Will Smith's 5 Simple Steps to Success

Will Smith's Rise to Fame

Will Smith certainly knows how to succeed. As a rapper, he’s sold more than 9 million albums in the U.S. As an actor his films have grossed in excess of $7.5 billion at the global box office. His 5-step story of becoming famous should serve as an inspiration for anyone wishing to achieve success.

Although success came early for him. it didn’t come about through luck.

When Smith was growing up, one of his first jobs was helping his father – an electrical engineer – install refrigerators in supermarkets. While this job had none of the glamor of his future roles, it helped him to develop a strong work ethic and understand the power of an orderly and disciplined approach to work.

It’s no surprise that when Smith set his sights on becoming a successful rapper, he benefited from the abundance of self-discipline and self-determination that he’d picked up from the work he performed with his father.

Commenting about that time in his life, Smith said, "I had a hit single on the radio for 30 days before I graduated from high school."

That was back in 1986. The single he referred to was from his hip hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The song was titled "Girls Ain't Nothing but Trouble”, a light-hearted look at some of his unfortunate (but humorous) experiences with young women.

Following the success of that single, his duo came to the attention of Jive Records. The rest was history.

Becoming a world-famous rapper was one thing. Smith had even bigger ambitions. Namely, he had a burning desire to become a film star. His drive to succeed in this area was not hindered by his lack of experience, as you can see from this comment:

"The first time that I performed as an actor was the first day on the set of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'"

After the success of that 1990s TV series (which ran for six seasons), Smith went on to star in more than 30 movies, including the following.

  • Independence Day (1996)

  • Men in Black (1997)

  • Ali (2001)

  • The The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

  • I Am Legend (2007)

It would be all too easy to dismiss his success at acting as just luck, or through knowing the right people. See what else he had to say on the topic of performing:

"I've always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation." - Will Smith

As you can see from the words above, his ability to succeed in a BIG way as both a rapper and an actor wasn’t due to Lady Luck. His success came about through his powerful drive to reach his goals and his willingness to learn and do what was necessary to achieve this.

Smith possesses incredible self-belief. This was highlighted when he said, "In my mind, I've always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y'all just didn't know yet."

Want to see just how strong Smith’s energy, drive and commitment to success are? Check out this 90-second video of him:

How Willing Are You?

His devastating analysis of 99.9 percent of the population is a real eye-opener. "They’re just not willing to do what it takes to make their dreams come true," he states. His simple but super-effective approach to success is something we should all be taught in school: "You cannot win the war against the world, if you can’t win the war against your own mind."

Even though it seems like Will Smith's journey to success is nothing like yours, there are some core principles that you can incorporate into your life. By following these rules, you can meet your own definition of success.

Will Smith's 5 Simple Steps to Success

1. Know what you want

2. Believe you can achieve it

3. Create a plan to get there

4. Put your plan into action

5. Work hard!

Apply These Rules to Your Life

Imagine for a moment that your ultimate dream in life is to become an international best-selling science-fiction author.

To turn your dream into reality, the first thing you must do is to have absolute belief that you can achieve this feat. Having any doubts will prevent you from achieving your goal. That’s why Smith insists that you must have control over your mind if you want to successfully create your own destiny.

Self-belief can be developed through visualizations and affirmations. These tools can be enhanced by securing some early wins, such as (in this case), writing a synopsis for your first book. Getting an early taste for success will boost your confidence and increase your desire to reach your goal. It can be part of your road map to literary success.

Other things you could choose to do, would be to set specific dates for achieving essential goals, including: writing your first chapter, finishing your first book, securing a publisher, promoting your first book, etc.

Once you have your goals in place and your deadlines set, your next step would be to start writing!

Regardless of what goal you’ve pursued, you’ve probably come to realize that the getting started is often the hardest part. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you can use the power of momentum to keep yourself going, and to eventually cross the finishing line.

The inspirational story of Will Smith becoming famous is testament to his intense self-discipline, self-determination and self-belief. He’s never allowed circumstances to hold him back, and he’s continually kept his focus firmly on achieving his dreams.

While you’re probably not aspiring to become a famous rapper or an actor, you should use Smith’s tips for success to propel you towards your goals.

Image Credit: Getty Images

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