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Publisher's Summary

One of the most dynamic and globally recognized entertainment forces of our time opens up fully about his life, in a brave and inspiring book that traces his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned. Along the way, Will tells the story in full of one of the most amazing rides through the worlds of music and film that anyone has ever had.

Will Smith’s transformation from a West Philadelphia kid to one of the biggest rap stars of his era, and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood history, is an epic tale — but it’s only half the story.

Will Smith thought, with good reason, that he had won at life: Not only was his own success unparalleled, his whole family was at the pinnacle of the entertainment world. Only they didn't see it that way: They felt more like star performers in his circus, a seven-days-a-week job they hadn't signed up for. It turned out Will Smith's education wasn't nearly over. 

This memoir is the product of a profound journey of self-knowledge, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind. Written with the help of Mark Manson, author of the multi-million-copy best seller The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same. Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world's biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home. The combination of genuine wisdom of universal value and a life story that is preposterously entertaining, even astonishing, puts Will the book, like its author, in a category by itself.

This audiobook includes a downloadable PDF of music credits.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Will Smith and Mark Manson (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Will

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Will sure loves Will

Will's life story about starting out with nothing and rising to fame and fortune isn't anything new. He worked hard, paid his dues and made it to the top. Good for him. The beginning of his story is interesting and quite entertaining. As it goes on, and on, and on, I just kept finding myself wanting it to end. It's all about the amazing, wonderful people Will knows and all of the wonderful, amazing places Will's been with a few words of wisdom (nothing earth-shattering here!) thrown in. I wanted to love this book and Will, but I don't. After spending 16 hours with Will, I don't like him at all. It's ok though, Will loves Will enough for all of us!

500 people found this helpful

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Thought I was a Fan!

I was really excited to read this book! He starts out so vulnerable and transparent about his life as a child and his music career. I was listening to his start into music and my husband over heard the book and was totally pulled in and fascinated. He wanted to go purchase the book only hearing 1-2 chapters. BUT then he goes into chapters and chapters of boastful bragging, at first I thought he earned it but he goes on and on. Then a party for his wife - as he is speaking I am getting a stomach ache thinking he really is not going to put the loss of her beloved grandma for the world to see. If he made that video and asked her for a private quiet moment to show just her - well that would have been for her but to show it off to the whole party - I wanted to throw up - I was very close to my grandparents and now passed parents, I just cannot imagine. I was about to stop reading and return the book when all of a sudden he goes to therapy and I think ok now we are getting somewhere - they will get help and come together so I kept listening. Some interesting concepts but then the book ends -- Once again all eyes on Will. I wish I wouldn't have read it and yes I returned it. I totally respect and admire the choices he has made with his wife - he talks about giving but I don't think he is to a place that he really knows that what his family wants is for him to be happy when he is just with them - At the end they ask his daughter what she thinks of what he was doing and she said "its ok as long as he is happy" NOW THAT young girl is WISE beyond her years!

He is a great actor, sooooo funny, I will continue to watch his movies and respect the talent he possesses, but will pray that he continues on his search for true happiness.

291 people found this helpful

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WILL SMITH IS ….

A legend ….his story is filled with lessons n that will last long in the mind of the reader! I assure you This book will be enlightening to a great many people! His voice has such a familiarity that it makes easy listening even when it’s intense moments surface! Love you Will i wish you all the Joy your hands and heart can hold

126 people found this helpful

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Awful

It’s clear that Will Smith is a Narcissist when you listen to him. His over-inflated view of himself gets old fast.

108 people found this helpful

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Nothing cowardly about this book.

Loved your honesty. Going forward, will concentrate in perfectly laying one brick at a time.

83 people found this helpful

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Will smith

This book is powerful, it’s a must read book that will leave you in aww and tears

76 people found this helpful

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A Memoir of Self-Awareness and Self Psychoanalysis

Will Smith is very intelligent, talented, and funny. A true performer who will always leave his audience laughing, crying, or with something to think deeply about. For that, I will always enjoy him as an entertainer, and the most charismatic guy in Hollywood.

This book starts off like a memoir, where Will invites us into his childhood and devulges his childhood fears, likes, and dislikes. We also get to know his family. His "Mom-Mom" an educated woman, grandmother "Gi-Gi" a spiritual woman, and his father, who is a strong-armed entrepreneur, but a thorn in the Smith Family household. During the early years, the stoic Will Smith Sr. inculcates the importance of hardwork with his boys. He has a BIG personality, much like Will's today, except his bullying came in physical form, leaving the Smith family with wounds to recover from for many years to come. The second half of the book was part memoir, part self-awareness and psychoanalysis.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book far more than the latter parts because I could feel the intimacy and connection to Will's childhood. It also felt more personable. If I didn't know any better, I would think Will wrote the first half and the second half was co-authored with a therapist. The psychoanalytic of everything that was happening in Will's life after his stardom was informative and enlightning at first, but then it becomes excessively preachy and wordy. In particular, when he discusses feelings and emotions and how we interpret them. I also felt within this self-analysis of himself that there was a slight overcast of him judging and excusing his behavior before the reader could reach their own conclusion and or interpretation. I believe more personal information could have been shared in the latter chapters instead of the expansion on human psyche. With this knowledge and self-awareness, I'm still wondering if Will has actually learned the lessons or does he simply understand the "Why" and "How" things happened? Because knowing is half the battle. I would have liked to have seen growth, not just a keen sense of self-awareness.

"The Jump," is the final chapter that brings it all together. It's a reminder that Will Smith will always be adventurous, odd, daring, selfish, yes, even crazy at times! Yet, he will leave you with a thought-provoking question, and that is, you only have one life to live so will you live it "Big Willie" style? or Will you live it on a more balanced scale? For all the world is a stage, but in life, we are still left to deal with ourselves when the curtains close.

3.5 stars

74 people found this helpful

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5+ Stars

Will Smith is one of my favorite actors. This book is too good to stop listening to. Heavily recommended listen.

60 people found this helpful

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Well well WILL

GREAT LISTEN! Amazing intro! I nearly finished in one day. What an astounding life of someone I grew up watching and admiring! I grew up laughing at this man, but I spent the last 5 hours both laughing and crying! To hear about his life from his MOUTH was a breath of fresh air. He kept it real and kept me entertained throughout! Thanks, Will!

50 people found this helpful

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The best memoir I’ve ever read

What a treat it is to listen to all these stories and Wisdom in Will’s Voice

50 people found this helpful

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