April 27, 2010: The “Will” In Me

None of us can be what we are not. But all of us can pretend. Sometimes, when you pretend, something very strange happens. You suddenly realize that you are not pretending anymore. You are living and breathing the very role that you stepped into so nervously or reluctantly.

I am reminded of this when Actor, Will Smith was asked to play the role of Muhammad Ali in Ali, a role that he actually turned down a whopping eight times before accepting. He assumed that there was absolutely no one who could successfully replicate Muhammad Ali’s exceptional skills and charisma. Once he took on the role, he trained relentlessly to master the skills needed for the movie and went to great lengths to seeking the approval of the man, Ali, himself. But he didn’t stop there. His stunning performance in Enemy of the State landed him an ever so present Oscar nomination. Rumor has it now that Smith will take, yet another lead opportunity in the upcoming Flowers for Algernon, where he will play the role of Charlie, a mentally disabled man who undergoes an experimental surgery that boosts his intelligence to genius level.

From the very beginning of his dream, rapping at the age of twelve and of having a career in Hollywood to present, Will Smith has shown us the fortitude of a frontrunner, the mind of a great achiever, the soul of a warrior and the will to climb the highest mountain. No question, Will has been one of my most adored luminaries over the years. We share many of the same perspectives on life, love and living.

In a recent interview, Smith noted, “Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, illusive, God-like feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that exists in all of us. It’s very simple. This is what I believe, and I’m willing to die for it; Period”.

He is determined as I, to take life at face value and run the race for the long haul. The “will” in me is the passion and determination that I have decided to adapt. Regardless of my many challenges, as they have been heavy lately, I continue to confirm these following affirmations: I will not allow life’s challenges to overtake me; I will give it ALL I’ve got; I will get up when I fall down; I will stand; I will not quit; I WILL survive.

Beautifully noted from The Pursuit of Happyness, “Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something; not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it; Period”.

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