Will Smith’s Simple Key To Life

Reading Time: 2 minutes
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Will Smith. STAND UP GUY.

Now that I think about it, he has been there with something for many phases of my life. As a goofy child, I loved The Fresh Prince of Bell Air. When I was into my action movie phase he was there with Men In Black. Then later when I was looking for more meaning, The Pursuit of Happyness filled the slot.

Recently I saw a video of Smith’s short thank you speech he gave at the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. He has a super simple piece of advice that he states is “the key to life”:

Running and reading.

Running

First, Smith states that running is one of the keys to life. Why? Because when you run there is the little person inside your head that is telling you to quit. It is telling you you’re too tired, sore, and that you need to get better shoes. He goes on to say that if you can shut that voice out during running then “… you will learn to not quit when things get hard in your life … “.

The connection with running and life’s choices:

The muscle or neurological pathway that is used when you decide to keep on running is the same one used to keep on writing, working, reading, and doing. All your activities use that one muscle. There isn’t one mental muscle that helps you keep on running and a different one for studying. It is one muscle. Let’s call it the “deciding to not stop” muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets.

<>pWith time, things that are hard become easier. You gain momentum and confidence and begin to take on bigger things. This is how successful people who seem to be doing a bunch of amazing and unfathomable things pull it off. Their “deciding to not stop”, along with their “making decisions”, and “being okay with failure” muscles have grown.

Don’t like running? Choose a different physical activity to practice resilience.

“The deadlift also serves as a way to train the mind to do things that are hard.” – Mark Rippetoe

Reading

Smith explains how there are no new problems. There have been billions of people that have lived and died before you and me. Any problem that we are having in our lives is one that someone else has had before. Not only have they had the problem, they have probably written about it. Reading is powerful only when it is followed with the application of the things learned.

It usually doesn’t serve you if you read something, put the book down, and continue through life without at least pondering and reflecting. I say usually because you can read books, not actively follow the advice, and still gain from them. If you read a bunch of books on positivity, chances are you will become a more positive person, it’ll just take a longer for the effects to show.

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