Oprah Winfrey referred to Will Smith’s autobiography as “The best memoir I’ve ever read”. In Will, American actor Will Smith takes the reader on a journey about his life, growing up in West Philadelphia, his parental influences, his rapping and acting career. Smith was very vulnerable about his failures (divorce, tax issues), successes (box office chart breaking records and movies).
What you have come to understand as “Will Smith,” the alien-annihilating MC, the bigger-than-life movie star, is largely a construction—a carefully crafted and honed character—designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world. To hide the coward.
Here are some great quotable quotes from Will by Will Smith:
- In acting, understanding a character’s fears is a critical part of understanding his or her psyche. The fears create desires and the desires precipitate actions. These repetitive actions and predictable responses are the building blocks of great cinematic characters.
- Comedy is an extension of intelligence. It’s hard to be really funny if you’re not really smart.
- Living in your own little world with your own rules can be an advantage sometimes, but you have to be careful. You can’t get too detached from reality. Because there are consequences.
- There is no wall. There are only bricks. Your job is to lay this brick perfectly. Then move on to the next brick. Then lay that brick perfectly. Then the next one. Don’t be worrying about no wall. Your only concern is one brick.
Sometimes we’d rather blindfold ourselves than take a cold, hard look at the world exactly as it is.
- There’s a moment when your fantasies recede and you realize that you are still you. Imaginary friends or dunking basketballs won’t make the fear go away. They may help you forget for a moment, but reality remains undefeated.
- Funny is color-blind; comedy defuses all negativity. It is impossible to be angry, hateful, or violent when you’re doubled over laughing.
- Hope sustains life. Hope is the elixir of survival during our darkest times. The ability to envision and imagine a brighter day gives meaning to our suffering and renders it bearable. When we lose hope, we lose our central source of strength and resilience.
- All fantasies eventually fail. No matter how hard you fight, the truth is undefeated; reality remains the undisputed champ.
- Life is learning. Period. Overcoming ignorance is the whole point of the journey. You’re not supposed to know at the beginning. The whole point of venturing into uncertainty is to bring light to the darkness of our ignorance.
Life is like school, with one key difference—in school you get the lesson, and then you take the test. But in life, you get the test, and it’s your job to take the lesson.
- There’s a strange thing that happens when someone falls: Your demise somehow proves to everyone you’ve ever disagreed with that they were right, and you were wrong.
- Impermanence is the only thing you can truly rely on. If you are unwilling or unable to pivot and adapt to the incessant, fluctuating tides of life, you will not enjoy being here.
- When you know what you want, it clarifies what you don’t want. And even painful decisions, though not easy, become simple.
It is better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war.– Bruce Lee
- Desire is personal, narrow, and pointed, and tends toward self-preservation, self-gratification, and short-term gains and pleasures. Purpose is wider, broader, a longer-term vision encompassing the benefit of others—something outside of yourself you’re willing to fight for.
- The more you get, the more you want. It’s like drinking salt water to quench your thirst. We develop a tolerance that makes us need more just to get the same high.
A noble aim engenders positive feelings. When we pursue what we believe to be a profound and valuable goal, it stirs the best parts of ourselves and others.
- Love is hard. It takes enormous courage to open a wounded heart over and over again to the possibility of love’s bliss. Love demands bravery, a willingness to risk it all.
- Bravery does not mean the absence of fear. Bravery is learning to continue forward even when you’re terrified.
How we decide to respond to our fears, that is the person we become.
- Stopping was equally as powerful as going; resting was equally as powerful as training; silence was equally as powerful as talking. Letting go was equally as powerful as grasping.
- Act when the universe is open, and rest when she’s closed.
- Death has a way of transforming the mundane into the magical.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.