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What follows is the first of a series of excerpts from my new book Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All, which will be released on January 4th. To read excerpt 5, click here.


EXCERPT 6: Be Reborn Everyday

When I was a young man I did some pretty foul shit. I didn’t mug old ladies, mistreat children, or—God forbid—kill anyone. But I did deal drugs, run with gangs, and steal from people in my community. I devoured pig’s feet, chitlins, and steak without thinking about, let alone shedding a tear, for all the animals that were being sacrificed at the altar to my gluttonous appetite. I even fired a shot (albeit while intentionally aiming high) at a rival drug dealer in a misguided attempt to earn some street cred. In short, I did not enjoy a healthy relationship with the world.

At the time, however, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with how I was living. Unconscious of my higher self, I tended to respond to the low notes that were being played very loudly around me. In my unevolved mind, I was simply doing what I had to do to make it on the streets of New York. How my actions affected anyone else didn’t concern me.

Thirty odd years later, things have changed. Now I’m a vegan, I don’t drink or smoke, and I try to do everything within my power to preserve and uplift life. I run several charities, provide for dozens of employees, and strive to maintain a healthy relationship with the people in my life and the larger world in general.

How did I go from being a drug dealer to a yogi? From a street punk to an engaged, if slightly offbeat, servant of the community? From a kid who spent his days hustling on the corner of 205th Street and Hollis Avenue to a businessman whose office has a sweeping view of Manhattan?? From getting booked for selling fake cocaine to writing this book?

-Russell Simmons

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