Will Smith's LIFE ADVICE On Manifesting Success Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE | Jay Shetty | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Will Smith's LIFE ADVICE On Manifesting Success Will CHANGE YOUR LIFE | Jay Shetty".
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Introduction: Jay Shetty And Guest Will Smith
Today, Jay Shetty welcomes his dear friend, Will Smith as they reminisce about the happy times and adventures they spent together, and how their friendship flourished as Will studies the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. (00:47)
Now today's a very, very special episode of On Purpose. Not only is it the first episode of season three, not only am I sitting down with the one and only Will Smith, but today we're gonna dive in to the mind, the heart and the soul of the man behind the movies and the music and my dear, dear spiritual brother and friend. So without any further ado, I just wanna say, I am grateful, I'm humbled, I'm so happy to have spent so many special moments with you over the past year. This sounds romantic now, my wife's gonna get worried again. But I mean it. - You've been spending a lot of time with Will. - Yeah, she's never felt uncomfortable about my relationship apart from people. The only time she's doubted me is, oh, another trip with Will. That's what this time she came along. - We certainly have some pictures, you know, waterfalls, you know, glaciers. - Yeah. - We definitely didn't even take all the pictures. - That was a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, thank you, man, this is gonna be special and I'm just excited for us to serve together in this way. - No, this is fantastic. It's been a long time coming for us to sit down like this, for the people listening, it's probably been a year. We're running up on a year now, right? - Yeah. - So it's like, you know, 10 months or something like that. - Yeah, yeah. - That I've been studying with Jay. I fell in love with the Bhagavad Gita. Jay and I have been spending time. We've been hanging, we've been traveling together. Jay has really been the catalyst for this next phase of my life. We have committed to one another in a brotherhood of service and support. And, you know, we've been, I guess, we've been in the gym. We've been in the gym working out for the past eight months and this is really, this is our first time, you know, doing anything that's public facing. So I'm excited to talk about what we've, you know, been working on and Jay's been working with my family pretty much every day, a new Smith. Starts to study with Jay. - Beautiful. - And also our teacher, Radha Natswami. So it's been a beautiful year. And I'm very excited to start talking to people about what we've been studying and learning and doing together. - Absolutely, man. And I also want to say too, like I think it's rare where you get to sit down with someone that you've got to know intimately and closely. And also when you sit down and I've probably watched, I'm trying to think, I think I've watched every interview you've ever done, like over the years. Before I met you, whatever you were always talking to, I'm like, oh, I remember you said this five years ago or 10 years ago you were saying this. And when I'm sitting down with you now, I'm thinking, you know, it's, I remember the first time I properly met you was at Willow's birthday a few years back. And everyone was wearing, it was willoween. So everyone was dressed in costumes and stuff. So I didn't even know it was you. And then you had like the zorro kind of mask over your eyes. And so it was a big press. I was like, oh, maybe that's will, maybe that's not, I didn't know. And then you lifted your mask off. And the thing I recognized you about from the moment I met you was just your ability, you have this unique ability to just be really present and kind and deeply there with everyone you meet. - Right. - And I think that for, you know, having met you in public arenas, whether it was the bad boys premiere and then in our personal meetings, as you were mentioning, you're just even better. - Thank you, man. - And I think that that's so hard to be when you're bad, so. So, but I remember that. And there was the hospitality man, Radi felt with you, like that, that ability to care for each person walking in, the family aspect, making us feel welcomed and a part of it. That I just think that that in today's world, that human aspect is what we're all missing. - I think that's a part of my DNA, you know, part of it from difficult aspects of my childhood, you know, I grew up with violence in my home, you know. So, I developed, you know, a really acute emotional sense, you know, out of defense, you know, I just needed to make sure that my father was okay. I needed to make sure things were going well. And I just became really hypersensitive to emotional movement in a room as a defense mechanism. And then as I, you know, grew and as I started to develop that, you know, that heightened sense that started out as defense as I settled down and, you know, came into a deeper understanding of my power and my desires in the world, it was easier to connect to people in a loving way. It transferred easily from a defense mechanism to an ability to love and care for people. - That's amazing though, that you were able to process it positively. I feel like we're living at a time, we've talked about this before, that our childhood experiences form our adult desires. - Absolutely. - And I feel like now people are starting to hear that in the conversation where they're like, "Oh yeah, because this happened with my parents." - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - Now I feel like this, how do you think you were able to, because we've talked about this before when you've talked about different, your mother, your father, what you learned from them?
Lessons From Will Smith: Personal Life And Influences
Jay asks Will: “Tell us a bit about what you learned from your parents and how you were able to process it positively? It’s not easy to process negative emotions with positive thoughts. (07:00)
Tell us a bit about what you learned and how you were able to process it positively and engage with it, rather than create a negative story from it, because a lot of people may see violence and react differently. - Yeah, yeah, I think there's always an aspect of us that when we feel unloved, you know, in any capacity, in any relationship, when we feel unloved, when we feel mistreated, when we feel somehow disrespected, it's a natural reaction to want revenge. And I think that's what happens with most people specifically in our most vulnerable stages when we're children, and we haven't done anything to deserve that kind of treatment. It's really hard for the ego to not click into revenge, you know, and once I discovered that mechanism, once I saw that, that most of us walk around with, that we want revenge against that mistreatment, it's a little piece of that with all of us. So the problem is that when you seek revenge, you destroy yourself. And that's the paradoxical conflict that we all live in. Someone has mistreated us, we want revenge, but if we take it, we hurt ourselves more. - It's crazy, yeah, yeah. - You know what I mean? You know, so that is the, as Rata Natswami referred to the perplexing situation that we find ourselves in. And the only answer is loving kindness. And most of us don't want to hear that. It's like, I'll take my chances with revenge. I'm gonna take my chances with punching this dude in the face or cussing this girl out or whatever it takes, but I can't do loving kindness. And for me, I had such a beautiful example of loving kindness in my grandmother when I was growing up, I always knew I wanted to be that. The way that she loved and cared for people. I didn't realize that her giving was connected to her peace. That was something that I got a concept of later. But I always knew that that was my example. And I think that's the critical part. We need an example. Somebody has to be an example. Human beings are creatures of example. We need, you gotta see it. - Yeah. - You know, so that's really where I am in my life right now. I want to show what it looks like to be loving and kind and giving and forgiving. And I just wanna model those virtues as best I care. - It's amazing how the thing we think that's gonna help us feel better. - Yes. - Is actually what makes us feel worse. - Yep. - And you hold on to it because somewhere inside of you, you feel you have to be the person to show that person. - Yes. - The truth. Like you feel like it's your responsibility. - You're gonna be the hammer of justice. - Yeah, so you carry that. And it reminds me of this thing, this lesson that we were talking about and sharing in our meetings was this quote by Russell Barkley where he said, "People who need the most love, "ask for it in the most unloving ways." - Absolutely. - Absolutely. - And that's what you were saying. When you were giving examples of people in our society today who it sounds crazy, but somehow they are seeking love. - Absolutely. - And when you kind of put that in your head, you're like, "Oh, that's just a plea, a begging." - A begging. - Yep. - A literal like, it's not even a proposal, it's like a demand for love. - It's a demand, absolutely. - And you were saying, and I love what you said then, that's why I'm bringing it back to what I was saying earlier. The reason why I was highlighting the personal aspect of you is that I think that the example that you're setting through who you can be is even more than what you've done. - Mm-hmm, yeah. - What you've done is amazing and there's nothing to be taken away from it. It's phenomenal what you're achieving and what you continue to achieve, but being able to do that with a loving heart.
Jay is curious about how Will continues to achieve success with a loving heart. It’s never easy to live with a military mindset yet even with success and fame it didn’t feel like true happiness. (12:02)
- Yeah, yeah. - That must be, I mean, how does that feel internally? Does that also feel that way or no? Is that, are you like, "No, no, Jay." - No, no, Jay. - That's way better than Jay, you don't get it. - But no, but you know, we had that conversation and there was a real period in my life that I had to struggle with, we can win, or I can be nice. Pick one, right? And different people pick different things. - Right. - For the type of material world climbing, you know, that I did for a big chunk of my life, it was military-minded, you know. We're gonna get that flag to the top of that hill and you are gonna help or you're not gonna be here, right? So that's one mindset. And then after I got the flag to the hill a couple of times, it kept getting the flag to the hill and realized that you just, you don't feel good and you've scorched earth, you know, around you. And you're like, nobody's really happy, you know. And then I started to have to question that mindset, you know, I had one of the greatest runs in Hollywood history, you know. That eight number one movies all over a hundred domestic biggest global movie star, all of that in my family was miserable, you know. And I had equated winning with happiness, right? It's like, we're winning, what is your problem? You know. You know, and the transition from product focus, like military mindy, get to the top of that hill. And then I shifted into a mindset and it was really my kids who brought me out of that. I shift into discovering like, damn, people really care about how they feel, right? You know, and it's crazy as that sounds. - Not true. - Like, you know, my father wasn't concerned with how I felt, you know. He wasn't concerned with how he felt. He was military minded. You achieved the mission. And there's two possibilities. When I give you a mission, there's two possibilities. One, you complete the mission, or two, you're dead. Right? You know, and that's what my father was saying. I grew up with that. Oh, cool, right? And I actually had to discover feelings, right? And start like, I used to have to really focus, oh, okay, how's this person feel? How's this person feel? Not what do I need them to do? And not they're wasting our time right now and we're losing time and we're gonna not finish this mission, right? But there's a balance between the mindset of achieving and loving kindness that at this point in my life, I've actually discovered the magical balance, but it's really hard to get people to let go of the attack and defend achievement mindset and trust the care and concern for your fellow humans as a way of creating higher production. - Yeah, yeah. I hope everyone who's listening and watching right now is taking this in because I think what you're painting is a very transparent, honest picture of our minds. - Yeah, yeah. - Like I can relate to what you're saying. So I can relate to times in my life where I've been so about winning and success and numbers or whatever it may have been. And I know I'm not even becoming the person I want to be in that process and I don't even like myself, but because you're choosing to like yourself because of what you're achieving, you're finding a new way to like yourself, but not over who you really are. And so I just hope everyone who's listening and watching, you know, when you speak sometimes will it? So it's so extreme because you've got so close to that emotion that sometimes people can think, oh, no, that's a bit extreme, I'm a bit more balanced. But really we all have that kind of, does that make sense? Like we all have a bit of that extreme instinct inside of us in some area of our life. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - And it's sometimes a delusion to feel, oh, I'm actually balanced. Like we sometimes listen and go, oh yeah, no, that's him. - That's him, his father was military. - Yeah, yeah, but I'm balanced, you know? We always feel weird balance. - We're balanced, exactly. I felt like I was balanced. I felt like I was balanced. - We always feel like we're on that, as the Buddha would say, as we talked about, the middle path. Like we always feel we're on the middle path and everyone's lost. - I know, yeah. - Everyone else is confused. Oh my gosh, that celebrity's confused. That person's on the wrong path.
Jay asks listeners to put their minds in the middle path while Will suggests learning from an athlete’s mindset and level of discipline to manifest the things that they want in their life. (17:29)
I'm okay, but you know, I really hope as you are listening to this, everyone, that put yourself in those shoes, put yourself in that mindset. It's a healthy activity to do. - And you can learn something from the extremes also, right? And when you look at the athletes, right, there's a certain extreme mindset that you, I was gonna say you have to take on, I don't know that you have to take it on, but I do know is that in this society, we worship that mindset that, you know, can you become Michael Jordan without that mindset? - Yeah. - You know? And that is a really powerful decision. - We're full, difficult question. It's like most people can't sustain the mindset that you're now, fortunately, because it can be so destructive, but most people can't sustain that level of discipline to manifest the things that they want in their life. And there's just a, there's a poisonous edge to that kind of discipline. And I've been to the edge of that kind of material world discipline in my mind. And I can tell you, you can have a whole lot of stuff and be miserable out there on that edge. And I found a much more comfortable and productive space in my life. And you still need that discipline. But it's like when you use that kind of power to achieve things, it's like there's a brutal reckoning. - Yeah. - There's a brutal reckoning at the end of that. - But the amazing thing about you is you've been on that path in that direction. I think people sometimes see these flips where they're like, "Oh yeah, now that you are rich and successful and famous, now you're going this way." But actually from our conversations and how you've shared with the family or even when we've worked with some of the friends in your life, it's like, this has actually been a long process. This isn't just 10, 12 months. This isn't just a couple of years. This has planted a seed from your grandmother. - Yes, absolutely. - Through your whole life. - Absolutely. - It's always been reminded of it to study spiritual paths, world religions, to study philosophies. Like this is just a long process.
Jay mentions how Will’s grandmother had a huge impact in his life. It's all about finding peace by living your life in service. His parents, on the other hand, had different principles and pushed for totally different things, yet they showed him how life should be lived. (20:11)
Tell me about that belief your grandmother had in you and tell me a bit about how she planted that deep seed because I think what you said at the beginning that we need that example, I think everyone, if they really reflected, there'd be someone in their life, either indirectly or directly, but sometimes we forget them. But when we've been talking to everything, your grandmother's been such a pivotal figure. - Yeah, yeah. - I'd love for you to share what you think she did that was so powerful because maybe there are some parents listening today and brothers and sisters and grandmothers and grandparents listening today and they'll be able to do that for their children and grandchildren. - My father, my mother and my grandmother, whenever I think about the three of them, I picture a triangle in my mind. And I see like my father was the base as discipline and my mother didn't care about anything but education. Like that you had to learn, grow, study, travel. Like my mother was really serious about educating the mind. And my grandmother was love and God. My grandmother was that grandmother at Resurrection Baptist Church. And she had, you know, we were doing our Easter recitations and we was in the Nativity, you know. So she was that grandmother at the church and her life was deeply devoted to God and Jesus in the form of loving service, right? So the form that it took was she was working hard to love everybody, you know. I remember my grandmother bringing homeless people into our house when we were little and washing them in our bathtub. I thought that was the nastiest thing. Oh, ah! But she would be in the bathroom with her hands, washing homeless people, you know. And as a child, it was like, no! But as I grew older, I just saw how dedicated and devoted she was to living her life in service. It took me 50 years to figure out, to figure out what the secret of that was, you know. But it was, there was a day of her life that wasn't devoted to loving and serving, you know. And I just watched her, she worked the graveyard shift at the hospital and she watched us, my brothers and sisters during the day while my parents were at work, you know. And then when my parents got off work, then she went, she would take a little nap and then she would go to work at the hospital, you know. And she was the, just the happiest person that I had ever met, nothing faced her, she was okay. And I remember I was about 12 and I had started rapping. And you know, so I had my rap books, I had all of my little curse words and everything in my rap book. And she found my rap book and she never said anything and she just opened the cover and she wrote a letter to me. Dear Willard, truly intelligent people do not have to use words like this to express themselves. God has given you the gift of words. Be sure to use those words to uplift people. And you know, I was sitting, I was reading that and just love GG. And you know, that was part of the reason why I never, used profanity in any of my music. And it was like, she, she missionized me in that way to make sure that what I was doing was uplifting others. You know, and when you're telling stories, you can always find the part of the story that is a gift for the potential upliftment of somebody that would see it, you know. So, but yeah, she was all God, all love. - I love that one. That's such a beautiful story. I hadn't had that one before. - Oh, we haven't talked about that one. - Yeah, we haven't talked about that one. - When your grandmother finds your red book and you got curse words in it, it's a bad look. It's a bad look. - Well, it's good that she founded that early and that had such an impact on you and brought you out. Where was the, as you started to grow in that success and that journey, and you decided you wanted everything you do to have a positive impact on others, whether it was music and then movies.
Jay talks about the hard work Will had to do that people don’t really see. A lot of people have not seen the learning accumulated through hard work, the sacrifices made along the way, and the military mindset that Will cradled so deeply within. (25:14)
And then that journey led you to just tell us about the hard work and graft that went into the creation of what you said earlier, which was like, I was working so hard and my family hated me and this didn't work, but tell us about that hard work because I think sometimes it's forgotten. - Yeah, yeah. - And it's, you know, it's almost like, you don't realize how, when I started spending closer time with you and started seeing you on set. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - And in the trailer and then you'd walk out and in two seconds you'd be in character. - Yeah, yeah. - And then you'd walk back in and you'd be real again. And then we were in your man cave and you have your, you have the movie plotted out and you'd walk me through like how that tells you. And I started to understand and appreciate that what you do is a science and it is strategic and systematic and it is a skill you have worked on for decades and decades and decades. You start to realize that the external view of like, will's charismatic and he's cool and you start to realize like, yes, but that is underpinned with just hard work. And I think that that's a real awakening that a lot of people don't get to experience when they see you on a big screen. - Yeah, yeah. - Because you don't see all of that there. You don't see the learning of the lines and you have a phenomenal memory. Like you, you know, we're studying spiritual books together and you can remember stuff that you've read that day and that comes from all your years of training. And even your ability when we first met and you said, Jay, I'm an actor, you know, when we're direct, just direct me and we can do this because I can drop into a student mindset. So much of this is internalized. It's not, tell us a bit about how long it took to learn all of this and start playing with it beyond just thinking, oh yeah, I've got this because I can act. - You know, I grew up in a military household and, you know, while there, you know, there are certain emotional drawbacks to that. There are intellectual and organizational pluses that are, you know, hard to beat. So, you know, my father was really, you know, strict on order, organization, and the incremental completion of tasks, you know. And, you know, also combined with my mother's push on education as a really young child, you know, we had to put hospital corners on our beds and our shoes were lined up. And, you know, so, you know, at six years old, we were forced to think along those military lines. And everything was a mission to my father, like, you know, never, there was nothing that was a basic task. You weren't just gonna wash the dishes. You know, it was a mission, you know, that had to be completed with, you know, military precision, you know, down to how much dishwashing liquid you're using and how much the bottle cost. And if you use that much and how many dishes do you wash with that amount of dishwashing liquid and how long are you gonna be able to use this dishwashing bottle so you can relate that to how much work you have to do to be able to wash that many. - Your dad sounds Indian. - Yeah. - You have to say, "Well, is you dead, Indian?" That's more, that is intense. - Yeah, you know, so it was really, you know, his mind was like that and I took, you know, we always take the things we hate the most from our parents. But, you know, from that, the gift of structure and the gift of breaking tasks down, you know, you set the, you know, you set the goal but the breaking the tasks down into smaller manageable pieces was a thing that I came out of my childhood with. You know, for example, you met J.L. - Yeah. - I thought when I said I wanted to, I wanted to be the biggest movie star in the world, you know, and I was 18 or something. - Oh, I haven't met, yeah. - I know you too, I haven't met him yet. - Yeah, I know you too much, yeah. - And I said I wanted to be, I want to be the biggest movie star in the world. So the first thing that we did is we looked at, okay, well, what are the top 10 movies of all time? 'Cause if you want to be the biggest movie star in the world, you're gonna have to make the biggest movies in the world. So we said, well, what are the top 10 movies? So we looked at the top 10 movies, we said, well, what are the patterns? What are the patterns in the top 10 movies? And at the time, 10 out of 10 were special effects movies and nine out of 10 were special effects movies with creatures. And eight out of 10 were special effects movies with creatures and a love story. So, that's where the bent for me towards sci-fi movies came from the recognition of the patterns of sci-fi creatures and a love story. So that became what we were looking for with everything. And then Independence Day was a no brainer and then Men in Black was behind that. And it's that kind of systemized. - Algorithm. - Yes, right, exactly. Looking for what is the pattern? You know, and that's one of the gifts my father stuck me with coming out of childhood. - Yeah, this is one of my favorite parts about talking to you because of this ability to turn those into gifts. - Yeah, yeah. - And I wanna just emphasize that point to everyone who's listening and watching again because I think we're living in a time right now where there's a lot of bitterness towards parents and what we've received. And rightly so as well, like some things are, you know, quite hard to deal with that level of trauma, et cetera. But at the same time, when we start looking at our lives this way, not in a fake way or an in genuine way, but really start to process some of these things to see the powers that it gave us.
Jay points out that most superheroes get their powers when bad things happen to them. This is also true for everyone, that most of our experiences happen to teach us a lesson. Will then added that there is no such thing as a bad experience. (32:06)
- Absolutely. - All the superheroes that we all love in sci-fi movies, they all got their powers from bad things. - Yes, exactly. - No one ever had something good happen to them and then they, like for Spider-Man, he got bit by Spider. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - For this person, like got abandoned by his parents. Like all the superheroes we all love and worship, all got their powers from something bad happening to them. - You know, it's really difficult to say that to someone in the middle of the throws of a traumatic experience. - Yeah, we've talked about that. - Right, but you know, from sitting on this side of the experiences that I've shared, you know, in my life and in my experience, there's no such thing as a bad experience, right? There's experiences you don't like. - And they hurt. - And they hurt, right? But to define something as a bad experience, for me has not been true. Everything that's ever happened to me in my life that at the time was deeply traumatic and debilitating, you know. There's been only two times in my life when I contemplated suicide. - Wow. - You know, there's been two times in my life, you know, the once was when my mother and father separated, when my parents broke up and I was 12. And you know, that was one of the only, you know, serious times in my life that I contemplated suicide. But even out of that, as I look back on that, the pain of that experience cultivated devotion in my life to my family. And I just never wanted to have my children suffer that. And of course, you know, I got divorced from Shiree. So that was, I was recreating that situation, but it woke me up in a way that forced me to try to connect with my children. So the negative experiences or the things that were awful at the time, you know, there's always the other side of the coin. And in my experience, I've cultivated only positive things out of the most negative experiences of my life. My father's death and the six weeks up to my father's death was probably the most formative time in my life. And as painful as it was and as difficult it wasn't all the stuff that came up during the time, I still, it was a powerful formative, positive experience in my life. - Tell us a bit about that, if you don't mind, about why you felt it was formative. And because I think a lot of people go through the loss of their parents. And, you know, we've talked about this, like the idea of like, sometimes people regret of what they did or didn't say to that. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. - Or maybe what they expected of their parents, what was it that was so powerful that allowed you to feel that way about that moment?
Jay taps into Will’s last moments with his father and how he coped with the loss. The lesson learned from the experience is to always be genuine with your every “Hello” and “Goodbye”, who knows it could be the last. (35:57)
- 'Cause I got a gift that some people don't get. And it was that the doctors told us he had six weeks to live. Right, so, and then he lived for four months. Right, so I got a warning. So most people don't get a warning. You just get the call one day and you just didn't get a chance. And when I found out that he was dying, it just by the grace of God was in the middle of the shooting. I was doing a movie called "Colateral Beauty." And it was about a guy dealing with the death of his daughter. So I was into the Tibetan book of living and dying and reading all the, was it Elizabeth Kubler, just reading all this stuff about death. So I've been programmed for six months and I had read and studied all of these, all these books about death and grief and dying. And then I get the message and I was like, I sat down with my father. And of course I had all of my traumas and all of my issues and everything with him, but I had also been, I've six months of programming of all of the things that you're supposed to do, you know, to prepare yourself for the death of a loved one. And, you know, so I sat with him and we talked about everything. So I said everything that I wanted to say and we got to those six weeks. And when we got to those six weeks, we were clear, but then he lived for another three months. So what happened was every meeting, every time I saw him, I was flying back to the LA, but every time I saw him, was like, oh, thank God. And then every time we said goodbye, we made sure we said a good thorough full goodbye 'cause we knew at any moment that it could actually be the last goodbye, right? And, but the lesson was, it's always like that. When we say goodbye, we can't know if this is the last time we will ever see, you should never greet someone casually or say goodbye to someone casually. And that lesson came from that experience every moment was so rich. Every time we saw each other, and every time we said goodbye, we made sure it was a good thorough full goodbye. But that's how you're supposed to live every day, anyway, every time you leave your house could be the last time. You're supposed to be in the richness of your hellos and goodbyes and thank yous, you know? And, you know, sorry, I learned that lesson with my father. And then when he passed, it was easy. We were finished, you know? And just the lesson of that kind of presence and that kind of attention and that kind of recognition that tomorrow's not promised, you know, and just getting shaken out of thinking that you're gonna have, you know, tomorrow. Anybody who hasn't spoken to their parents or their brother or their cousin that they had a thing with or their ex and they don't talk anymore, call them right now. You just don't like, don't think you're gonna have a chance to call them to tomorrow or next week. And it's like that opportunity with my father changed every relationship in my life. I've cleaned all of the relationships in my life to no regret. I do not want someone to be gone and I wish I had and wish I could have and I'm just, I'm not doing that in my life. - That's beautiful, man. Thank you for sharing that. That's just hearing you say that I think there's a lot of people who need it to hear that and I'm hoping everyone's gonna pick up the phone and message and if that person's not here anymore, still write them a letter. - Is it right, absolutely? - Right, if they're not here anymore and you didn't get to say all of that, write a letter. Read it out to them. Read it to a picture of them if that's what it takes. They allow yourself to share and express, don't hold it in and hold it back because somehow that energy will still reach that person and that energy's left you too. So, even if you can't call someone up today, make sure you still follow the same practice because yeah, it's just not, it's never worth it. It's never worth it. - It's just never worth it. - Never worth it. And I love that idea of valuing each hello and goodbye. - Absolutely. - And not taking it for granted or taking it lightly. You never know whatever's gonna happen, right? You just have no idea and unfortunately we see it. This is the, there's actually a beautiful, I don't know if we ever talked about this, there's a beautiful piece in the Mahabharata which is the Gita's a small part of and one of the students asked the teacher, he said, "What's the most amazing thing in the world?" Like, "What's the most incredible thing in the world?" And the teacher responds and says, "The most incredible, amazing thing in the world "is that we see people leave all around us "but we never think it's gonna be us." - I never. - Like, so you see it and you have that moment again and again and then you lose someone in your life and you think, "Oh, that could be me "or let me be someone else." And you live like that for a day. And then the complacency sets back in. - Absolutely. - Tell us a bit about, you know, you've been studying world religions and spiritual paths for a long time. And the first time I officially reached out to you and your team and everyone, which was a few years back now, was because I saw that you'd been reading the Gita. And the Gita was obviously the book that I read and studied so deeply and fell in love with and after having studied world religions myself too. And I've had beautiful experiences reading the Bible and the Quran and the Gita. And so when I saw you talking about it, when you were in India, I was just like, "Wow, like this is amazing. "Like I'm already a huge fan. "I love Will Smith. "Like how is Will reading the Gita?" I was like, "How did that even happen?" And then when I got to know you and Jada and spoke to the family, I realized that you'd taken on a challenge to like study a world religion every year. And tell us about that and what you learned along the way.
Jay asks Will about how the tradition to learn new religion every year, how this strengthened his bond with Jada, and the lessons learned while studying these different religions. (42:51)
What were some of the traditions that stood out in your journey that, and what did you learn from them? Whether it was the Qabbalah or even Scientology, all those because you've shared so many beautiful lessons with me from what you've studied. And I'd love to pass them on. - So what was, I guess probably in the first 10 years of our marriage, that was me and Jada's bonding, right? So every year we would pick a spiritual tradition and we would study it all the way through. - How did you even start doing that? Like, because when I heard you did that, I think Jada told me first. When I heard you did that, I was just like, I was just, it just took me aback because I've almost, you don't come across that all the time. And I was lucky enough to study world religions. My father started encouraging me when I was about 14 to start reading spiritual books. And I dated a Muslim girl who asked me to read the Quran. That's how I read the Quran, which was a wonderful experience in my life at 16. I read the Bible because we would celebrate Christmas and I'd feel guilty that we celebrated Christmas, but I didn't, hadn't read the Bible. So I started going to church on Christmas and then reading about Christ and the Bible. And I just absolutely fell in love with the scripture. And then I was just reading so many different books. And finally I came back to the Gita, which was the book I was brought up with. But yeah, tell me about even why you and Jada decided to do that. So I don't even know how it developed as a thing. I know when we got married, we were trying to decide what church we were gonna get married and where we're gonna get married in Baltimore or Philly and who was gonna be the priest. And so Gami had a different religious background and GG. So we were trying to figure all of that kind of stuff out and Jada didn't wanna do any of that. Jada wanted for she and I to go to a mountain, and pledge our love and devotion to one another, to God without, she felt like we weren't going to adhere to this specific religious tradition. We would just be picking it for her mother or my grandmother or something to try to figure that out. So I think the discussion about the religious background we would raise our children in is what came up when we first got married. And she grew up in a thing called the Ethical Society in Baltimore and they would honor the different religions. And my background, I grew up, I went to Baptist Church. I went to a Catholic school and somewhere in that first decade of our marriage, we were like, oh, wouldn't it be hot if we could say that we had read and covered a cover all of the major holy books. And we started with the Bible. And I just remember seeing her Bible was, Mark, you know how I do my books? Now you see how all my books are highlighted all the way through. And she completed the entire Bible seven months before me. So now it's on. So then when it came time for the for the Quran, I was like, I wanted to win. Yeah. But you know, so we would take a year and we would study all of these traditions as a, you know, really as a way of the two of us bonding spiritually and intellectually around the concepts. And you know, we went through Kabbalah and you know, Scientology. And really what was happening is every time I would meet someone who was of a different tradition, I would allow that person to introduce me to what their tradition was. And then I did Ali. And so we circled back around to the Quran during that time. But we really just, we love the idea of, of spirituality and the study of the love of God. And we don't necessarily believe in organized religion. We believe that the organizations kind of jump ahead of the spirituality. You know, the church of Christ is very different than Christ. The steps that Christ actually walked, you know. So we started to notice those kinds of differences. And we just, we really just wanted to find the truth. You know, what is the truth? And you see how my whole family dives into kids are doing it. Now, you know, with the, with the, the Gita. And it's, and it's really just trying to find our way, you know, in, in this world. Yeah. And, and, and I love that. And I was so fascinated by that myself because I saw that within myself. And so when I saw it with you and the family, I was, I was so drawn to that because, yeah, I think that a lot of what we're trying to figure out in today's world has been suffered for long enough in an internal way, that when you're diving into these books of wisdom, there's just so much there to enough. Because people have been through the same challenges for decades and decades and decades.
Jay talks to Will about the wisdom within books, how past people had lived through the same problems that most of us are dealing with today. Treating people the way you want to be treated is essential in maintaining peaceful relationships around you. (49:07)
The problems have already been solved. Yeah. I'm lived. I'm lived. I'm in love. And solved. Yeah. You know, and at the core of all of the, you know, the, the spiritual teachings that I've ever studied at the, at the, the core of all of the ideas, how you treat your neighbor is central. Right. Yes. Absolutely. Yet somehow people manage to twist, you know, in, in all the faiths and all backgrounds. Totally. People do unto others as you would have them do unto you is very clear. If you ask yourself that question, well, in this situation, how would I have them do unto me? And you did that. You'd never have a problem. Because the answer is never going to be, I think they should curse me out and spit on me and whoop my ass because I was tripping. It's like, you just, you know, I mean, I guess somebody would. Yeah, maybe. No, no, no. I think you're right. I think you're right. If I were in this situation, how would I want them to treat me? Yeah. Yeah. Right. And it's the, it's the most simple. Yeah. The most profound. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We, our teachers in the ashram would always tell us, and I've said this to you before, but they'd always tell us that these principles, you'll learn them on day one. You'll think you know them on day two, but you spend your whole life trying to realize. Yes. And that's the challenge with us. That we take what we learn on day one and what we know on day two to be like, I already know them. Yes, exactly. And then the teaching doesn't, what I love about what we've been doing is like, the teaching gets to like reveal itself to you. It's like, it's always opening up. It's like a lotus flower. It's always blooming. It's not like, oh, it's open now, it doesn't matter. Yeah. It's always opening up to you. And if you give it that time and patience, then you can truly see it grow and bloom into something. But if you just, if you just try and force it open, it just, I mean, you know, if you forced a flower open, it would just break. Yes, exactly. And that's what happens. What I say to you all the time is, you know, so to give people a sense of it. So we're, we were doing, you know, two to four hours a day, you know, a few days a week for months. For months, yeah. For months, you know. And, you know, we were spending as much time together as we were, would spend with our families or other things. So we, we, we, we've logged some real hours in this, in this last year. And the thing that was always amazing to me is that we could take eight hours, right? And we spend it and we get it and we study, we do all of that. And you leave my house and I pick up my phone. How quickly somebody could snatch me, I was like, and it really is a serious moment to moment, practice to remember to be nice to people. When you get sucked back into the foolishness so hard and so fast, and that was frustrating to me for a while. Like literally we would do eight hours. And I'm great, I'm great. And you wouldn't be off of this, off of the block yet. And I pick up my phone and it's a business call. And literally that fast, like literally in 45 seconds, my mind could get triggered back into that mindset. You know, I know now that that's just, it's every day. It's, you don't, you know, you don't get to know it and be done. Like it's a, it's a daily practice for the rest of your life to be able to deal with the foolishness of this world in a way that's productive and kind. - Yeah. - Now everyone knows I'm terrible at what I do. It's like, as soon as you're at the field, it's like, oh wow, like, J, you didn't, you're really bad at this. - Oh, J, you should have left Will with a little more girth than me. - I know. - You couldn't even last two seconds of that. That's terrible. - Well, you're working with years of sediment. - You're the, you're the, - All of us, lifetimes, like the conditioning is so strong. - Yeah, yeah. - And it's almost like when we start to do the work, you're walking into a garden full of weeds. - Yeah, yeah. - So all the flowers are covered. All the beauty of the garden is covered in weeds. And so you're cutting down the weeds. But because you've been watering the weeds for so long, they keep growing back. - They keep growing back. - And so you keep cutting them down and they keep growing back. It's the example, the analogy of the mirror that's given in the very tradition around how when you walk in and you try and clean a mirror that hasn't been cleaned for lifetimes, it's dusty.
Jay explains the Analogy of the Mirror wherein people become so disconnected from nature that everything becomes instant and our mindset has become NOW whereas nature is never instant. (54:53)
And so when you start cleaning it, the dust comes up in your face and you're like, oh, I can't see, I can't see. And that's what we're all going through. And when we start realizing what you just said, the day to day, it's like if you, if all of us said, we want to plant, I keep using gardening analogies, but it's only because it makes so much sense. I feel because we're so disconnected from nature, our mindset has become instant. And our mindset has become now. Whereas when you watch nature, nature's never instant. - I call that hunting versus farming. - Right. - Okay. - Hunting versus farming where people just, let's get it. Let's get it and eat. Right? - That's the green guy, I love that. I love that. - You know, versus now we're going to like, we're going to plant crops. - Plant the crops, brother. - Yeah. - I love that. Yeah, because it's the idea that if you, if me and you said we want to plant a tree, you'd have to come back to that tree every day to see how it was doing. - Yeah. - And it wouldn't be a tree for many, many years, but you'd have come back every day, water it, sunlight, move it, replant the soil. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - And that's what we're doing with ourselves, but for some reason, because we're so disconnected from nature now, we think that, oh, if I just meditate today, then it's, you know, it's like saying, oh, I'll eat today, and I don't have to eat tomorrow. - Yeah, right. - Like, oh, I shall have lost to who's - I shall have last week, I'm good. - I'm good. - But yeah, it's, you know, and I, again, it was your commitment.
Jay shares the first time he communicated with Will. It surprised him how Will can be so committed to the things he sets his mind on. And that prompted Jay to relearn and fall back in love with the things he fell in love years ago. Commitment is changing yourself through constant practice. (56:29)
I remember when we were on that first phone call, and I was like, you were like, oh yeah, I want to work on this. I was like, how much time do you have? Like, how much time do you have? And I, you know, you will Smith, so I'm thinking, you don't have any time. And I don't know how serious you get yet. I'm not aware yet of how immersed and obsessed you get with stuff. I'm still learning about you. And then you're like, I've got two hours. And I was like, oh, two hours a week, two hours biweekly, two hours monthly. You're like, no, two hours a day. - Two hours a day. - And I was like, wow, he's real. I was like, he's serious. So I was like, wow, he's for real. And then, you know, it was just, it was, and I'd go away and you re-inspired so much of my own study. And that's what I was telling you over Christmas, which is when we kind of broke off as I went to London and you've been traveling. It's like I spent the whole of Christmas reading myself for four to eight hours a day meditating again. - That's beautiful. - Because I felt I had to be more to give you more. - That's beautiful. - And I think that that was such a gift you gave me where I fell back in love with what I fell in love with years. - That's beautiful. - Because of the work we were doing. And because when you're answering someone's questions, you have to read deeper and think more and reflect more. And so for me, I went away from those meetings going, "Gosh, I better start reading more." But that's what's so beautiful about sharing something like that together. - It was great when the Radhanat Swami, when you told him that you were gonna be working with me, and I just loved his response. And you say, "Oh, that is so great. "You're gonna get to teach all of the things "you need to learn." - I remember. - I was just telling him, I was like, I was explaining to him how sincere you are. And I was like, "No, he's so serious, and he's sincere." And that's when he came back. And you're like, "That's when you know you've got a good teacher. "You know, you had to squash your ego "and make you realize how small you are." And it was beautiful because from that moment, that was my attitude when I was meeting you. I was like, "I'm saying this for me." And that allows you to be so much more, just allows you to get out of the way. - Yeah. - And let the wisdom do its work. - Yeah, that's so real.
Will explains why the central focus of his life is having a successful love relationship. This determination came after his experience with his parents divorce. He continues to seek knowledge on achieving this goal. (58:54)
This central problem that has been the focus of my life, and everything that I've done has been centered on having a successful love relationship, right? So I saw my parents when they were growing up, and I hated that my parents marriage deteriorated. And as young as I can remember, five, six years old, I wanted to be married, I wanted to have a family. I've never been the guy that, you know, wanted to do threesomes and groupies. And I never been that guy. I always wanted to commit and have a single successful relationship. So the scientist in my mind, and in my study of spiritual texts and things like that, I've always been looking for the secret to successful love relationships. And then as I've grown, it's sort of expanded, and I'm seeing the through line, oh, the same basic ideas are successful parenting, and the same basic ideas are being successful follower or a successful leader or a successful student. And I started to see the central issues with all of human relating. And it's the problems, or it's not even problems, the problem is really singular. And if you're talking about a husband and a wife, or you're talking about a parent and a child, or a Democrat and a Republican, or a Saudi and an American, in all of the configurations of human difficulty at the center of it is almost exclusively a lack of understanding of the other person's perspective, right? And it sounds simple and it may oversimplify slightly, but the concept of ignorance, the concepts of ignorance and delusion are always the problem, right? It's always the center.
The Essence Of Wisdom In Relationships And Encounters
Will discusses why the concepts of ignorance and delusion are always the center of problems in every human relationship. All issues within human relations stem from a lack of understanding. (01:01:28)
If you have a difficulty with another human being, there's some point of ignorance and some point of delusion that are keeping you from being able. - On both sides. - On both sides, right? And the problem is you can only worry about yours. You have to clear yours, and then once you clear yours and your vision gets clean and purified and you approach a person from a purified space, things get a whole lot easier. And it's like you are always bringing poison to the party. And when you recognize that in any difficulty you're having with any human being, you brought poison to the party, right? And if you can focus on locating and purifying the poison you brought, it opens up entirely new avenues of connection and compromise and solutions that you can create with a person. And that has really been the central focus of my life and being an actor has been spectacular in that way because my life is exploring my mind, and changing it, right? When I play a character who believes something that I don't believe, I have to learn how to feel something that's in opposition to my truth, which is a spectacular skill set to have to uproot beliefs, implant new ideas, and have them blossom on camera at the right moment. It's been such a powerful inner process of development to explore acting in conjunction with spirituality and supreme absolute truth. You know, to explore that as my job is fantastic. - Everyone should be trained as an actor. When you first said that to me, I was like, I never thought of it. And obviously I'm not an actor, and so I wouldn't know that. But when you said that to me, I was like, wow, that's like how people should be taught how to be students. Because the idea that you have the skill set and it's a skill to put your beliefs aside and go, I need to live by the beliefs that this character would die for. - Absolutely, yes. - And what would they be willing to die for? And then you're experimenting with it and then you can see whether you like it or not. And how it feels, where is most of us are so grounded in our own beliefs that we don't know how to take that hat off and put another one on. - Absolutely. - And that's where all of our issues come from, because that story of someone else. Someone that you know that did that extremely well in probably the most difficult circumstances would know some mandala. - Yes, absolutely. - And we've spoken about many times, you've spoken about it publicly, many times. I found this clip of you guys together. - Oh no, yeah. - That I love. I'm gonna have to show you. It's a while ago, but it's really, I've watched this whole, anyone who's watching, you have to go watch the whole thing. I'm only showing Will a short clip. That matters this clip here. - I don't know if you remember, I was saying to you, you know, I'm an actor. I make rap music. That's what I do. What can I do? And I sat with Mr. Mandela, I was so inspired. You know, you wanna immediately, you wanna quit your job. You know, you wanna go out on the streets, you know, but you wanna fight. You know, and he said, he said, no, you have to understand the power of what it is that you do. You have to understand the hope that is created by the work that you create. And he told me that don't not to force it, that the call would speak to me. And today the call has spoken to me in a humbly, gratefully, and will aggressively respond. And thank you. - Thank you. - You are. - Speak aloud to a justice member. - I'm a good man. - I'm a good man. - You love to tell me what he said. - No. - Yeah, this is it. - That's well-o-sitting on the call. - Wow. - Wow. - Wow. - Wow. - Thank you. - Thank you. - Goodness. - I forgot about that. - I forgot. - Oh, no. - I'm sorry. - I'm so happy with that inside. - Well-o. - That was a journey. - That's wild. - Yeah. - Wow. - I mean, there are so many I could show you. That was one of the- - Oh my goodness. - There was so many beautiful clips of YouTube together. - Yeah, no, that was a, that was, that was one of the, you know, I'm not a man prone to regrets, you know? And we talked about this a lot, but that was one of the regrets. And, you know, I'm making my way back around to the ideas and that's, you know, part of our relationship and rather not swami. But I was sitting with Mr. Mandela.
Will retells his unforgettable encounter with Nelson Mandela and how he was offered to be his student about life struggles. (01:07:59)
It may have even been that day. And we were sitting, it was calm. He just had this look on his face. And I said, I said, what's that look on your face? You know, he was kind of looking, he was just watching people. I said, you know something that the rest of us don't know. - He definitely did. - He looked at me and the look that I recognize now was, he said, oh, right? That, it was like, that's the right question. You know? And he said, he said, if you come spend some time with me, I'll teach you. And somehow I was so, I just felt so unworthy of that. He reached out to me every year before he died. And you know, he said, I'm an old man, you need to come spend some time with me. And I just felt unworthy, you know? And he wanted to teach me what we're studying. You know, he wanted, you know, I've tasted a little bit of what he wanted to teach me. And the question is, how can you smile in this world? You're not gonna change it. You know, you're gonna do your part, but this world is chaotic and it's brutal and it can be really unloving. And how do you do your part with a smile on your face? - Yeah. - You know? And it was really beautiful. One of the few things, not even, you know, I know things happen in their time. So it's not a regret, regret, regret. But it's like a regret. - Well, I always say to that, first of all, it's actually a very, the fact that you didn't go because you felt unworthy is at least from the traditions I've studied would be considered extremely good spiritual qualification for learning. - Yeah. - Like when we think it's weird, like spiritual life is like, it's teaching you self-worth without having low self-esteem. - Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. - And you said it once in an interview to begin about Nelson Mandela. You said like, you know, it's like being in his presence made you realize how small you were. - Yes, yeah. - But how big you could be. - How big, yes. - Right? You said that. - Absolutely. - When I heard you said that, yeah, you said. - I'm gonna start saying that again. - Yeah. - That's good stuff. - Yeah, you said that. And it was, when I heard you say that, I was like, that is spiritual self-worth. - Mm-hmm. - We live in a world today where self-worth or self-beliefs are all like, I own this. Like, I'm worthy of everything. Like, of course, Nelson Mandela wants to spend time on the younger's men. Like, that's material self-worth. - Yeah. - But it's fickle and it's boring. - Yeah. - It's so, it has no base to it. It's base-ess. Whereas that feeling of like, as you said, that when I'm with him or when I was around him, I realized how small I was, but how big I could be. - Yeah, yeah. - That spiritual self-worth. - Yeah. - I mean, people often confuse humility with weakness or with low self-esteem. Like, oh well, you must have had low self-esteem. But it's not. It's just the idea that I still have to evolve a little bit to feel like and, you know, you-- - To deserve his time and attention. - Yeah. And because you had that, I feel, you know, you've continued in your way to find the, and he's still involved in your life. I think that's the beauty of it. - Absolutely. - If someone loves you that much, they don't stop like your grandmother. - She doesn't stop being involved in your life. - Absolutely. - And I've felt every time you've spoken about him, that you brought him into my life, just by speaking about him, and now into everyone else's life, even more. And, you know, I'm sure, you know, obviously I can't speak on his behalf at all, but all I can say is that his energy is still in your life, sure. - Yeah, that's real. - He lives too. - That is real. - Yeah, it's beautiful. But I wanna talk about a few more things before I let you go. I could talk to you forever. And we do do that, so I won't do that today. But I wanted to talk to you about when you mentioned, because I came back to this, because this was the initial statement that was like, "I need to get to know Will." And it was when you said that you were channeling your inner origin. - Yeah, yeah. - And you said that, and I was just like, "What have I... "It's just two of my worlds colliding." I grew up watching Freshman's every day. I knew every pickup line. I used every pickup line because of you. I bought the Bad Boys suit. Like, you know, for me, it's like, that was my teenage years. - Yeah, that's teenage years. - I watched Bad Boys for Life for the seventh time on the way here today to Dubai. 'Cause I thought I was like, "It's offensive to watch any other movie." So I've been a big fan for years, then I go off, be a monk, I come back, and then I'm in the world, and then I see you say this, and I'm like, "What?" Like, to me, it was just, it was so... And obviously getting to know you after that has made me go, "Okay, God had a plan, "and this is all..." But tell me about why Arjun as a character for you has been, because you even, and I think this is because of you and your storytelling, you even brought Arjun in my life, more to life. So tell me a bit about why Arjun was so synonymous with you.
Jay is curious why Will is so moved by the Story of Arjun. Will eagerly explains the story and why it resonated with so much. (01:13:42)
- You know, so there are figures in the world figures in spiritual texts, and just in general for human beings, being creatures of example, and there's, you know, probably for five or six years before Arjun, I just was stuck on Abraham. I just loved Abraham's life, right? And I was following Abraham, and on his death bed, he gets up to wash the feet of the guests in his house. Just stories like that, you know, just really stuck with me. So then I started reading about Arjun, and the circumstance that he was in, for people that don't know, Arjun is in a battle. His family has tripped out. He's a wonderful archer. He's the best archer in the world, and his family trips out and take the kingdom, and they're like, you know, they snatch his wife, and they're trying to disrobe his wife. And he's looking like, "Yeah, what are y'all jokers doing?" Like, and he comes home, and he's like, and they seize the kingdom, and he can't believe that they have done this. And he, you know, he's a warrior, and, you know, he could get the kingdom back, you know, but these are his uncles and his brothers in laws, and his teachers, and people that he loved and trusted, and they took his kingdom. And they prepared an army, and they're gonna fight Arjun, and he's devastated that his family and his friends and all of that, for material gain would do this to him, and he's deeply pious. And they prepare an army, the greatest army that's ever been assembled, except that they don't know that God is driving Arjun as chariot. And they think they're gonna tear through Arjun, and they're gonna do all of this, but God is driving Arjun as chariot, right? And even in that, you know, Arjun, he's like, how can you do this? Can me killing all of my family be the right answer, right? And on the other side of that, he's like, well, I'll just let them kill me. I'm not doing that. There's no version of me going into battle with them. I don't care how wrong they are, I don't care. And as I just got deeper and deeper into that story, it's just like, I feel like that all the time, right? I feel like I'm in what Radha Nhat Swami referred to as a perplexing situation. - Always. - Always, right? That I feel stuck in a perplexing situation with people I love where there's not clean answers, right? And I always feel strong enough. Like if you wanna fight, we can fight. I know how to fight, but how can that be the right thing? You know? And I just really related to how the Gita handles those kinds of perplexing situations and recognizing that's what life is. You are born into a perpetual perplexing situation. And that it was the first time that I'd ever heard the spiritual idea like that, that life is a perplexing situation. And you're never gonna get around being stuck in the duality. You have to elevate above the whole thing, you know? And the Christian concept about that that I always heard and never understood fully and my grandmother would say all the time, you gotta let go and let God, right? And it was like that, it just, you know, the Gita filled in that concept of what it really means. It doesn't mean don't do anything. - Yeah, yeah. - Let go and let God doesn't mean don't do anything. It means do your divine duty, whatever that may be. And just for whatever reason, the study of the Gita, at this particular point in my life, really clarified a lot of ideas of how to move through a world where you almost can't do it right, right? Right, it's like there's a, there's God's plan, a practical joke, right? And when you start seeing, you know, that there's a trick in there, you know? And the Gita illuminated that trick for me in a way. I was like, how could I be the biggest movie star in the world, be the best at all of this, and how you not love me? Right? And you know, how was my family miserable? And it's like, that's the trick. It's the practical joke. That's beautiful. Yes, right. Because it's the perception of the right reaction. Yes. That's where we get lost, is that for us, something, going back to what you said at the beginning, you were like, there's no such thing as a bad experience. Right. We're looking at the result of our activity. Absolutely. As a signal of how well we're living. Yes, absolutely.
Jay explains that most of us are living our life based on the result of our actions, which we think is a sign of success. We shouldn’t be living a life based on the possible results of our actions, instead we should live for ourselves and our own happiness. (01:21:06)
And that messes us up. Yeah. Because the result of your activities is not under your control. Yes, absolutely. And so if you're living your life based on the result of your activities being a signal that you're successful. Right. You're setting yourself up to Absolutely. And then one of us to it all the time. I was using Jada's reaction to my actions as a measure of the quality of my actions. Yeah. And one thing has nothing to do with the other. Yeah, absolutely. And that's not what we're taught, right. And, you know, the concept that someone's reaction to your behavior is theirs and your behavior is yours. And when you try to marry the two, when you try to use the outcome as a measure of the quality of your own being, that is the kiss of death. Correct. The way that this material where it works, you can do everything right. And it still go wrong in terms of outcome. Yeah. And you can do everything wrong. And it still goes right in the outcome. In the outcome, the outcome is not connected to the quality of your behavior. And that is such a hard idea to, you know, to digest. So when I started interacting with Jada and with my family as what a friend of my, Michaela, Michaela Bohm. No, Michaela. Yeah, what she refers to as a freestanding man, right. So I am certain and I am committed to being who I am and how I want to be without a craving for someone's approval, right. Because I know their approval doesn't have anything to do with me, right. And, you know, sometimes we get stuck in these situations where we're seeking the approval of someone for our self-esteem. Yes. Right. Self-esteem is about yourself. Right. Absolutely. But we start looking to other people for our self-esteem. And, you know, sometimes we find ourselves looking in broken mirrors to get a reflection of ourselves, right. And the greatest tragedy is when you look into a broken mirror to see if you're pretty, right. And you're going to let that person tell you about your inner qualities. And the greatest tragedy is when you look in a broken mirror and you're going to change your face to try to look good in a broken mirror. Man. Whew, I'm so glad to be free from that. That was fantastic. Yeah, that is incredible. And that's it. That's literally it. When you can free yourself from that cycle. Yeah. And it's a trap. It's rough. It's crazy. It just keeps you there. But that's what I think I keep seeing in your journey, like to see you at this stage in your career to still be growing, still be pushing. I mean, for people who don't know, like, I have to share this because it's what I find. And this is the only time I get to tell everyone. It's, you know, like, for me to see you on set, busy, like, you know, I mean, for anyone who's never been on set, it can be a stressful environment. You're, it's high pressure. Like, you're acting. You've got to know your lions. You've got to interact. And the sun's going down. The sun's going down. Will would literally come back in the trailer and he'd be reading in between being on set. So reading spiritual texts, spiritual books in between. And I just saw that. I was like, wow, like, you know, it takes so much effort and determination and hunger to be filling each and every gap with growth. - Yeah. - And so for anyone who's listening to this podcast while they're driving to work, while they're commuting, while they're editing a video, however you are consuming this podcast, I want you to know, like, you're doing that same thing. You're committing to growth. - Committing to growth. - In your gaps when you could just be doing something else. Like, you could have been in your trailer, I don't know, doing what people do in their trailers. I don't know. I don't know why people do their trailers. - No, that's my past, Jamie. I don't, I don't do that in my trailer. No one in there by myself. - Yeah, over me. And you know, and just, I would see that dedication.
Jay and Will agree on this: It's not a problem if you have comprehension of what's happening around you. You don't call things problems that you have complete comprehension of. (01:26:25)
And I think if, you know, to find time in between when you're filming a movie and it's, you know, big budgets and all this, everything. And your focus was here. - Yeah, yeah. - Your focus was here. Even in amongst all of that, that was truly inspirational. And, you know, that behind the scenes look at your internal journey is, has that such a big impact on my life? It's a no excuses, Jamie. - Yeah. It's the only thing to do, right? So, and that's to learn, right? To, we have to free ourselves from the darkness of our own ignorance. And the, you wouldn't call something a problem if you understood it. The problem is you don't understand it. Right? That's why you're calling it a problem, right? You don't call things problems that you have complete comprehension of, right? So, the process of freeing yourself from the pain and the misery of your difficulties and your problems is in, you know, constantly cultivating a broader comprehension of the deeper absolute truth of what's actually happening, right? And one of the things that I learned is that if I feel bad, if I'm unhappy, if I'm upset, if I'm disrupted or disturbed, the only thing that could do that is my ignorance. That's the only thing that creates misery is you slip into a sort of hopelessness of not being able to figure it out, you know? And just, you know, for me, I've gotten to the place that life is school, right? You know, you're not getting the promotion you want at work. That's school, get it, figure it out. You know, someone in your family is sick. That's school, that's like, life is the greatest teacher there is. You just have to be willing to learn and recognizing that your pain and your suffering is the thing that the universe is poking at. So you recognize that's where you're ignorant. - Yeah. - You know, you're, you wouldn't be having those struggles in those areas if you had a deep, broad comprehension of the fundamentals and the actual realities of those situations. - Yeah, it's so beautifully said again. It's, I was listening to you, I was thinking about how we're programmed to believe that life is for enjoyment. - Right. - But actually it's for education. - For education, yes. - Absolutely. - And we keep seeking enjoyment in the education. - Yes. - So we're trying, we think we're in a candy shop, but we're in a classroom. - I call that the poisoned honey scenario, right? - Yeah. - You're seeking enjoyment. You want something sweet and you don't recognize that that honey's poisoned, right? It's gonna be sweet going down, but it's, you know, the kickback on that thing is something terrible. - Yeah. - Yeah. - Yeah. - And we see that, we see that in, you know, what you're creating now. And I remember we talked about how you were amazing as the genie and you were saying how you felt you got to be so much of you and in the character, but even with the release of a mend that just came out, like I feel like we've talked about this concept before and you brought it up, you were like, you know, the sacred clown. - Yeah. - As always being the emblem and the symbol. And again, it's God's gift where you get to entertain, make people laugh, but you wanna help people grow through that. - Absolutely. - And that's really hard to do, but you do, that's you, that's who you are. And tell us about how that's now coming through in the work you're doing, like how you've actually brought this into reality because sometimes it can feel very heady.
Will relives his character as The Genie, a character so similar to his personality, his core. The concept of the sacred clown, the singing, dancing, and joy it brings, is beautiful conduit for the ideas. (01:31:05)
- Yeah, yeah. - But you've really been working hard on taking it out of the head into the heart and into the world. - Yeah. Yeah. And that was one of the things about a Latin that was so defining for me, you know, and that concept of the sacred clown, I had written that down in one of my books, you know, five or six years ago. And it's like, at my core that's either who I am or who I wanna be, but it's in there, it's in there. - It's true, yeah. - It's in there really deep. And in playing the genie, it was like, that I was at home, right? That combination of fun, light, silliness, and the imparting wisdom to a Latin, right? I was like, that's who I wanna be in the world. I wanna be singing and dancing and being silly and playing and all of that. And then sneaking the ideas in, you know, under the joy. But I had heard that, I think it was the Lakota Indians or something like that in Native Americans. Yeah, they had the image of the sacred clown. - Which is often considered negative. - Yeah, right, yeah. But it's like, I connected to it. It's like, oh, that's right. That's what the singing and dancing and all of the joy and all of the smiling and all of that is for, it's just a beautiful conduit for the ideas. And, you know, that's just, that's just at my core. That's, I'm happiest in that space. - Yeah, beautiful. Well, I could talk to you for hours and we will. - Oh, I'm sure we will. - But I'm gonna let you, I'm gonna ask you what I call the final five.
Closing Segment: Fast Five Questions With Will Smith
Will Smith ON the Fast Five questions (01:33:18)
These are one word answers. - One word answers. - One word to one sentence, the first five. - Okay, the first five. - Most of these are your first five. The first is what is the best advice you've ever received? - The best advice I've ever received. The first day I got on the tour bus when we were leaving for the first time, leaving Philly, me and Jeff and all our squad. And the last thing my grandmother said as the door was closing, she said, and she called me lover boy. She said, she said, "Hey lover boy, remember, be nice to everybody you pass on your way up 'cause you just might have to pass them again on your way down." And I was like, "That always stuck with me." - I love that, that's great. All right, second question. What's the worst advice you ever received? - The worst advice. - My boy Charlie Mack, Charlie Mack told me, he said, "Hey man, listen, listen, listen. The way you make a woman love you, you make a woman love you, you take out the dinner, you know, and then as you're going out to place, you just knock somebody out 'cause a woman gotta know you could defend it. You just knock somebody out. And if you knock, I mean, it could be a stranger, but you just knock somebody out and she see your strength. And that's how she'll feel confident. And it changes everything, it changes your sexual life, it just changes everything about it. But you gotta get them good and just knock somebody out. - Did you try it? - Yeah, no, I never tried it. - Oh, really? I love that. Oh man, if you were to try it, I could, yeah. - Yeah, no, I never tried that one. I kind of felt that that was bad advice in the moment. - Third question, I have to ask you about all three. No, two of them. One thing you learned from observing the life of Julius Irving and Muhammad Ali. - Oh wow, so Julius Irving was like the man went right in the heart of my childhood. The 76ers won the championship in 1983 in a four game sweep of the Lakers. It was heaven. - And you know, Dr. J was in everything in Philly. And I would say that the single thing with Doc is he was always dignified no matter what somebody said, no matter what somebody did, he got in one fight in his entire NBA career. But the idea that he was just perfectly still and he was an exquisite, well spoken gentleman. And that was the thing, he was a killer on the court. But he was just exquisitely elegant and peaceful while at the same time doing the thing. And that balance of those two things I always thought was spectacular. - I love that, that's beautiful. - Yeah, you said Ali. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - You guys spent so much time. There's some great interviews between you two. - Yeah, yeah. Ali was hilarious. One of the things, you know, so Ali would just come to set, he would walk around, he would walk away and just get on a bus. We say, "Yo, where's the champ?" And he would get on a bus and just ride a city bus and just ride with people. No idea where the bus is going, nothing, no security, anything like that, right? And he was engaged with, you know, people in a way I'd never seen anybody. Like as famous as he was, he engaged with people in that way. And I would say the total and utter submission to God, right? And he looked like he was arrogant, but it was the other way. It was like he was talking like that and acting like that because he was so utterly submissive to the will of God. And that combination, it just really inspired me with how I wanted to be with people in the world. And I asked him, "The champ, why do you just walk away with people like that?" And you know, you know, he said, "Oh man, you got to let these people see you." He said, "They ain't never seen nothing like you before." You got to get out there and you got to touch them so they know you real. People can't aspire to stuff that they don't think is real. You know? You know? And it was like he was just so in tune with what he was, you know, and that the seemingly arrogant humility was a beautiful combination. - I love that. All right, question number four. What's the biggest lesson you've learned in the last 12 months? - In the last 12 months, I would say it's that ignorance and evil are twins. They look at them and they look just alike except that ignorance can be educated and evil is a much more difficult problem. And I would say I learned, fortunately, that ignorance is much more prevalent than blatant evil. If that makes sense. - That's a great answer. - Yeah. - That makes so much sense. We have to have a whole... That makes a lot of sense. All right. Fifth and final question, if you could create one law in the world that everyone had to follow, what would it be? - One law that everyone had to follow, it would be that you have to repeat back what you heard the other person say before you're allowed to say what you think. That the law is you're not allowed to respond to what someone said until you repeat back what you heard and the person has multiple opportunities. No, no, no, that's not what I meant. And until you repeat back accurately what the person said, you don't get to talk. - That is a great law. I love that principle. It helps in every area of life. - Yeah, because our minds go way off the deep end with what we heard somebody say. And our response, well, first of all, we're not really listening. 'Cause we wanna, we already know what we wanna say no matter what they say. And we go really way off the deep end. I was shocked and surprised by how far we can be from what someone actually said to what we heard. - Absolutely. - Absolutely. - That broke America. - That broke America. Yes, exactly. - Yeah, I love that. Will, is there anything I haven't let you share or something in your heart right now that you like have to say this and you wanna share it? It doesn't have to be, but. - No, not really just a, and that idea there was something that popped in when we were saying it that's called the broken calculator. And it's about human interacting and that the ego can sometimes be a broken calculator in that imagine the seven is stuck down. So every equation you punch in is seven, equal seven, equal seven, equal seven, equal seven. So no matter what you say to a person if they've experienced a trauma and in their trauma, you know, men ain't shit, men ain't shit. So that's the broken seven. So no matter what you say, no matter how you behave, it keeps coming up men ain't shit. And getting our seven unstuck is a really critical part of being able to interact with other human beings. 'Cause we're painting on everything we hear they say. We're adding our stuck seven to everything they say and you just can't get the equation to come out correctly if your calculator's broken. - I love that analogy. That's awesome, I never heard that before. I love that, yeah. If everyone who goes away listening to this interview, the one thing you remember is that. What is that broken calculator? What's that number? - The broken calculator. - You keep adding to the equation. - And you're gonna make it beat at no matter what is in front of you, your equation's coming up with your broken number. - Yeah. - If you want even more videos just like this one, make sure you subscribe and click on the boxes over here. I'm also excited to let you know that you can now get my book Think Like A Monk from ThinkLikeAMonkBook.com. Check below in the description to make sure you order today.