The video below includes a compilation of Will Smith interviews where he shares many ideas regarding skill, success, work ethic, and more.
I highly recommend taking the time to watch the video. Will Smith is one of the most successful actors in the world. I actually featured one of his past performances in a previous entry. He is clearly talented, but his success didn’t come by accident. He has worked extremely hard to become who he is today.
I still remember listening to his music in the late 1980’s. He came out with the Parents Just Don’t Understand song in 1988. I also remember watching the first ever episode of the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. No one in their right mind could have guessed how popular the show would become in the early 1990’s. Will Smith was not even considered an actor. Twenty years later he has become one of the most notable actors in the world.
As you watch the video above, you’ll notice that his interviews are filled with quote worthy one liners. A few that stuck out to me are listed below.
First, I agree with his assessment of talent vs. skill. Talent will only take you so far. It’s amazing what a relentless work ethic will allow you to achieve. Unfortunately, hard work is a phrase that has different meanings for different people.
“I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic.”
He then speaks on the importance of constantly striving to improve. On paper, the concept appears obvious, but in reality, it is often a rarity. So many people get lost in habit. They go through the motions without ever attempting to move forward.
“Dedicate yourself to being better every single day.”
I also appreciate and can personally relate to his ideas about somehow improving the world. When I look at my kids, I want them to be proud of their father. When I leave this world, I’d like to think that there are people out there who have benefited from my presence. I never wanted to blend in with the crowd. I want to be different and make a difference.
“I want the world to be better because I was here.”
Finally, I believe I’ve saved the best for last. No one becomes great by doing what everyone else does or expects you to do. I’ve always thought that no one knows what I’m capable of achieving. Everyone is welcome to an opinion, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not listening. If I set my mind to something, it isn’t a matter of if I’ll accomplish the goal, but rather a matter of when. I’m everything but realistic, and that mindset has taken me to places that I never would have found if I listened to everyone around me.
“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”