Now this is a story
all about how
destiny, it took a player
straight out to Tinsel Town.
He grew right up
a man beyond compare.
Philly raised—but some first saw him
as the Prince of Bel Air.
Will Smith’s story has a before and after, of course. But as I read Will, the Fresh Prince theme kept coming to my head.
Written by Will Smith with the help of Mark Manson, Will is a study in success. I honestly enjoyed it. As I read it, I found it hard not to naturally hear Will Smith’s voice in my head. The only thing that would have made my experience better is if I’d picked up the audio version.
Speaking of audio, I couldn’t resist sharing this…
Within Will‘s pages you’ll learn Will’s history, from his humble—and at times strained—beginnings in Philadelphia. And of course, you’ll learn the truth behind the highs and lows of Will’s career.
Most notably there’s the story of how he became The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will’s already talked about it on YouTube. But Heaven knows, as a reader, Quincy Jones’ “NO PARALYSIS THROUGH ANALYSIS!!” left a mark. How many magical opportunities do we kill each and every day through overthinking?
You will read about Will’s family life, including his marriage. If—when someone mentions Will and Jada—salacious, TMZ-fueled ideas come to mind, get them out of your head. Apart from one brief allusion to sexytime, in Will, Will shares some genuinely impactful insigts from his and Jada’s relationship.
You’ll ultimately learn how he met Scoty—a Trinidadian friend who’s appeared in Will’s videos. The revelations from Will’s time in the Caribbean warmed my heart. They also sparked my curiosity. Will’s description of his island epiphanies and encounters drew me in. And as someone with Trinidadian heritage, I genuinely enjoyed reading about places that I need to explore.
In the latter half of the book, there’s a point where Smith’s ideas may leave you thinking about the role that your soul plays in success. Some people are addicted to a sort of superficial ambition. Under that mindset, pride rules, and the idea of surrender tends to be viewed as a sign of cowardice. Yet Will discusses the idea in an incredibly authentic, thoughtful way. I was thankful that he seized the opportunity to demystify such a grossly misunderstood subject.
Overall Will is written with heart and authenticity. While reading it, I couldn’t help but think of things such as the importance of focusing as you pursue your goals, determination, spirituality, sacrifice, vulnerability, and more. It isn’t every day you encounter a helluva ride in the form of words that truly inspire introspection.
And I’m thankful for the chance to have read them.