Will Smith Isn’t Afraid to Die On The Treadmill… Why Should You Be?


Why do some people fail? This question is one that is asked in nearly every aspect of life…from marriages that end badly and careers that stagnate to fitness goals never reached and damaging habits that are not ever broken. What makes an individual, especially one that is seemingly so driven to overcome, back down before seeing their dreams come to fruitation? Even in the world of entrepreneurs, people who take a leap into greatness are sometimes found floundering in defeat and self-pity only a short amount of time later. Is it because they didn’t want it badly enough? Is it because they didn’t have what it took to achieve their desired end? While this may be the case for some, the majority of the time the answer lies more in their fears and less in their abilities and desires.

But what are these apprehensions and how are they overcome? One of the greatest fears… according to actor, musician, and all around success story Will Smith…is dying on a treadmill. While the mental image that this statement brings to mind may not be a pretty one, the philosophy and lesson behind it is as beautiful a thing as one might hope to find. And coming from someone who has managed to stay successful for over 20 years, despite obstacles and challenges, I would say that it is sound advice to live by as well.

Mr. Smith, when asked once about the secret to his success, vehemently stated that it had very little to do with talent. He said

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?”

Whether you choose to call it passion, hunger, persistence, drive, determination, commitment, self-assurance, or some other similar term, it means you choose to pursue longer than any adversary or rival. It means that you either overcome your opponent or you die trying. And what so many in this world are afraid of…what holds them back from the success that could be theirs…is the apprehension to die trying.

Smith also went on to say this, “You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”

But, if we choose to embrace this reality, and accept it as truth, this takes most of the excuses away from us as well. When we adamantly accept that success is available to all of us, and that not reaching it is simply a result of not pursuing long and hard enough, it means that the ball is in our court… and we decide whether we will hustle enough to get it.

“No one will EVER outwork me.” Imagine the limitless potential that would be unleashed within anyone who made this the creed of their lives? The unbridled commitment that would arise to overcome, out-perform, and triumph, regardless of what the situation or the circumstances were. This philosophy is what has propelled… and kept… Will Smith at the top of his game and it can do the same for any other individual who has the guts to follow suit.

So, back to the age old question… why do people fail? Simply put, it is because they are afraid to die on the treadmill. Many, whether knowingly or otherwise, choose to live a meager existence that they claim is safe or easy, instead of being willing to chase their dreams and achieve their goals… no matter what the cost. It really is up to you, though, and I challenge you to push aside all fears and start running on the treadmill that is life. Remove your focus from everything except winning, make the decision to be the one who outworks everyone else around you, and then push yourself further than you ever thought possible. Before long, you will look around and wonder where the competition went. And when the dust settles, you will have won.

Will Smith isn’t afraid to die on the treadmill… so why should you be?