Here’s a 10-minute collage of excerpts from various interviews with actor Will Smith. It’s highly inspirational and the the whole thing is worth watching. You are unlikely to be bored because he covers a lot of ground.

My favorite two parts are at the 3 minute point (approximately) and the 7:30 point (approximately.)

At the 3 minute point, he talks about his father having him, at age 13, and his younger brother tear down a brick wall and rebuild it. They told their father that that was impossible. It took them 1.5 years but they did it. That reminded me of two things in my own life. The first was that, starting at about age 6, I helped my father every fall get one cord of wood from outside our basement into the basement. We had a coal-burning furnace for winter heat (in Manitoba) and we used the wood every morning to start the fire. My father would remove the tiny window to the basement, I would throw the wood in, and he would stack it. He would ask for a break about halfway through but I would insist on continuing until we were done. The main reward was not the dime he gave me at the end, which was a large amount of money for me at age 6, 7, and 8, but the way he bragged to my family about my work ethic (that wasn’t the term we used) for the next day or two. It’s a little sad that that was one of the few ways I could get him express appreciation in me, but there you are.

The other thing it reminds me of is when my late brother Paul and I (when Paul was about 16 or 17 and I was about 13 or 14) decided to clear our shore line at our Minaki cottage of the various bushes, branches, and moss so that we could have a beautiful flat-rock shoreline. My brother did the thinking and we both used brawn. He used various lever and fulcrum combinations he had learned in physics (he understood those but never got the math) to move big rocks out of the way. Within a week we had it done and, over 40 years later, it still looks good.

At the 7:30 point, Will Smith talks about making a CHOICE rather than being at the effect of things. He also later talks about various things that looked impossible but that people did. That reminds me of one of my favorite aphorisms, which I used to have on a magnet on my file cabinet:

The person who thinks it can’t be done should not stop the person who’s doing it.

HT to Bob Murphy.