Can you not talk for a few hours? Can you imagine being alone with your thoughts for a considerable amount of time? What do you think would happen if you did that? Your thoughts will talk to you. They will come to you like water rushing through a tunnel into the river. In a recent episode of David Letterman’s show, Will Smith talks about his quiet days.
Throughout this conversation with David, Will talks about his, then uncontrollable, lust for materialistic pleasures, his life-changing moments, and his experience when he met this man who made Will burst into tears.
Will Smith opens up on quietness
Well, it is true that the entire episode is so enlightening, but towards the end, we get to see a totally different and unexpected side of this star. He shared his fears, only one fear rather, and how by staying silent helped him overcome them. But before that, he shares what triggered that fear.
David reminds him of the time when his movie I Am Legend broke all the records. He tells Will about getting the news that the film had earned $77 million and all Will could answer was, ‘I wonder what we could have done to make it $80 million?’ On the show, he confesses it was the point when he realized the subtle sickness. ‘When you set your sights on material success, there actually is nothing that’s enough,’ adds Smith.
This is where the show takes a turn toward Will’s spiritual journey. He says, after his father died in 2016, he stopped working for 2 years. He tried to look into himself, and as a part of the process, he goes 14 days without talking. Watching him talking on the show certainly makes it hard for anyone to believe it to be true. And when David asks him about the difference that he has experienced, Will says with the brightness in his eyes, ‘It really helped me to see the madness of what was going on inside my head.’
He had been on top of every material mountain. He had as much money. Basically, he has had everything anyone could possibly dream of. Will accepted here that he had been following the wrong path. He was into materialistic satisfaction that, he says, is impossible to achieve as it is never enough.
It was an addiction for him to make number-one movies than satisfying. All these things he learned while facing his mind. Over the two years of break, 14 times he went into the silence to face himself and he could see both the realities and that’s when he realized the actual key to happiness.
Tell us about your experience of silence. Have you been in silence? What did you feel about it?