Will Smith Says He Became ‘Deeply Unfulfilled’ By Material Things

Will Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris (Jada Pinkett-Smith’s mother) sat down for a conversation about living life with compassion. Smith revealed there was a time in his life when he became “deeply unfulfilled” by material things. He says he had everything he could ever want or need, but he still felt empty.

Will Smith devotes time to spiritual development

Will Smith in 2015 | Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Will Smith in 2015 | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Smith says he usually reads at least two or three books at a time. He has been on a spiritual journey for the last couple of years, and reading is one way he educates himself. During the Positively Gam podcast, he tells Banfield-Norris one of the books he’s currently reading is Spiritual Warrior II by Bhakti Tirtha Swami.

“He talks about transitioning from lust to love,” says Smith. “He’s talking about lust in the broadest terms—lust for money, lust for fame, lust for sex—and how you transition from lust to love. And his theory is that all of the situations that you come in contact with in the world is the school of love. So, everything that you’re presented with is your opportunity to practice learning how to be loving and kind in that situation.”

Will Smith says he was ‘unfulfilled’

Will Smith at the Los Angeles World Premiere of  'Focus' in 2015 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Will Smith at the Los Angeles World Premiere of ‘Focus’ in 2015 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Banfield-Norris commented on how attuned Smith is to other people’s “energy.” She says he can really read people. Will credits this ability to his decision to live mindfully. He says he realized about 8 years ago that he needed to make some changes in his life. He concluded there’s more to life than material things.

“I had everything I set out to have in the material world. I’ve been to the top of the mountain of the material world. I made as much money as I wanted to make, had as much sex as I wanted to have, I’ve had as much fame.”

“I have exhausted the material world and it still didn’t leave me happy,” says Smith. “I was starting to be deeply unfulfilled by stuff. There’s no external material circumstance that can quench that thirst you’re trying to quench on the inside. Right now is the most happy and fulfilled I’ve ever been in my life.”

Will Smith says he now feels fulfilled and happy

Smith now feels happy and fulfilled because he believes he found his purpose in life. He says his purpose is helping others.

“A big part of [feeling fulfilled] for me is the recognition that I am a servant,” says Smith. “So, you walk in the room in the morning, and it’s my divine job to make sure you’re OK. And I’m going to help in whatever way I can possibly help… My deepest pleasure is helping people find fulfillment.” Smith says most people are “living in deep mental anguish,” so he wants to do his part to help alleviate some of that suffering.

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