Will by Will Smith Book Summary – Top 10 List –

Will by Will Smith Book Summary – Top 10 List –


I don’t really know what I was expecting from the book Will by Will Smith but I had seen a few random social media videos to think WS’s story might offer some golden nuggets. But perhaps more honestly, I read it thinking “Let’s see what all this fuss is about?”.

Who’s this book for?

This book is great for anyone that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s remembering when Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff first hit the music scene, and then moved into Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but really it’s for anyone that has some mild interest in Will Smith, but a stronger interest in life-based principles and wisdom.

Complimentary Books:

I can’t think of too many directly complimentary books, other than those Will references in the book, which I’ve also read:

Here are my top 10 insights from Will By Will Smith Book Summary:

  1. POWER – In order to feel confident and secure you need to have something to feel confident and secure about. Internal power and confidence are born from insight and proficiency. Bruce Lee Quote: “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war”. You need to work at reaching the level that you feel proficient.

  2. IGNORANCE – Ignorance is bliss right up until it’s not. 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. “Life is like school with one key difference. At school you get the lesson, and then you take the test. But in life, you get the test, and then it’s your job to take the lesson.” We are all waiting until we have deep knowledge and a strong sense of certainty before we venture forth, but we have it backwards. Venturing forth is how we gain the knowledge.

  3. Natural Destruction vs Self Destruction – You train in every way you can with all the best experts to fight against the world’s best fighter. You are prepared and trained, and did everything you possibly could have done, but you still lost. That is a bearable loss and what it called Natural Destruction. But if you didn’t train your best, if you were dragging your feet, and then you get knocked out fast, now you have to face an unbearable loss. You have to live the rest of your life not knowing what might have happened if you had done your best. In the back of your mind you will forever know that you didn’t only lose to the greatest fighter but you lost to yourself. The fight wasn’t you versus the Fighter, it was you and the fighter versus you. It’s respectable to lose to the universe. It’s a tragedy to lose to yourself.

  4. Don’t Block The Blessing – The universe is an infinite playground of magical possibilities. You can recognise miraculous potential in every moment, in everything and in everyone around you. Learn to present yourself to the universe like a lightning rod, placing yourself to perfectly capture and conduct the ever-present and ever recurring magical flashes of brilliance surrounding us all. Develop the ability to sense the subtle flickering of the impossible preparing to strike. You may need to prepare for decades, learning from masters, trials and errors, learning from mistakes, developing resilience & confidence so you can be ready when those moments happen. Things are always impossible right up until they are not. Learn how to prepare the environment and invite the energy in. Your main job is to avoid missing the miracle.

  5. Psychological Alchemy – An Alchemist is a spiritual chemist. A master of transmutation. The great feat of an alchemist is that they can do the impossible. They can turn lead into gold. Be an alchemist. Take anything that life gives you and turn it into gold. The Universe is going to give you another chance.

  6. Impermanence & The Raft – Change can be scary, but it’s utterly unavoidable. Impermanence is the only thing you can truly rely on. If you are unwilling or unable to pivot and adapt to incessant, fluctuating tides of life, you will not enjoy being here. Sometimes people try to play the cards they wish they had, instead of playing the hand they’ve been dealt. The capacity to adjust and improvise is arguably the single most critical human ability. Buddhist parable: Man stands on the bank of a dangerous river. He uses a raft to cross the river safely. As he makes his way through the dense forest on the other side, the raft gets caught in the vines and prevents him from moving forward. He has only one chance for survival. He must leave the raft behind. The resource that saved his life earlier, will make him perish now if he doesn’t let it go. Things can be absolutely necessary and useful during certain periods of time, but a time will come when we must put those things aside or die. Simply put, if we don’t adapt, we become extinct.

  7. Clarity of Mission is a Powerful Cornerstone of Success – There are only 2 human problems: Knowing what you want but not knowing how to get it & Not knowing what you want. Knowing what you want gives direction to your life. Every action can be chosen and harnessed to achieve your desired outcome. When you know what you want it clarifies what you don’t want. Even painful decisions, although not easy, become simple.

  8. Dreams, Discipline, Habits & Training – Dreams are built on Discipline. Discipline is built on habits. Habits are built on training, and training takes place in every single second of every single situation of your life. How you do anything is how you do everything. You either do your best all the time or you don’t. If the behaviour has not been trained and practiced, then the switch will not be there when you need it. Training is for the purpose of habituating reactions to extreme circumstances. When you are in a stressful and unexpected situation, you can’t rely on your ‘thinking’ mind. You must have habituated reflexive responses that kick in without the necessity of thought. Never detrain your killer instincts.

  9. The Responsibility of Happiness – No one can make a person happy. You can make them smile or laugh. We must be helpful, kind and loving, but whether someone is happy or not is utterly outside of your control. Every person must wage their own solitary internal war for their own contentment. To place the responsibility of your happiness on anybody else other than yourself is a recipe for misery.

  10. Memories are Fallible – Memory is not a flawless recording of what happened. It’s not video of what happened. It’s not even a photograph. It’s your psychological artistic rendering of what happened. And it’s not fixed. The rendering morphs and fades with time. Sometimes you add colours to a memory that weren’t there a year ago. Or perhaps you collapse multiple memories into one memory. The problem is that most of us trust our memories implicitly. Our memories are the basis for our perception of reality. We then commit to these conclusions which unlock the associated emotions and the actions and behaviours. We move through the world clinging to our flawed assumptions, unleashing the cosmic consequences of wrong ideas.

In conclusion:

Will Smith does well at telling parts of his story, followed by some value-packed realisation or succinct distillation of the meaning & wisdom gained from the experience. Whether you are a fan of Will Smith or have seen the odd movie starring him, you should get a lot of value & entertainment from reading this book.

Will by Will Smith Book Summary Mind Map Top 10