Kevin Hart talks becoming a dad for third time, reveals life lessons from book

The comedian opened up about his upbringing shedding light on who he is today.

ByABC NEWS
June 06, 2017, 11:05 AM

— -- Comedian and actor Kevin Hart opened up on "Good Morning America" about how his humble beginnings shaped his career and outlook on life.

Hart introduced his new book this morning titled, "I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons." Hart also spoke about preparing for his third child, who’s on the way.

"No, [I'm] absolutely not [ready]," Hart, who has two children from his first marriage, joked about being a father again. "I kept buying dogs. I held off for a long time. Every time she [my wife] brought a baby up, I just showed up with a dog. Eventually, she was like, 'No. I want to have a kid.' I was like, 'But I got two kids. We're married. My kids are your kids.'

"She was like, 'I know, but they're grown. I want new ones.' I [said], 'Stop talking about my kids like they're used cars ... no, I get it. You're absolutely right. I want to have a baby.' So then we decided to have a baby. We actually planned it."

Hart, 37, said his book, "I Can't Make This Up," is dedicated to his mom, who died several years ago.

"Spiritually, I do believe that my mother's very much still present," the Philadelphia native said. "That's my angel. I think that there's been a lot of moments in my life after my mom has passed where I was faced with adversity or faced with a door that didn't seem like it wasn't going to slam in my face that did and I was able to make it through those moments because of a smile that I knew that I had over me."

He continued, "I've always felt protected, so this book is dedicated to her for major reasons. I'm the man that I am today because of my mom."

Hart shared some of his favorite stories behind his jokes and the lessons he's learned about life, success, parenting and relationships. Here’s a look at four of his life lessons:

1. Learn to laugh at yourself

Growing up, Hart quickly learned that his height would be a shortcoming, or it would play to his advantage. As a high school sophomore, the self-described "mama's boy" longed to get girls and be popular. He writes that he decided to accept himself and embraced his size by being the "funny guy" -- and it paid off.

"As the little guy, you have a choice to make if you want to be popular: You can be the tough guy and overcompensate for your mini-me self, or you can be the funny guy and accept your size. An added incentive for choosing the latter is that it's hard for someone to punch you while they’re laughing," he writes. "I chose to be the funny guy. Having nothing to prove is the most freeing thing in the world. Rather than constantly defending your ego, you can have a sense of humor about your shortcomings."

He continues: "Because I didn't take myself and life so seriously, girls started to hang around me more. And that's when I realized: The fun guys always wins."

2. Listen to your mom

Through the years, Hart has always looked up to his mother who he describes as a "tough woman" who was "more intimidating than any gang." She ran a tight ship at home, instilled a work ethic in him from the beginning, and made sure he "had a good heart." She also encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

Hart was working as a sneaker salesman at City Sport when a co-worker suggested he try stand-up comedy for the first time. After an amateur night at a club called the Laff House, he believed he’d found his calling, and quit his day job to pursue comedy full time. His mom said she'd give him a year to make it professionally and help him with rent. She gave him a Bible, which she ordered him to read in lieu of attending church with her. Months later, Hart recounts hounding his mother for rent. Each time, she'd point him back to read the Bible: "When you read your Bible, then we'll talk about rent." Months passed, an eviction notice came, and Hart finally opened the Bible she gave him.

"I pulled it out of a drawer and opened it for the first time since she'd given it to me. A stack of rent checks, all signed and dated for the first of each month for the whole year, fell out. She'd kept her promise after all," he writes. "She was a tough woman and always true to her word."

Hart learned to listen to his mom the hard way.

3. 'Success is a community effort'

Hart credits his likeability with giving him an "edge" in scoring auditions and career success.

"No person success alone. Success is a community effort. The more relationships you have, the better you’ll be able to survive, thrive, and grow," he writes. "You rise out of your humble beginnings to become part of a community, and it is only together as equals that we will save the world."

4. Don't underestimate the value of education

For Hart, school was not the place he would put in hard work, "In academics, less was best," he wrote. When the time came to take the SAT test, which he knew would determine his future, Hart didn't even study and he says he took the exam in only 20 minutes, answering the multiple choice test with a repeated pattern of answers, because he had to meet his friends at an amusement park.

"Turning 18, graduating and being free -- those were the things that concerned me," he writes in the chapter, adding he'd never even considered the future. His low scores and failure to apply to colleges made him feel "lower and lower" with no plans.

"I should have taken school more seriously; I should have had a plan like everyone else," he adds. "I still feel that way. But there's an additional lesson that I get from it now: it's never too late to start caring."

Hart writes, "No matter what you may think, education is important and you need it and you can't succeed without it -- unless you're talented and intelligent and figure out another path."

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