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    Will Smith Drops Gems Of Wisdom, And Here Are 19 Reasons Why I Am Now Calling Him "Uncle Will"

    Will Smith shall henceforth bear the honorable name "Uncle Will."

    Will Smith has crashed social media a few times with his revealing memoir Will, which includes everything from childhood trauma to details of his psychosexual experiences. But while everyone is busy hating on Will and Jada for telling things no one asked them for, I’d like to take a moment and remind you of 19 times Uncle Will delivered us gems of wisdom about life.

    1. That one time Uncle Will helped me see that on the other side of fear is bliss:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via YouTube

    This is one of my favorite Storytime episodes from Will because the lesson he shares about conquering fears is one I applied in my own life. Will agrees to go skydiving with his friends and then immediately regrets it because he is terrified of the idea. What happens next changes the way Will sees the world. Moral of the story: Bliss is on the other side of fear. I found this to be true when I took Will’s advice and conquered my fear of singing in front of people. I showed up to an open mic on the North Side of Chicago, where for the first time I sang solo in front of a crowd of people. My singing skills are moderate at best, but the second I opened my mouth to let sound out I felt completely free. Watch the video to see why Will’s story helped me. 

    2. When he used a story from his teen years as a reminder to be compassionate and purposeful:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via YouTube

    Will Smith’s YouTube channel series called Storytime is quite a treat because of the vulnerability that he shares with watchers. In the episode titled “Painful Awakening (Dude Punched Me... HARD!)” Will knew he'd face trouble coming from a predominately white elementary school to enter a predominantly Black high school. He had to make a loud entrance to establish himself. That choice changed another’s student life, which left Will with a deep sense of regret and a commitment to inspire people positively.

    3. When Will Smith reminded me of the significance of love, time, and death in Collateral Beauty:

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    Warner Bros. / Via YouTube

    If you haven’t seen it before, then you will be brought to tears when you watch Collateral Beauty. Will’s character Howard has lost his daughter far too soon and struggles with grief that begins to negatively affect him at work and pretty much in any interpersonal interactions. Howard has shut down. However, he writes letters to love, time, and death. When those letters finally respond, Howard opens up and takes the audience on his journey of healing. Will is joined by an amazing cast in Collateral Beauty including Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Naomie Harris, Michael Pena, and Jason Latimore.

    4. When Uncle Will showed the importance of paying homage to the elders through his work in Ali:

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    Sony Pictures Entertainment / Via YouTube

    This is one of my all-time favorite films of any genre because of the way it pays homage to Muhammad Ali and delivers history lessons simultaneously. This period film is done so well, and I want to write love letters to the director, writer, set designers, wardrobe department, hair and makeup, and the editors. Shoutout to Jamie Foxx. Will transforms in Ali, and the Academy agreed when they nominated him for Best Actor in 2002. At Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year ceremony in 2015, Will gave a speech to honor the phenomenal, late, great Heavyweight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali. Will says acting is a way to “wear people’s lives” and experience how they live their values. 

    5. When Will told Oprah that he's learned to use comedy to get through to people's hearts:

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    Oprah Winfrey / Apple TV / Via YouTube

    Will says, “People are wide open when they laugh.” He believes that laughter is a thing that “for a brief moment at least purifies the poisons.” So when Oprah Winfrey asked Will Smith about a quote from his book about the racism he’s faced in his life, he opened up to her about the power of comedy in his life. Comedy is an equalizer for Will. Something that disarms people and gets them to drop their guard. He goes on to share how he sees himself as a Black man and how his self-image influences the way he moves through the world.

    6. The time he showed why it’s important to get a colonoscopy:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    Sometimes Uncle Will likes to opt for the experiential lesson over the lecture — such as the time he let fans tag along with him for a colonoscopy visit. What better way to teach than a tag-along while he gets a camera put up his bum? Don’t worry, we don’t see what’s up there. Will talks to medical staff about the procedure, why he had to get a haircut, and what the colonoscopy results revealed.

    7. When Will (jokingly) showed why you shouldn’t work with family:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    Will’s son Jaden Smith was preparing to announce a partnership between their brand Just Water and Amazon Prime, so naturally Will decided to direct the shoot. Needless to say, the shoot was filled with typical “this is why you don’t work with family” moments as the two hilariously struggled to get on the same page. 

    8. When Will Smith showed how to be determined in The Pursuit of Happyness:

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    Columbia / Movieclips Classic Trailers / Via youtu.be

    Some of Will’s finest work can be seen in his performance alongside his youngest son, Jaden Smith, in The Pursuit of Happyness. The biographical film is based on the true story and bestselling 2006 memoir by a salesman named Chris Gardner who found his family experiencing homelessness in 1981 San Francisco after investing in X-ray scanners that soaked up all his resources. 

    Will's execution is an emotionally naked performance, and perhaps it’s because Chris’s son was played by Will’s own son. In 2007 Will Smith was nominated again by the Academy for his role as Best Actor. Film fact: “Why is Pursuit of Happyness misspelled? Why is "happiness" spelled wrong in the title? The title is intentionally misspelled, as it also appears as graffiti in a scene in the film. The misspelled phrase is actually taken from an essay written in 1776 that argued that whites and Blacks were created equal.” (IMDb)

    9. When he opened up about his journey to become a father:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtu.be

    Will Smith is the father of three children: Tre, Jaden, and Willow. In this video, Will reads from his autobiographical book, where he’s written about his contemplations on fatherhood. Would he be a better father than his own? Would Will live up to the title? And with the birth of each child, Will writes about how his capacity to love expanded. This moment of wisdom is one worth watching for sure.

    10. When Will showed that a guy can go from being a kid on the West Side of Philly to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtu.be

    How did Will Smith become the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? In this episode of Will’s YouTube series Storytime, he digs into all the details about what prompted him to transform his rap career into an acting career. Hint: He was backed up against a wall. Watch the episode to find out how Will said yes to becoming a superstar.

    11. When he encouraged fans to believe that we can successfully create our dreams:

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    NAACP Image Awards / Via youtu.be

    When Will Smith accepted his Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture award at the 40th Annual NAACP Image Awards in 2018, he took a moment to soak up that US Senator Barack Obama had been elected as President of the United States — making President Obama the first African American man to hold the position. Will grew up believing that he could be anything he dreamed, do anything he wanted to do. Here he encourages us to do the same and drops a Confucius quote to drive the point home.

    12. That time Will Smith shared that the secret to success is self-discipline:

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    Will Smith / Mike Phillips / Via youtube.com

    Are you willing to do what it takes to make your dreams come true? Because that is what it takes to be successful, according to Will. This pep talk may be just the kick in the butt you need to double down on your self-discipline to get the results you want to see in your life.

    13. When Will Smith showed how to be vulnerable, even when it’s risky:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    The Best Shape of My Life was a video series Will did to document his weight loss after putting on some COVID pounds. The challenge: Lose 20 pounds at the age of 52. And who better to take it on than Hancock himself? Well in this episode called “I Quit”… Will quits. But watch the moment he breaks down and tells the film crew. Will’s tone and language says he’s frustrated with himself for taking on the project while preparing for his book release. Will quitting the documentary wasn’t easy for him. His delivery wasn’t perfect, but it was candid. It was human, and it was respectful. It’s worth taking note of for those things alone.

    14. When Uncle Will helped me define love:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    What Is Love? is the title of this insightful video from Uncle Will. It is one of life’s greatest questions. For fans who have followed Will Smith’s interviews and speeches throughout his career, there has no doubt been an evolution in the way Will sees love. Here he discusses what love is not and some of the things that he used to equate love to, such as desire. Then he shares “the real paradigm for love is gardener, flower.” To find out how the gardener tending to the flower defines love for Will, watch the full clip above.

    15. When Uncle Will used a story about chess to teach me how to train my own mind:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    On a ride with his crew, Will gets into his childhood experience when his father trained him in chess for years. Many years later his wife Jada Pinkett Smith gets him the gift of playing with a grandmaster. This grandmaster gave Will a nudge to see things differently, and it occurred to Will how to apply this advice to leading a happy, successful life. Will believes the key is to train your mind properly. 

    16. The way Uncle Will opened up about why he is so driven and what it costs him:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    In this episode of The Best Shape of My Life, Will bounces back from the first week’s weigh-in, where he learned that he gained a pound. It’s something to see the movie star and action hero struggle openly with his body image, his desire to control it, and the difficulty that comes with a weight-loss goal. This episode features Will's narrative and commentary from a clinical psychologist who gives insight into his mind, his admiration for his father's work ethic, and how it affects him. Will captures a lot about his character in this quote from the episode: “A mind that tries to seek pleasure and comfort and the easy way inadvertently poisons its dreams.”

    17. The way Will Smith broke down the difference between fault and responsibility:

    Will Smith smiles for at a red carpet event for the film King Richard

    18. Oh yeah, when Uncle Will teamed up with Kevin Hart to demonstrate how to give advice on the fly:

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    The Graham Norton Show / Via youtube.com

    On an episode of BBC’s The Graham Norton Show in 2019, the host pointed out that Will Smith and Kevin Hart both like to share motivational speeches with their fans on the internet. Will’s style is a bit more inspirational, and Kevin’s is a bit more of a kick in your butt. While on the show, they were both challenged with giving good advice to audience members live, who shared problems they’re having such as a fear of feet.

    19. And lastly, when Will taught me that everyone makes mistakes, but only he turned down Neo in The Matrix:

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    Will Smith / Youtube Originals / Via youtube.com

    The Matrix could have starred Will Smith as Neo instead of Keanu Reeves, but he turned the role down. Why? Well this story is one of the best worst stories because oh my, did Will get this one wrong. To be fair, this awful decision was made pretty early on in his career after he did Independence Day and Men in Black. This Storytime episode with Will comes with cool animated graphics!

    Thanks, Uncle Will!