’re not.” I get my knowledge from everybody and anybody that’s willing to share it. I’m an open book. I never come into the room thinking that I know everything. Because I don’t.
You say in your book that every level is another devil—what’s the toughest devil you’re dealing with right now?
Every level is another devil. Or you can say that every level of your life creates new challenges. So, I don’t think I’m dealing with any devils right now. I’m dealing with challenges and seeking clarity for things that I still don’t understand. The things that I have already figured out, I tend to Tweet about and write about…Those things I haven’t figured out, I keep to myself until I figure out. Then when I do, I share it.
How do the issues you talk about in your book inform the movie roles you choose?
Well, it says in the Bible that any man with no plan shall perish. God gave us all free will. The opportunity to do a movie is a blessing but [you have to ask yourself], “Does this movie make sense to your life and the direction that you’re after?” If you don’t have a sense of direction, then you’re just going to be excited about the opportunity to pretty much do any and everything that’s sent your way. So, it’s about discernment. It’s about having some sort of plan. Everything else is just God ordering your footsteps.
There’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t plan—most of the stuff in my life I didn’t plan. When blessings and opportunities pop up, I’m like, “OK, God, hold on. What does it mean?” I didn’t pray. I didn’t ask for this. But it’s here. How can I make sense of this because it’s right here in my face? It’s clearly something that I’m supposed to do because I can’t get away from this feeling that it is something I’m supposed to do. That’s free will. But it still requires you to think and wrap your head around as much stuff as possible pertaining to these unexpected blessings. Everything else is about you having these ideas and moving on them and knowing that the universe is going to get out of your way.