We were so inspired by this compilation video of profound thoughts from Will Smith, that we’re not only sharing the video, but have transcribed it here for you. Whenever possible, we’ve searched out the original sources to tribute.
We agree with Will about the power of your words and thoughts to utterly transform, create, and mold your life. You will notice that the ending quote extracted from his landmark movie, The Pursuit Of Happyness, is so in keeping with Will’s consistent message and belief, that it’s as though he wasn’t acting in that movie… he was just being a part of who he already is. Enjoy!
I have a great time with my life, and… I want to share it. Will Smith
0:14 – Will Smith shares his wisdom on life.
I love living. I think it’s infectious. It’s something that you can’t fake.
0:25 – Greatness exists in all of us.
Greatness is not this elusive, esoteric, god-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists in all of us. It’s very simple. This is what I believe, and… I’m willing to die for it. I know who I am and what I believe and that’s all I need to know. So from there, you do what you need to do.
I think what happens is, we make situation more complex than it has to be… because [we think] it can’t be that easy.
1:16 – Yes it can.
We didn’t grow up with the sense that where we were was where we were going to be. We grew up with the sense that where we were almost didn’t matter because we were becoming something greater.
1:37 – There’s no shortcut to success. NBC Today Not Your Average Superhero with Matt Lauer
The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, that want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.
I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented.
[Tweet “Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic.” Will Smith, @60Minutes with Steve Kroft]
You know? While the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy’s eating, I’m working.
There’s no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are your talent is going to fail you if you’re not skilled. If you don’t study, if you don’t work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day, you’ll never be able to communicate with people, with your artistry the way that you want.
2:36 – The only thing that i see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. From appearance on Tavis Smiley’s show.
You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, but if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: either you’re getting off first, or I’m gonna die. It’s really that simple.
3:02 – Lay one brick at a time, excerpt from CBS 60 Minutes Interview with Steve Kroft
[One summer Will’s dad tore down the brick wall on the front of his business and told 12 year old Will and his 9 year old brother, to rebuild it, a job they said was impossible. It took them a year and a half, but they did it]. About this, Will said his dad said:
‘Now don’t you ever tell me there’s something you can’t do.’
You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m gonna build the biggest, baddest wall that’s ever been built. You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m gonna lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be built, and you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.’
3:46 – Focus on making a difference.
An idea that my grandmother always had, that if you’re going to be here then there’s a necessity to make a difference. She always instilled the responsibility… the spiritual responsibility that you have to make every group you come into contact with, better.
I want to do good. I want the world to be better because I was here.
4:11 – [From Oprah clip now yet found] I want my life, I want my work, my family… I want it to mean something. And it’s like, if you’re not making someone elses life better, then you’re wasting your time.
Your life will become better by making others lives better.
4:31 – Represent an idea.
I want to represent an idea. I want to represent possibilities. I want to represent the idea that you really can make what you want. One of my favorite books is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo. And I just believe that. I believe that I can create whatever I want to create.
The first step before anybody else in the world believes it, is you have to believe it. There’s no reason to have a ‘Plan B’ because it distracts from ‘Plan A’.
I think that there’s a certain delusional quality that all successful people have to have. You have to believe that something different than what has happened for the last 50 million years of history… you have to believe that something different can happen.
5:44 – Confucius said, ‘He who says he can, and he who says he can’t, are both usually right.’
5:47 – Nothing is unrealistic.
Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. WHY would you be realistic? What’s the point of being realistic? I’m going to do it… it’s done… it’s already done the second I decide it’s done it’s already done. Now we just gotta wait for ya’ll to see.
It’s unrealistic to walk into a room and for lights to come on. That’s unrealistic. Fortunately, Edison didn’t think so. It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to bend a piece of metal and fly people over an ocean in that metal. That’s unrealistic. But fortunately, the Wright Brothers and others did believe that.
And it just seems like a ridiculous idea to me to embrace the idea that something is ridiculous and that’s not gonna happen, [because] as soon as you say it, now you just made that real.
6:46 – Our thoughts are physical.
Our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our ideas are physical in the universe. That if we dream something, if we picture something, if we commit ourselves to it, that that is a physical thrust towards realization that we can put into the universe… that the universe is not a thing that’s going to push us around. That the world and people and situations are not something that’s going to push us around. That we are going to bend the universe and command and demand that the universe become what we want it to be.
I study the patterns of the universe.
There is a redemptive power that making a choice has, you know? Rather than feeling like you are at effect to all the things that are happening. Make a choice, right? You just decide, what it’s going to be, who you’re gonna be, how you’re gonna do it. Just decide, and then from that point, the universe is going to get out your way. It’s like water… it wants to move around and go around stuff, you know.
There’s a flow of the universe that I’ve grown to know just how to go with it.
8:08 – You really gotta focus.
I realize that… to have the level of success that I want to have, it’s difficult to spread it out and do multiple things. It takes such a desperate, obsessive focus…. you really gotta focus with all of your fiber and all of your heart and all your creativity.
8:32 Attack your fears. Excerpt from CBS 60 Minutes Interview with Steve Kroft
I’m motivated by fear. you know? [Fear of what?] Fear of fear. I hate being scared to do something. And I think what developed in my early days, was the attitude that I started attacking things that I was scared of.
[FDR quote: The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural speech.]
9:03 Be willing to die for the Truth.
You can’t be scared to die for the truth. The truth is the only thing that’s ever going to be constant.
9:15: Protect your dream. [From The Pursuit Of Happyness movie]: ‘Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something… not even me. Alright?
You got a dream… you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go and get it. Period.’