As a digital nomad and journalist, I travel the world while logging around 70 articles a month. To effectively manage a country-hopping lifestyle while also building my bylines and clients, I turn to the advice of seasoned movers-and-shakers who have developed habits and strategies for success. Each week, I’ll highlight the daily routine of influential professionals, making for the right kind of fodder while you down your coffee.
In case you weren’t aware, Will Smith actually was born and raised in west Philadelphia, and he’s spent most of his days since childhood rising to fame. Once named the most powerful actor in Hollywood, Will Smith has not only been nominated for five Golden Globes and two Academy Awards but he’s won four Grammys, too. In addition to his lengthy — and impressive! — acting and rapping career, Smith is also a talented producer, and as of late, an inspiring life coach on Instagram. While raising a family of three with his wife, Jada, of 20 years, he’s also collected some industry records, cementing his place in Hollywood.
To date, he’s the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross more than $100 million in the domestic box office, and in total, his films have grossed an estimated $7.5 billion at the global box office. With a net worth around $250 million, this superstar isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. To get to his podium, he’s followed a few distinctive principles of thinking and living, including these five you can adopt for your own lifestyle:
He stays ready.
As the saying goes, if you want to become a leader, you must always be willing to greet opportunity when it arrives. Smith applies this mentality to his everyday life by remaining physically able and mentally stable at all times.
In other words? He’s always ready to jump when he needs to — out of airplanes, into invitations, into a new project, or whatever else comes his way. In an interview with AskMen, he explained though he sees himself as ‘average talent’, he’s able to reap success because he prepares constantly.
He credits this approach to his father he often reminded him that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. “So if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready, and that is how I run my life. Just stay ready. Stay in shape and then you don’t have to rush to train before the movie starts. …And I’ll show you my abs later because I’m in shape,” he shard. “But that idea, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”
He remains humble.
Ask anyone who attends networking events for their profession, and they’ll be quick to explain confidence over arrogance.
For some, it is a thin line to tread, but according to Smith, passing on the philosophy of humility is essential. In the same AskMen interview, Smith shared how he talks about finances to his children: “My daughter said, ‘Daddy, are we rich?’ I say, ‘No, baby, you’re broke. Daddy worked really hard. You don’t even own them clothes. Mommy and daddy are going to teach you how to create a space where you have the life that you desire, but this is the life that mommy and daddy desired and we worked really hard to create this life for ourselves, but you are going to have to create your own.’”
Teaching the value of hard work ethic and remaining gracious is scientifically proven to foster even more success, as well as trust in other people.
He envisions success.
If you’ve ever read The Secret, you already know about the idea behind ‘manifestation.’ Essentially, what you think about creates your reality, making positive thinking a much better decision than diving into a sinkhole of negativity.
In one of his most famous and well-known quotes, Smith said, “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.” While the scientific backing for this practice is still questionable, connecting the heart to the brain, and thus, our actions, can create a better sense of self and esteem, which is proven to help propel individuals into opportunities for success.
Whatever you envision for your life — whether your career, your savings account, your love life, your bucket list of travel destinations — spend more time imagining yourself where you want to be, and as Smith says, watch the avenues open.
He crafts his talent into a skill.
Another widely-known nugget of wisdom from Smith is explaining the difference two words that are often exchanged synonymously: “Talent and skill are not the same thing, talent is natural; skill is only developed by hours and hours of beating on your craft.”
Even though he may look effortless on film, Smith has admitted several times to just how much he obsesses over every detail, making him a stronger actor, producer, rapper, father and husband. It isn’t always fun to practice (and science says most dread it), but to reach goals, you have to put that nose to the iron.
He’s mindful of his company.
Recently, Smith has been showering his 21 million Instagram followers with digestible, inspirational videos featuring his best life advice. There are dozens to pick from, but one that earned attention (and those double-taps) centered around choosing company wisely.
It’s the same mantra your mom warned you of as a teenager, but no matter old you get, it remains true.
In his video he put it humorously: “Don’t be hanging with no jank-ass jokers that don’t help you shine.” It’s solid advice, since research indicates constantly surrounding yourself by negative naysayers can actually take years off your life.
For more Daily Habits to Steal: