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Will Smith shares an open, vulnerable, and entertaining overview of his life and career.

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Key Takeaways

  1. A name carries a lot of weight. Will got his name from his father and what it signifies is his greatest gift, will, the ability to overcome
  2. Obstacles can seem insurmountable if you look at it directly. To overcome anything, take it one step at a time. If you do that, you’re invincible
  3. His dad was street smart where his mom was book smart. His dad had a military mindset where every detail mattered and everything was a mission. His father taught him the value of hard work and discipline, his mother the power of education, and his grandma the power of love
  4. Will has an insanely vivid imagination, bordering on delusional. He can make himself believe nearly anything and spends much of his time in fantasy. This makes him an incredible storyteller and empath, but also made him an odd duck when he was young
  5. Nothing beats funny.
  6. Most wait for wisdom before taking action. That’s exactly backwards. We have to act and take risks before we can gain wisdom. The universe only teaches through experience
  7. Environment is critically important. Choosing where you live is as important as your spouse.
  8. The universe is magical, not logical. Don’t try to make it “sum”, understand it is complex and illogical
  9. The story about how Quincy Jones flew Will out to LA to audition for Fresh Prince of Bel Air in the middle of Quincy’s birthday party is amazing
  10. There are only two human problems – knowing what you want, but not knowing how to get it. Not knowing what you want. – Stephen Covey. Clarity of vision makes things simple, brings clarity. It doesn’t make it easy, but it does shine the path forward
  11. A world class movie star is good at fighting, is funny, is good at sex  – 3 key human desires
  12. Will’s devotion to his word, to doing everything he can, being as prepared as he can, is admirable. Quitting isn’t in his vocabulary and it is amazing to hear the lengths he goes through to achieve all he can
  13. There is nothing more energizing or empowering than when you discover and live out your purpose
  14. Will had an unprecedented streak in the mid 2000s. His team took on the fight club mentality that was fostered during the filming of Ali. Everyone was pushing themselves to be better. If you weren’t helping, you were hurting
  15. Will openly discusses some failures in his relationships and some OS-level beliefs he had to rethink. He discusses how Ayahuasca helped him and how he learned that resting and listening is just as powerful as doing and talking. At the end of your life, the internal contentment you have is all that matters. Did you lead a useful life? Did you help others?

What I got out of it

  1. I found myself openly laughing out loud and crying at times throughout this book. I did the audible version and it was great to hear the book in Will’s own voice and intonation. Definitely worth the read

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