Laughter is the Best Medicine

Will Smith Inspiration and Motivation on Fear, Love, Change & Loss.

I love this this idea you know it’s you
know a guy trying to put his put his life back
together and he just gets furious and rants and writes letters to love time
and death and then love time and death respond you know so it’s it’s you know
really that that beautiful Christmas flavor is you know just a little touch
outside of reality you know so you get to you get to deal with real subjects
and real topics and real loss but because it touches just that New York
Christmas just a little bit outside of the you know how excruciating it would
be if you dealt with it you know straight hard rated-r lost so you know
so I just love going into that realm of the the mystical to be able to to take a
good look at you know real human issues so you talk about real mm-hmm I felt it
was the most real I have seen you be really yeah like I found there was no filter
there yeah and I wondered for somebody who could choose to do anything yeah was
there something special that drove you to this yeah you know when I when I
first read it you know when I when I first read it every once in a while you
you you know you read a screenplay and the the most important thing in a movie
I guess that you know the two most important things that I look for is one
is the universally relatable concept right so just at its core when you first
say it when you say one line about it can you connect to people you know and
what you know one of the one of the best ones I’ve ever had like if something was
like I am Legend the last man on earth yeah yeah security
this section right here you know but it’s like when you when you just have
that one thing you know and with this it was it was a little bit heavier but it
was a guy trying to put his life back together
after an extreme loss right so people can relate to that that’s a that’s an
extremely relatable idea and then I flipped to the last ten pages and the
ending it’s like then you know this is a movie that has the lots of twists and
turns but then even within the last ten pages there’s still another surprise
when you can send people out of the out of a movie theater with another surprise
you know and you know I mean historically you know there’s been times
I’ve sent people out of the movie theater and the surprise in the last ten
minutes is that the movie wasn’t good right so you just want to avoid that
surprise you want to avoid that ones you know but with this one it has such an
interesting turn in in the end of it it was it was you know one of the the most
fun screenplays of all still still go and do this thing you know I I enjoy
connecting with with people and and ideas and you know it’s I have a mission
statement so every year for probably the past ten years I’ve worked out a mission
statement for myself and for the last few few years the mission statement has
stayed the same and you know it’s been improved lives right so when I go into
something I’m looking for how the quality of this piece could potentially
improve lives but it’s all along the way it’s when you make the movie and how
you’re interacting with people in the process and you know the the concept of
improving lives runs through the center of everything I do and then I realize
that the the way to improve lives is to continually improve
yourself right so with that every every morning when I when I get out of the bed
you know I I haven’t fixed everything in the world yet so there’s always
something to do and in this film I read an interesting quote for the Siddhartha
Gautama the Buddha he said that good people have to get out of the bed every
day and try to empty the ocean with a ladle right and I thought that was you
know I knew that was profound and I paused for a second and I said all right
what the hell is a ladle right right so there you know I just I touched it on my
iPad is ladle oh it’s like a big spoon my big spoon okay so trying to empty the
ocean with a soup spoon you know as the the mentality of how you you wake up
every day to try to do good in the world so for me I’m really driven by
continually trying to elevate my elevate my mind and elevate my spirit and care
for my body and to be able to love as many people as effectively as as
possible with this mystery of life that I’ve been given you know here we are
Facebook and I was CEO Oh Sheryl Sandberg she just suffered a massive
loss yes husband died and she’s writing a new book called option B to give
people to share stories about how people have built resilience and and gives kind
of tips on how to do it so she’s using this book and the openness of our
platform to share all the time right because the idea is that it may help
somebody else to learn how to get through grief and I wonder with you and
this movie in particular so she’s writing this book she’s going through
that horrible paper solutely where did you go to for me to see what I saw your
amazing performance so well well what happened with me with this film so I I
accepted the film and I was really excited to to take this and I loved the
idea and I was reading it and I gotten
probably two weeks into my preparation for the film and my father was diagnosed
with cancer and I was like well you know first it stunned me and then it was the
magical work of the universe I could not believe that this was the film I was
working on and I was you know forced to face you know my father’s mortality so
it was you know it was rough for about a week and I got it together and I decided
that we would use the process of the character who was suffering a loss and I
would share my preparation with my father and so we just started talking
about love time and death and we we it was some of the most open and powerful
conversations that we you know we we never had and they gave him six weeks
and he actually he lived for four months so about three months into the six weeks
you’re not going to see him one day and he said man this shit is embarrassing
and I said what daddy said man you tell everybody you will be dead in six weeks
months later you still hanging around but it was so beautiful and he got we
got to a place that we were talking open and and comedic Lee and really I think I
was able to embody the ideas of the loss and also the redemptive quality of the
pain you know the the loss is bound to joy like pain and suffering are bound to
joy the the being able to survive something is actually a big part of
being able to find that next wave of joy you appreciate smaller things right like
it was so magnificent for me you know my father died on on November
7th but it was so powerful for me to be cleansed of box office like I don’t need
the box office to be huge on this film I don’t need to win any awards you know I
don’t care it was the film that I worked on it I was actually able to comfortably
and beautifully say goodbye to my father and I hope that this film embodies a bit
of that so other people who are experiencing things like that will be
able to use it in that in that way and it can potentially be helpful and help
someone else so it was it was powerful to be cleansed of the foolishness of the
game of numbers and awards and all that type of stuff to actually be able be
able to create a piece of art that legitimately I just want people to see
and hope it can be helpful and transformative in their lives you’re
talking about perspective perspective absolutely yes yes how much is fair play
into preventing us from grasping perspective though I don’t know fear is
everything yeah like if if there’s if there was one concept that I would
suggest to people to take a daily confrontation with is fear the the the
problem with fear is that it lies right so fear tells you hey you know if if you
say that to that girl she’s gonna know she has you you know and she’ll never
really be attracted to you if she knows how much you attracted to her don’t say
that know how we get her is when she walks by ignore her
you know I’ll be on your show fear tells you dumb shit like that you know so you
know for me the the daily confrontation with with fear has become a real
practice for me since about 3 or 3 years ago I went I went skydiving in Dubai
right and skydiving skydiving is a really interesting confront with fear
right so so I guess I gotta stand up so so all your friends what happens you go
out without you oh sorry I’m I think so what happens is you go out the night
before and you know you take a drink with your friends and somebody says yeah
we should go skydiving tomorrow and you go yeah we’ll go skydiving Yeah Yeah
right and you go home but you by yourself you
like mmm right you’re like well I mean they was drunk too right so so maybe
maybe they not maybe maybe I mean we don’t have to go we don’t have to do it
so then that night you’re laying in your bed and you just keep and you’re
terrified you keep imagining over and over again jumping out of an airplane
and you can’t figure out why you would do that right and you’re laying there
and you have the worst night’s sleep of your life but you still have the hope
that your friends were drunk right so you wake up the next day and you go you
know down and you say where you were going to meet and everybody’s there
you’re like oh shit all right all right cool cool cool cool cool cool right so
you get in the van and you don’t know that your friends had the same night
that you had cuz they’re pretended like they didn’t it like yeah man my uncle is
a Navy SEAL and you know this is gonna be great I’ve been looking forward to
this you like oh my god oh my god and your stomach is terrible you can’t eat
and everything but you don’t want to be the only punk who doesn’t jump out of
this airplane so you get there and then you have this safety brief and you’re
standing there and the guys that tell you what the chute doesn’t open what’s
going to happen is you’re doing you a lot of help working up
that the chute the chute wouldn’t open right so you do a thing and what you do
is your first jump you’re attached to a guy who is going you know he’s gonna
walk you out so you go and you get there and there’s an airplane and nobody
stopping everybody’s still going so you get onto their airplane and you’re
sitting there and and you know it’s extra because you’re sitting on some
dudes lap some stranger and it’s not you know you got trying to make small talk
yeah man so you deal you’d be you be jumping with people all the time you
know so and then you just want to make sure you got you got kids right you got
people you need to see right just want to make sure he’s serious right so you
get in there so everything’s normal so you fly and you go up you go up you go
up you go up to 14,000 feet and you notice there’s a light it’s red and it’s
yellow and green right so right now the lights red so then you start thinking at
some point the lights going to go green it was you don’t know what’s going to
happen right and you wait and it goes yellow and the light goes green and
somebody opens the door and in that moment you realize you’ve never been in
a freaking airplane with the door open right terror oh sorry I’m spitting I’m
sorry terror terror terror terror right so you go and then you know if you’re if
you were smart you sat in the back so you don’t go first
right and then people start going out of the airplane and you go and the guy
walks you up to the end of the thing and you’re standing and your toes are on the
edge and you’re looking out down to death and they say on three and they say
one two and he pushes you on to because people grab one three and you go
and you fall out of the airplane and in one second you realize that it’s the
most blissful experience of your life you’re flying right it doesn’t feel like
falling right it’s like you actually are kind of held a little bit about a win
and then you start and you you start falling you falling and you there’s zero
fear you realize that the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum
fear it’s bliss it’s bliss and you’re flying right and you’re doing it and
then 20 seconds 25 seconds 40 seconds and you have enough time to just kind of
be like ah shit that’s that building that’s not like that right you start
doing all of that and the the lesson for me was why were you scared in your bed
the night before why did you what do you need that fear for just don’t go why are
you scared in your bed 16 hours before you jump why are you scared in a car why
could you not enjoy breakfast what would what did you need that that fear is fear
of what you’re nowhere to even near the airplane everything up to the stepping
out there’s actually no reason to be scared it only just ruins your day you
don’t have to jump and then in that moment all of a sudden where you should
be terrified is the most blissful experience of your life and God placed
the best things in life on the other side of terror on the other side of your
maximum fear or all of the best things in life you know so that was out sorry
so the hard thousand yeah that was that was my experience with with skydiving
and fear all right all right practically speaking but I didn’t like
that take I’m gonna do it again back to the
I can sell that better I can sell it then when you decide to do something
like that like how does it work practically do you call your wife and be
like I might be dead tomorrow right no but that’s what I never just promise
yeah yeah I made a drunk promise yeah how about this so I jumped I had such a
mystical powerful spiritual experience I flew home and got my sons and I went
back and ten days later my sons jumped right now that was a little different
huh Lucia that makes me stand out ready because I’m scared I’m scared right so
it was one so Jaden went first right Jaden wants to do everything first so
I’m sitting there and I’m like yeah my sons are gonna have this crazy
experience and then Jaden went out of the airplane I was like him then my
oldest son Trey goes up and he goes out of the airplane and I was like this
could potentially be the worst display of african-american parenting in history
I was like both my sons just fell out of an airplane jump jump right because I
told him to and that but again the fear again I was like oh my god so I told the
dude I was like listen I want to see them go out but I also want to see them
land and he’s like no it was cool so this time we went out and we did the
straight bullet and I just went straight down past them good good right did the bullish straight
pass pull the chute late concise makes me spit I’m sorry I’m sorry
pull the chute late landed and then videoed them coming down but it was like
they had the same thing the same experience with the fear but that that
I’m telling you the confrontation with fear is an absolute magical way of
facing the things we have to do in this life you know forget security live for
experience right no you say you learn that three years ago yeah amazing
what about these small things that we get afraid about right so you are the
funny guy and you come along and everybody expects to be entertaining
sometime are you ever afraid that you’re like you know what today I’m really not
feeling jazzy yeah like I’m just yeah I don’t
want to be that guy today so that’s cool movie yeah you are not that guy right
yeah do you have fear of that of like disappointing people because like you’re
supposed to be funny and cool yeah you know the thing that that’s been one of
the the major confronts for me in my life over the past three or four years
like there’s a there’s a there Will Smith is an idea right so there’s parts
of that that’s me but that character from The Fresh Prince of bel-air was who
I was 26 years ago you people miss minds crap that’s the
thing to be able to to boldly be able to move and grow and create and hope that
the things that I’m you know able to deliver at this point you know I was I
was 20 doing the The Fresh Prince you know so I’m 48 now so it’s a it’s a it’s
a really different time in my life yet I got less of a chair but you know do you
have a fare of being completely who you are because it may disappoint some
people just want to see that your old yeah no I definitely I definitely have
difficulty with that you know there’s a certain you know when you when you’ve
created things that are so iconic it becomes healing for people nostalgia
is healing you know to the The Fresh Prince theme is healing to hear that you
know you it just harkens back to a time and a
feeling and an energy you know that is a beautiful way to help relieve some some
little touch of suffering you know so when people see me or the The Fresh
Prince and even during that time the movies that I made while I was making
the Fresh Prince so it was the Fresh Prince during the the winter and then
the the summers were bad boys Independence Day many black you know so
it was like it really captured a time so it’s it’s very difficult I wouldn’t have
it any other way I love being able to make people smile and cheer you know
over that but I also am going to boldly go to new
creation you know even something something like the decision you know I
had the two screenplays in front of me for the Independence Day two and for
Suicide Squad so I had to choose between the two of those and even the choice of
going to Suicide Squad nothing nothing about the qualities of the movies but
the choice of trying to go forward versus clinging and climb backwards you
know so I do want to aggressively go forward and do new things and create and
hopefully be able to stumble upon a new heyday amazing now you have an
incredible cast oh god yes yeah how did that happen – like how does so many big
stars yes I get this and then how does that work between your you know it’s the
it’s the the ideas the screenplay allan loeb the screenwriter he just wrote a
brilliant screenplay everyone related to the ideas of love time and death as
powerful tools to try to put your life back on track so everyone related to the
journey but it’s I mean I mean look at that group that’s like a yeah it’s like
a superhero movie did your father get to see any of it
no he came to set once but he didn’t he didn’t get to see the film and you all
look close yeah we were very close yeah yeah my father yeah when I put my life
together and I look at my father my mother and grandmother were the most
influential people in my my life and in my mind when I draw it always draw a
triangle and my father was the base and my mother was the left side and my my
grandmother was the right side and always put discipline as the bottom my
father hard work discipline endurance was really the foundation of creating my
life and my mother was education and my grandmother was love so you know the
combination of that discipline education and love was a you know what
I’m really grateful for you sharing with us that part of you and also they
struggle with his death because the other thing is that we live in a time
where people show these curated sides of it right because I think of the same
fair yeah right you just want to be this piece absolutely all the rest of it but
you’re somebody wants to hear all it add you know it’s Facebook come on let’s
have fun some other dude it’s a bummer your dad’s gone you know for me is
laughing is the elixir here now and that was another thing that my father taught
me he was he was joking all the way up to the end like laughing yeah you have
to be able to laugh at everything and for me the beautiful part is that that’s
my natural color on the spectrum I naturally go to comedy you know and when
when when I’m looking at something I’m always trying to find why that’s funny
and you know it’s been really really helpful in in this experience and and
you know even just this point in my life keep remember to laugh remember to laugh
and and spend time with people that make you laugh like that is hugely important
laugh and connect yes absolutely there’s a good messages yeah thank you
very much wait no what are you doing yeah turns out you have somewhere to be
oh I love this but apparently you have to go pay some bills
I got pay some bills okay well thank you guys very much is this this is Ben
Spector I know oh no we have a little piece of a movie
for you we’re gonna show you a feature rat oh we are the future wreck we have a
featurette well um you probably seen it already probably yeah oh I get to go
okay but you’ll be back

One thought on “Will Smith Inspiration and Motivation on Fear, Love, Change & Loss.

  1. Will Smith has so much positive energy and conveys a lot of wisdom, it is amazing!
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