Will Smith Shares His Secrets to Success

What Will Smith Can Teach Us About Success

Will Smith has a very physical and palpable excitement for life. You can see it clearly in the video. It’s contagious and it makes him interesting to watch. No wonder he’s a movie star. That passion is magnetic. But what else about him contributed to his success? Let’s look at what Will believes about himself, the universe, and other people.

Clarity of Belief

Will believes that the seed of greatness exists in all of us. That he controls his own destiny. Because without this none of his achievements would be possible.

He believes this so strongly that he’s even willing to die for it. There is no confusion in his mind about who he is and what he believes – in fact, that’s all he needs to know. Think about the clarity and confidence that is necessary for him to believe that. His mind is clear, and he has faith in his ability to take action.


He recognizes that human beings try to complicate things. “It can’t be that easy,” they say. But he believes that it is. Don’t over-complicate things.

Origins and Free Will (pun only half intended)

Where you start doesn’t matter. Growing up, Will Smith knew he was on a path to something greater. But clearly, he didn’t take anything for granted, expected no handouts, and worked extremely hard to create his life.

Talent Verses Skill

Will Smith success
Will knows the difference between talent and skill. Talent is a natural gift, where skill needs to be mastered over years of discipline and practice. He doesn’t consider himself particularly talented, instead his distinction is his work ethic. He’s willing to put in the time and sickening effort to develop his skills. And it’s the skills that are important.

He places massive emphasis on developing skill. Only way to do that is to work at it. And the longer and harder you work at it, the better you will be at being able to communicate your talent and art and achieve what you want.

Define Your Standards

Will drew a line in the sand for himself: In his treadmill example, he says it will end in one of two ways. “You’re getting off first, or I’m gonna die.” That is the extent of his dedication.

Impossible is Nothing

When Will was 12, his father tore down a wall in front of his business and told Will and his brother to rebuild it. A huge task by anyone’s standards. A year and a half later, they’d done it. His father then told them, “Now, don’t you ever tell me there’s something that you can’t do.”

So, don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say that you’re going to build the greatest wall that’s ever been built. Instead, you say, “I’m going to lay this brick, as perfectly as a brick can be laid.” Done every single day, soon you will have a wall.

There is so much to takeaway from this lesson. First, do your best in the eternal moment of now. Have a direction but, be present in what you are doing now. Second, your true output and creativity can only come to fruition through consistency of effort. This builds long-term thinking/planning, and conditions you against the hollow feelings of instant gratification.

Make a Difference for the Better in People’s Lives

If you’re going to be here on this planet, you have a spiritual responsibility to make a difference for the better. Every group you come in contact with should be uplifted for having met you. Be a fountain, not a drain.

He wants his life to mean something, and for the world to be better because he was here. Your life will become better by making other peoples’ lives better.

What’s Your Vision?

Will’s vision is a noble one. He wants to represent an idea, represent possibilities to other people. He fervently believes that he can create whatever he wants to create, and wants to inspire others to think and do the same so they too can have success.

Step one before anything else, is that you have to believe in what you want to do. “There’s no point in having a plan B, because it distracts from plan A.”

Get Real

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” Doing what everybody else does, will get you the same results as everybody else. The second he decides on what he’s going to do, he sees it as already done. Decide on what you want, then walk your own path.

As soon as you think that “unrealistic” idea, you’ve made it real. Thoughts and ideas are physical. “The world is not something that’s there to push us around, rather I’m here to bend the universe into creating what I want.”

We are not at the effect end of the cause/effect spectrum. We are at the cause end – if we decide to be. And decisions are opportunities for redemption. Forget everything that has gone before, take responsibility for this moment, take responsibility for your life from this moment, and decide who you’re going to be, what you want, and how you’re going to do it.

From that point of decision, the universe will rally behind you and cause things to line up and help your actions.


Dissipation of your efforts is the enemy of success. Focus your attention like a laser on what you want, and dedicate all your time and effort to that.


Use the feeling of fear to motivate yourself. Attack those things that you are afraid of. Face your fears, and take action through the feelings. So you’re not only conquering your fears, but building the feelings of success in everything you do.

What Are You Going to do Now?

It’s obvious from Will’s interviews that he’s given a lot of thought to his personal development, his beliefs and his vision for his own life. But what about yours? Are you as clear in your mind about who you are? About what you want to create in this life? About how you’re going to make others’ lives better? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

For more about Will Smith’s Secrets to Success click here.

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  • Elyana Oct 30, 2013 @ 18:33

    I really enjoyed reading this. He is right on and kind of begins to delve into the Law of Attraction. Liked it!

  • Shilpan Apr 26, 2012 @ 17:01

    Great article Jim. Will Smith is my favorite actor. I think his father did an excellent job in raising his children with values that are essential to your success. I love this quote, “Now, don’t you ever tell me there’s something that you can’t do.”

    • Jim Apr 26, 2012 @ 21:09

      Yes, his father definitely had a great way of teaching his boys. He must have been a “long-term thinker” too. I mean, it took the boys 18 months to build the wall! What a great lesson.