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Few things are harder than swimming against a rising tide, but a support system to help steer you through can make all the difference. 

And who better to tap than mogul, philanthropist, hip-hop pioneer, and above all father, Russell Simmons, to guide young people on a mission to greatness? 

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Rising Tide exists as a resource for people striving to get from where they are to where they want to be, and Russell has signed on to be a part of the movement that will not only inspire, connect and build character, but also provide a community of people who can relate to past actions and look forward to achieving their goals in the near future, as a team. 

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While the team here at GlobalGrind does have the unique opportunity to be led by a man with a reputation as admirable as Russell’s, it’s all too often that even we don’t take the time to reflect on his lessons. With Russell’s new Rising Tide initiative on the forefront, we thought what better time than now to not only take in some of Russell’s knowledge, but to share it with you all. 

We caught up with the boss man for a quick interview about his new initiative, check it out below. 

GLOBALGRIND: Tell us a little about the concept behind Rising Tide and why you decided to get involved with it.

RUSSELL SIMMONS: I’ve been writing books, promoting, sharing, tweeting about conscious lifestyles and how they promote happiness and success. So when I have a vehicle of distribution like Rising Tide and a program already set up, it was very easy. These guys came to me, wanting to help me get the message out. It was a no-brainer.

Kyle Chais was the young millennial who had lunch with you after having his own book published at the age of 21. You dropped some gems at that luncheon, but what are some other lessons that you want to get out to young people?

The messaging is simple: Young people can get it just like adults.

Adults are all wrapped up in the world. What’s on the outside is taking people away from the truth that’s in the inside. Young people, you teach them to meditate. They meditate deeper, quicker than adults. In a world with fast-paced stuff going on, people believing that stuff’s more important than what’s on the inside, the more they will become separated from the truth. They’re more likely to think that everything on the outside is more valuable. I try to teach them that they already have what they need and everything else is just a result of knowledge.

People have to get this. If they operate with this, it makes everything easy and they’re also more attractive: Gift givers are great livers. I say it everyday, but people don’t always understand and all of us forget that the practice of remembering is what we’re doing. We’re trying to find practices that help to refine our spirit so we can be attractive to the universe. We want that. That’s what I’m trying to give as much as I can.

People need a chance to really get to where they just accept the truth that has been taught to them. Their mother told them, your father tells you: Just say the truth. But sometimes we forget. We have to frame it differently sometimes too, like what is the truth? There’s so many ways to say it. And scriptures are written, different languages, different colors people gave them. It’s the same truth. We have infinite potential that’s inside of us that needs to be unlocked and there are practices that move us towards them, ways of thinking. You want to remember these ways.

That’s my message that Rising Tide is helping to deliver, because it’s their message as well. It’s the same in different languages, from different scripture, from different prophets. It’s the same truth.

“Needing nothing attracts everything” — that concept may be hard for some millennials to grasp. How would you break that down so kids who are in that target age can grasp it?

Operate from abundance. You’ve heard that. No matter how rich you are you can always get yours in one piece. People don’t realize they think they need all the toys to be happy. Happiness has nothing to do with how many square feet you have or how big your house is.

Rising Tide is all about keeping people looking their best. Do you think a lot of people overlook how vital their first impression is? 

I’m always looking for people who are calm, thoughtful, and willing to serve.

You’ve broken in a lot of talents, but I am sure you have a lot more inquiries coming in every day. What determines a winner for you? How do you know the passion you’ve invested will always yield return?

It’s a little bit of instinct. You have to have a belief system of what you’re looking for. Then after that, you gotta have a little faith. You process what you see. You think somebody’s talented, you like their drive, whatever it is they have, then you can invest in them. Handle it the way you go about life in general. You have to act on what you believe.

Do you think the passion in getting discovered has shifted since social media has made everything so easy and accessible?

Everybody has a chance to grow. There is no excuse. We have the Internet, so if you want to be a doctor to study medicine, how do you do that? Then go to the library. Want to be a lawyer and study law? How do I do that? Go to the library! Now I say if you want to do anything, the entire world is at your fingertips. 

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