How Kevin Hart’s Book Became a Conversation About Life, Love, & Relationships at Woodstack Ivy (I Reflected on Myself)



Last week, Radio Personality Angela Yee held her monthly book club meeting with Atria Books at Woodstack Ivy in Brooklyn, N.Y. One of six locations, Woodstack is the place to be in the city. Boy, is it an event to see and attend, once a month so far, but ‘Kickin’ It from the Stoop’ has a big future. A trip is worth every minute to enjoy the family-oriented atmosphere, the all the way live crew, and a toast to the evening.


This month, June 21st was no exception to the rule, it was a success with a sold out bunch of participants, Elevated Elite was in the building, and others aspiring in media, music, and PR. The event was a great place to network, feeling like you belong no matter your opinion or your thoughts; a no judgement zone, indeed. It kicked off with conversation all around as the crowd showed up. Angela Yee arrived, drinks were served thanks to Ketel One, and the party was started. It was a sip and chat to remember. Sounds by DJ Jazzy T, the building was rocking with all of the hits. The first 20 RSVPs landed a free copy of Kevin Hart’s “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons.” Yee took the mic and had some assistance moderating and hosting from Woodstack’s VP of Marketing & Sales/GMM, Tony Forte on the classic stoop.

The below words were notes taken on the lessons and wise words spoken from Angela, Tony, and other attendees, infused with some of my own (this is what I took away from it):

The discussion was intense and heavy, starting with page 7 of Kevin’s book, on why not make light of the worst situations in your life. Whether your parents don’t want you, relationship fails, or you lose your job; there is a positive in it. You just have to be open to it and not thinking that it’s the end, because truth is it could always be worse. Live life with no regrets, always think maybe this is God’s will so that the next chapter will be written. It had to happen first.

You can always do more and better. Many times we all procrastinate at one point or another, but it’s important to always put your all in. Kevin did so, and that’s why he is as successful as he is today. He may not have always been as efficient as he is now, which he shares in the book, but there is always tomorrow.


You sometimes also have to edit your circle; everybody can’t be on your Board of Directors, because not everyone has your best interest at heart. Your crew should be uplifting you, giving you the most honesty, and helping make your better. They should be checking you when you’re out of line or not at your full potential, pushing you to the best version of yourself. You should be comfortable to be candid and frank with your friends/significant other, and not feel like you can’t be real or walk on egg shells at the thought. Some of us are afraid of the negativity they may throw our way if we share our dreams, tell them what we’re up to, or ask for advice. Maybe we’re afraid they just wouldn’t understand or support us, or believe in our vision. One argued that if you have to walk on egg shells, then you don’t really know one another. You should be supportive of one another regardless. We also interpret support differently, meaning not always do we understand just because you said, “I’m going to do XYZ.” Sometimes people assume that one understands and sometimes you need more, especially women. Sometimes one needs to be involved in the process or communicative about more details. Spoken like a true man and the co-moderator of the evening, sometimes that get draining always having to explain, he says. Sometimes it’s filling someone’s insecurities, agreed, and sometimes we just want to understand and might need help to. Share your dreams with one another; it’s important to the success of a long-lasting relationship.

Many would also blame their environment for their baggage or their behaviors. You’ve heard the saying, a product of your environment. It could be true that what you saw or heard growing up has a major effect on you in your adulthood. Several of those habits are taught or learned behaviors that you have to reason with and realize that it’s no excuse or that it doesn’t make it okay. It’s a matter of unpacking those childhood learned behaviors and figuring out how to be better despite. Some argued you have to seek right from wrong if you don’t know; simple access and exposure, but what if you don’t know what to do with the information you received, or can’t distinguish the right from the wrong. Definitely in a tarnished poisoned minded society now with social media, there is a lot of right, but a whole lot more wrong to pick through. If you don’t know, maybe you need help translating.

There is also such thing as learning how to argue with each other or teaching one to argue with you. If it’s not a good time right then to talk about it or if talking about at the heat of the moment is best. One should respect what’s best for the other in an argument. Although, sometimes it isn’t easy to accept when you want to settle it right then, its best. We all have struggled with that, sure thing. It’s also important to just sweep it under a rug like whatever the argument was didn’t happen. Arguments are inevitable in relationships, as Yee said, but you have to learn how and don’t band-aid it, that’ll only make matters worse later; promise.

You can’t listen when you’re talking. While someone is talking, you’re already thinking of a response; that’s not healthy active listening. This one is a major keys and an important lesson that we’ve all learned or may be still learning, mostly in relationships. Listen to your partner.


Wrapping up on page 168, sometimes society over celebrates great, whether good or great, brutally honest or settling for little; everyone isn’t going to get your vision and that’s okay, as long as you get it and it’s clear to you. Chase your dream like nobody is watching and is unapologetic about it. Never settle and take the brutal truth from whoever it may be from and run with it. Just be sure that it makes sense and your dream too. Sometimes they may be right or wrong. The truth hurts though. You may get a million no’s but it just takes that one opportunity and/or one person to give you that chance. Never remember the no’s. Realize that you need those failures and let them drive you, or that one person who doesn’t believe in you. Have a plan and live it. A wise man said you work on your dream 3 hours a day, but you want me to believe in it 24 hours a day; facts.

Don’t force it. Sometimes it may boil down to compatibility; you can love one from a distance. Don’t consistently look for validation or acceptance from someone else. It starts and ends with self-love.


Bottom line is you can learn a lot. Angela even learned that her voice carries. Good times with great people! As Yee said, the discussion always gets passionate, but it’s always all love. Don’t miss the next one, July 19th or see it live on Facebook. Be sure to RSVP!

Photo Credit(s): Angela Yee’s IG

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