I was on YouTube like I had been a couple of days ago and on the sidebar, I noticed a video under the suggestion heading by the title of: Your Words and Thoughts Have Physical Power – Will Smith. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that our words and thoughts have an effect on the world around us (check out our spirituality resources or life guidance resources, and you’ll see some of the kinds of books that I recommend discuss these principles in their books), but I didn’t expect this kind of wisdom from a famous actor.
It’s not that I don’t think that Will Smith has the capacity to understand or even believe these kinds of things, it’ s just that with entertainers, it’s harder to imagine them outside of some of the roles they’ve played. After watching the almost 10-minute video of many clips spliced together where Will advocates the theory that our thoughts have a decided effect on the outcome of our lives, I couldn’t help but write a post here about it. In fact, I’ve even included the video at the end because I really think it’s worth the 10 minutes it takes to watch it.
One of the interesting perspectives that he offers is on talent and skill. He says:
Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.
I think that there is definitely truth to this and it is backed up by the work of Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers. In it, Gladwell purports that to be over-the-top successful at something, you need to spend upwards of 10,000 hours doing that something. Gladwell cites an example of The Beatles, explaining to the reader that for 4 straight years, The Beatles were able to perform live in Germany. In this time, Gladwell claims that The Beatles accumulated over 10,000 hours of (practice) at their craft and that when they came back to England, they were an instant-hit. Gladwell also cites the example of Bill Gates who, when in high school, gained access to a computer. Gates spent nearly all of his free-time on this computer, accumulating hours and hours of (practice), which eventually led to Microsoft.
Another interesting quote from the video:
You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m gonna build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built. You don’t start there. You say, I’m gonna lay this brick, as perfectly as a brick can be laid. And, you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.
I’m sure this concept is not new to anyone, about “taking one step at a time,” but it’s something that I think is worth repeating, and I think it’s also adds a different level of authority to hear someone like Will Smith say it.
I want to do good. I want the world to be better because I was here.
Wouldn’t it just be fabulous if we all walked around with this attitude: wanting the world to be better because we were here. Performing acts, volunteering, making a difference – making the world a better place.
I just believe that. I believe that I can create whatever I want to create.
Around 6:47 of the video, he begins talking about how our thoughts are physical things in the universe.
Our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our ideas — are physical in the universe. That, if we dream something, if we picture something, if we commit ourselves to it, that is a physical thrust towards realization that we can put into the universe. That the universe is not a thing that’s gonna push us around. That the world and people and situations are not something that’s gonna push us around. That we are gonna bend the universe and command and demand that the universe become what we want it to be.
Celebrities can be a mixed bag. They can run the spectrum from those that are having a hard go of things, like Lindsay Lohan, to those like Will Smith who use their celebrity for other means. Whenever I learn that a celebrity is involved in the kinds of thinking that Will Smith is, I can’t help but smile just a little bit, knowing that maybe our world really is changing faster than we know.