Will Smith: New Read

I’d call my self more of the “influenced” than an “influencer,” which is exactly why I picked up Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson. A friend of mine was listening to it as an audio book on his walks and said it was really good. I had reservations (and not for dinner).

I’ve always been a big fan of Will Smith. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was one of my favorite shows as a kid. He was SOOOO cute! Since then, I’ve never seen a bad movie with him in it. Whenever I heard interviews with him, he sounded so intelligent, grounded. And he and his wife were homeschooling their kids when I was, and for similar reasons! …swoons…

I realize my vision of him is probably idealized. He’s a performer, a public persona. Of course, it is! I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a memoir by him. What if he painted a picture of himself that didn’t match my expectations? My dreams…shattered.

One hundred and thirty pages in and, nope. Still dreamy.

“Living is the journey from not knowing to knowing. From not understanding to understanding. From confusion to clarity. By universal design you are born into a perplexing situation, bewildered, and you have one job as a human: figure this shit out.

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.”

The man continues to amaze me.

I can’t stop reading it. His life, his art, his everything is nothing like mine. I hate hip-hop (other than the most popular ones played in the 80’s…everyone liked those songs). But reading how he describes what happened? Wow…I’m completely absorbed in it.

There’s just nothing like hearing someone who is so excited, in love, and passionate describe what they do. It’s inspiring.

One more quote before I go. This one is so relatable, it made me tear up.

“Throughout my life, I have been haunted by the agonizing sense that I am failing the women I love.

This insatiable desire to please manifested itself as an exhausting neediness.

To me, love was a performance, so if you weren’t clapping, I was failing. To succeed in love, the ones you care for must constantly applaud. Spoiler alert: This is not the way to have healthy relationships.”

Yeah…about that…Didn’t we just talk about that recently?

This is why I love memoir so much. Every time I read the deeper thoughts, the process, the journey of another human being, no matter who they are or what walk of life they come from, I feel as if I’m more connected to the universe. A good memoir is better than any fictional universe I’ve ever experienced. And this one is already proving to be fantastic.

Why? Depth. The man thinks. He isn’t just moving through this world by instinct. He considers, reflects, and adjusts, admits mistakes, praises his own wins. It’s magic. Reading memoir is how we live, and learn from, more than one life at a time.


  1. Will Smith comes off as such an authentic person and I am glad to hear that it is confirmed in this memoir – which I shall have to add to my to-read list. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *