Just few days ago, a friend posted a picture of Denzel Washington on Facebook and I admired the swag and poise of the gentleman. The 57 year old two-time Oscar winner and box-office giant sure knows how to give his audience a reason to look forward to his movies…he’s too good.  So Denzel is featured in the October edition of GQ Magazine; he granted GQ an interview where he spoke extensively about himself, family, work etc. There was a part of his interview which I found really inspiring and thought to share it with my readers.

GQ: Do you have any code you live by?
Denzel: I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word. I read something great yesterday. It said, “Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.”

GQ: If you had one thing to say to African-American readers of GQ, what would you say?
Denzel: Take responsibility. One of the things that saddens me the most about my people is fathers that don’t take care of their sons and daughters. And you can’t blame that on The Man or getting frisked. Take responsibility. Look in the mirror and say, “What can I do better?” There is opportunity; you can make it. Whatever it is that you choose, be the best at it. You have an African-American president. You can do it. But take responsibility. Put your slippers way under your bed so when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. And while you’re down there, start your day with prayer. Ask for wisdom. Ask for understanding. I’m not telling you what religion to be, but work on your spirit. You know, mind, body, and spirit. Imagine—work the brain muscle. Keep the body in tune—it’s your temple. All things in moderation. Continue to search. That’s the best part of life for me—continue to try to be the best man.

After reading these lines, I was like…WOW! Sometimes you see a celebrity or a famous person and all you can see at that time is the expensive clothes they wear, posh cars they ride and the luxurious homes they live in. And then some people go on to say so many nasty things about them. But in reality, most of these people did not teleport from zeros to heroes in a twinkling of an eye. They did not just sleep one night and wake up the other day to become Oscar winners, a thousand times NO.  Some people actually want to be spoon-fed from toddler stage till when they get to 30 years. Even at that age, some people still don’t know their left from their right. They blame mum, dad, government, or something else for where they are today cos they don’t want to take responsibility for themselves. 

What am I trying to say? Decide to be THE BEST version of YOU in whatever field you find yourself. If you want to be a mechanic-be a mechanic with a difference; be a plumber with a difference; a lawyer, banker, doctor, engineer, accountant with a difference. Wake up in the morning and decide that you’ll head out to be productive irrespective of what may come your way. And, YES…it’s not easy. Wake Up! Life is not a bed of roses, you gotta make your bed the way you want to lie on it. Think of the kinda life you want to live in the future and start digging your foundation today. Challenges will come, obstacles will stand in your way, not everyone will be there for you, you may not always get what you want; but just keep doing what you know how to do best. Keep at it and with time, it could be our face on GQ magazine someday. Who knows?

I like the part where he said “Put your slippers way under your bed so when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. And while you’re down there, start your day with prayer”. That is a habit I practice. What Denzel’s trying to say is “step out of your comfort zone”. Sometimes you need to give yourself a lil’ push. If you put your slippers right in front of your bed, you know it’ll be easy for u to just slip your feet inside. But when it’s under the bed, you’ll have to bend down and bring it out before slipping it on. And while you’re down there, start your day with prayer. When you step out of your comfort zone, there’s always an uncertainty and fear of what will happen but while in that position…PRAY. Don’t say you’re waiting for God to do something; He’s waiting for you to start something and He’ll bless you. He has said He’ll bless the works of your hands; if you don’t want to do any work then there’s nothing for Him to bless. 

Dare to be the best in your job, school, business. Work with excellence and diligence; decide to do more than you’re required of, go the extra mile, add a lil’ touch of class to everything you do, leave a mark and let the world know that YOU’RE THE BEST THAT CAN EVER EXIST.

You can read the rest of the interview through this link

Here are some of his pictures from the interview.

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