'How to Get Out of Your Own Way' by Tyrese Gibson

If you follow singer/actor/model Tyrese Gibson on Twitter, you probably won't be surprised that he has gone from creating a comic series ("Mayhem") to writing a self-help book. Just as he does on his Twitter account, he gives advice that can be a little raw and maybe hurt a few feelings, but it comes from what he feels are good intentions.

In the best-seller "How to Get Out of Your Own Way," Gibson focuses on several categories: friendship, relationships and cheating, his life in Hollywood, how childhood memories made him the man he is today, a brief overview of his married (and now divorced) life, and fatherhood.

If you're looking for guidance on how to keep a man from cheating, Gibson takes a shot at it and his advice may leave some women feeling inspired. "Don't think any less of yourself because of what a man does on his own," he writes. "It's not going to feel good when you find out, but it has nothing to do with what you're not doing or the fact that you could improve in any area . . . Stop owning it, stop feeling like it's your fault or you could have done something any differently than what you were doing."

However, he may also raise a few eyebrows when he tells women, "Men can change and it takes a firm, strong, and solid woman who has a very high tolerance for bull[expletive] to introduce us to a better version of ourselves." He proudly confesses that he has a lot of respect for strong women like his (now ex-) wife who thought he would grow out of cheating. He feels that being honest (regardless of being wrong) about cheating, is better than lying about it. His views on romantic relationships versus business partnerships and friendships are ironic considering the rest of the book was very clear about ditching any type of dead weight and always shooting to be the best.

He credited plenty of his advice to his mentor, actor/rapper Will Smith. Through Smith's encouragement, Gibson learned to take better care of himself physically and mentally. Although I think he beat himself up a little too much about weight gain in the 2006 film "Waist Deep" (I had no complaints watching his running scene), it's hard to knock someone who wants to look and feel their best professionally.

He admits to having a not-so-wonderful childhood of dealing with many hungry nights, an alcoholic mother and a neighborhood riddled with gangs. But what he won't tolerate is people being so hung up on their past that they won't improve. Instead of making excuses for his mother or his own mischievous days (like beating up little boys and taking their bikes), his goal is to get readers to stop marinating in negative childhood memories.

In an intimate moment, Gibson reveals that during a conversation with his mother about her alcohol abuse, he found out she was only repeating the same childhood experience she had with Gibson's grandmother, her own mother. He also touches on how uncomfortable he felt while filming "Baby Boy" because so much of the film reminded him of his mother's boyfriend.

Gibson speaks plainly about readers needing to find a good group of positive friends, which he calls a "circle of five," named for the five people with which you spend the most time. To narrow down your group of friends, Gibson writes that you may need to change phone numbers and handle disposable relationships.

If you've read comedian Steve Harvey's latest book "Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man," you may be interested to know that Gibson has a different view from Steve Harvey about whether men can be intimidated by a woman's success. However, the actor has suggestions for women on how to go about being proud of their success without flaunting it. He uses his own dating experiences and a comment from an undisclosed rapper to point out the difference between arrogance and pride.

The singer didn't hesitate to discuss a few insecurities of his own, mainly trying to prove that he hasn't changed once since he became successful. In the process, he wasn't making the best decisions when it came to his own attitude or his money. He had to fire some people, limit time with certain family members and friends, and rid himself of negative energy.

He glosses over politics and the economy, but sticks to the entertainment industry when talking about business. However, he writes that those settled into not doing better for themselves may be in their own way. "I know there's a recession and the unemployment rate in this country is at an all-time high, but I'm also aware that there are people out there who were capable of working before the recession hit, who purposely decided to be lazy bums and sit around the house collecting unemployment and taking advantage of the system."

That said, the book isn't one big glum story with Gibson wagging his finger at everybody. His fans will find out how he started his career as a bright-eyed, smiling teenager in a Coca Cola commercial and read about how he met director John Singleton and ended up in "Baby Boy" and "2 Fast 2 Furious." They'll find out his connection to Reverend Run (of Run DMC) and learn about several of his conversations with Will Smith and an interesting discussion withStevie Wonder.

If you're looking for a tell-all memoir, this isn't that book. While he does touch on his past (but respectfully leaves out a lot of grimy details) and talks about his career, Gibson's focus is mainly on helping readers through his own life experiences. His advice may be obvious and repetitive to some but for those readers who just can't seem to narrow down their goals or keep making the same mistakes, this text may reveal helpful hints. And if fans just want to know a little bit more about Tyrese Gibson than he's already provided in interviews, why not give it a shot?

How to Get Out of Your Own Way
By Tyrese Gibson
Grand Central Publishing, 275 pages, $24.99 (hardcover)