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Will Smith Can Teach Us About Instinct

Will Smith Can Teach Us About Instinct

Keanu Reeves kept it coming in The Matrix movies, but the role of Neo wasn't initially offered to the actor. Will Smith turned down the role saying, "I would have absolutely messed up The Matrix. At that point I wasn't smart enough as an actor to let the movie be — whereas Keanu was." It takes a mix of maturity, self-awareness, and instinct to know when a project is more than you can handle, and it's an important lesson for our working lives.

Will's career was obviously unaffected by his decision to reject the role; in fact, if he went forward against his instincts, perhaps he wouldn't be flashing that smile as the biggest-earning actor in Hollywood. We should always be up for new challenges that add to our career development and take calculated risks, but know when it's better to back away from a project that's over your head or if you aren't nearly qualified for a job that is offered to you. Be confident about your abilities, but be realistic and let your instincts guide you.

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Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that this is something that's really smart. he realized what he could be successful at and didn't reach for something that was kind of too far out - since we all know what a bad role can do to your career. i wish that i had the luck that he has in his profession.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
I agree with him. I love Will Smith, and I love the Matrix, but I don't think the two would mesh well. And that's a really good point, dienliv.
caroline24 caroline24 8 years
I'm not sure the Matrix would have been the same. I love the Matrix trilogies for how they are- the casting was perfect!
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
Maybe he should go back to trusting his instincts and give that whole Co$ involvement a wide berth, or he'll soon go the way of Crazy Cruise.
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