Will Smith And The One Magic Ingredient To Your Success

By Guest Blogger Jon Gordon

What does a treadmill have to do with Will Smith’s success as a movie star and actor?


Will Smith And The One Magic Ingredient To Your Success

When asked by an interviewer to explain his success, he responded:

“I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. You may be more talented than me. You might be smarter than me. And you may be better looking than me. But if we get on a treadmill together you are going to get off first or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple. I’m not going to be outworked.”

But what about his talent you might ask? After all, he is charismatic, funny and a great actor. Isn’t that the reason for his success? Not according to Will Smith. In fact he considers himself to be slightly above average in the talent category. Rather, he attributes his success to his work ethic.

You may be surprised to hear this because popular opinion says that successful people who have risen to the top of their profession got there because “they were lucky” or “they were chosen” or “they were born with more talent than everyone else.” We overestimate their talent and we underestimate our own.

In my research for Training Camp I found that people such as Will Smith are not super human and they don’t have some mutant gene that makes them better. What makes them stand out is that they work harder. It’s really that simple. When others are wasting time, they are improving. When others are scattering their energy, they are practicing and zoom focusing.

Will Smith And The One Magic Ingredient To Your Success

Of course talent is necessary to excel at something, but natural ability will only take someone so far. The key is to infuse one’s talent with hard work, passion and a drive for excellence.

So what does Will Smith have to do with you?


If you want to take your career or “game” to the next level, you must be willing to pay the price that greatness requires. You must be willing to work harder than everyone you know. There’s no easy shortcut. Hard work has been, is and always will be the key to anyone’s success. To be your best, you must invest all that you are to become everything you wish to be.

Are you willing to pay the price?


About Jon Gordon:

Will Smith And The One Magic Ingredient To Your Success

Jon is the Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author of a number of books including The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy, and his latest, The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. Learn more at www.JonGordon.com. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonGordon11 or Facebook www.facebook.com/jongordonpage.

I would love your thoughts here? I have to agree with Jon. What I have ever lacked in intelligence, experience or creativity, I have always made up for with hard work. I always say two things, “Optimism, Passion & Work Ethic are three of the greatest skills one can possess- they are the foundation for all things great” and “No talent or skill will replace hard work, a tireless drive, hustle and persistence.” 

Ladies, what are you working hard for right now? How are you gonna get there? Put it out into the universe and share with our community. 


  1. Will Smith’s acting career strategy is very smart. Early on he sat down with his agent and they determined the highest grossing films were in the action sci-fi genre. Hence, Men in black, I am legend I-Robot etc. This allows him to take more art films in between.

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