Book Review of Will by Will Smith & Mark Manson

Let’s begin our new year with the story of one of the strongest living persons on earth who admits his weakness.

This fabulous biography is written by Will Smith and Mark Manson which is divided among 21 chapters starting from fear to end with love. Crux of his will be this definition of love: It’s easy to “love” somebody when they do what you want them to do, exactly how you want them to do it. But how do you behave when they step outside of your picture? How do you treat them when they hurt you? Those are the times that determine whether or not or not you actually love somebody.

Book Summary:

Will started his story with his father Daddio and ends with him as well. So, let’s begin the journey with Smith style by showing the pictures of his friends and family.

Daddio is a military trained man who believes in discipline only. Every task is either do or die for him. He often says 99% is equivalent to 0 and that statement sticked to the mind of young Will Smith. One of the earliest lessons he taught to him is related to focus on small steps to achieve big results when he gave him and his elder brother the task to build a wall by focusing on one brick at a time.

But at the same time Will was most terrified of his father as well due to his constant anger and domestic violence. Most of the time Will thought it is his responsibility to take care of this and make the environment happy through his jokes. This is where his practice to entertain people started because he was not doing this just for fun but for the peace of his family.

These two women has the highest impact on the life of our protagonist. Will called her grandmother as Gigi who is a firm believer in God and service to poor is her duty. She taught him value of Love and how to evaluate our behavior through this measurement.

Will call his mother as Mom-Mom who taught him the value of education and why it is the only powerful weapon to survive in this world with dignity. She herself reads a lot and always recommends the impactful books to him and one of the favorites of Will is “The Alchemist”. Together these three people set up the foundation of his childhood by teaching him triangle of three lessons: Disciple, Love and Education.

The fresh prince:

This is the group who blossom the industry of rap in 1980s and here the story of fresh prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff started who won the first ever Grammy award in the category of rap. After their initial success they became egoistic and finally their team broke up but of course to start a new story of our protagonist.

Entry in Hollywood:

Quincy Jones is the person due to which Will Smith enter into the arena of Hollywood although he started his acting career through famous TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which is comedy show on the character of his own.

Family:

Will married twice. His first wife was Sheree and has two children Trey and Willow. One more Hollywood star Jaden (The Karate Kid) is the child of his second wife Jada. It’s difficult to go in detail but Will was trying to make a perfect family which led to many personal problems in his life.

Among all three Jaden tried acting and became very successful in his early childhood.

Willow loves singing and she even became successful in her own genre but after few public shows she wanted to stop which Will didn’t understood properly and that led to one of the shocking incidents of his life and changed his behavior at all. Here is the exact para for that incident.

Good morning, Daddy,” Willow said joyfully, as she bounced to the refrigerator. My jaw nearly dislocated, dislodged, and shattered on the kitchen floor:

My world-dominating, hair-whipping, future global superstar was totally bald.

Does it matter to you how I feel?” would have sounded something like this: Not exactly, sweetheart—feelings are seventh on my list.

1. Food 2. Shelter 3. Security 4. Intelligence 5. Strength 6. Productivity

When people are too worried about how they feel, they’ll never feel how they want to feel. Willow’s act of protest kicked off a period in our family that I refer to as “the Mutiny.” 

Some other personalities that influenced his life:

Will Smith was fortunate enough to meet two greatest personalities of 20th Century Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela.

He met MuhammadAli for his 2003 movie Ali which he clearly doesn’t want to do as he thought he can’t do justice to Ali’s character but after meeting Ali, he prepared himself to do the justice. During this set he met Nelson Mandela too and got inspired by his sheer calmness.

Spiritual Journey:

After achieving so much success (8 streak for number 1 movie) fame and wealth he was still feeling void and wanted to achieve more and more which is never going to be enough. And to break this cycle he tried Vipassana (14 days not 10) and Ayahuasca ceremony (14 times) both gave different sense of fulfillment and calmness in his life.

Personal Experience

While reading this book one thing which was common in each chapter was feelings either positive or negative. Author successfully generated the feeling that they actually want. Other than this story line was amazing with introduction of each character at the right time. Although Will wrote his biography too soon for someone but still has too much to say and absorb from his life. Overall, I love this book and would like to give 9 out of 10.