One of the most powerful and potentially life changing interviews we have ever heard. Lewis Howes sat Les Brown down in the School of Greatness chair, and what came out was, well, GREATNESS. Sit back and enjoy the wisdom, powerful truth and life changing advice from Les Brown.
Les Brown You Have Greatness In You!
Les Brown’s 7 Rules For Success Motivational Speech:
1. Don’t Let Your Dreams Die With You
2. Program Your Mind Or Your Mind Will Be Programmed
3. Eliminate Negative People From Your Life
4. It’s All About Your Attitude!
5. You Have Greatness In You!
6. Believe In Yourself
7. Don’t Reject Yourself Anymore!
Transcript, Best Parts – Les Brown Speech:
1. Don’t Let Your Dreams Die With You
So when I got to the end of my presentation I looked at them and I said: Right now I want to talk to you about Howard Thurman, who was one of the mentors of Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi. And when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and my PSA was 2400, I was pondering about my life. Am I going to beat this? And I was reading his words for comfort. And he said:
The ideal situation for man or woman to die is their family members praying with them as they cross over. But imagine if you will be on your death bed and standing around your bed the ghost of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities given to you by life that you for whatever reason, you never pursued those dreams, you never acted on those ideas, you never used those gifts and there they are looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you! And only you could have given us life and now we must die with you forever!
And the question is,
if you die
what gifts will die with you?
I paused, and the room was silent. I said maybe that’s why Henry David Thoreau said: “God, To reach the point of death only to realize that he never lived”… Maybe that’s why one woman said:
“What if you live your whole life only to discover that it was wrong?”
2. Program Your Mind Or Your Mind Will Be Programmed
I encourage people to read at a minimum of 30 to 40 pages of something positive every day, to program your mind and all of us can do that. We can go to the library and check out books. When I think about OG Mandino who wrote ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ he was on the verge of committing suicide, went to the library, read a book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and his life turned around.
So reading and programming ourselves, the reason that most people should do that, psychologists say that 86% of our self talk is negative and it goes undetected by the conscious mind. That’s what we’re taught be not conformed to this world, be transformed by renewing of your mind.
Listen to recordings and things that are positive. Go on Youtube and find things that will begin to empower you and minimize the distractions in your life. We have so many distractions, the weapons of mass distractions cause most people not to begin to live their lives from the inside out but from the outside in.
There’s an African proverb that says:
If there’s no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.
Shakespeare said: “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves and we are underlings”
So you have to program yourself or your mind will be programmed. The other thing is that … have goals that are beyond your comfort zone. Because in order to do something you’ve never done,
you gotta become someone you’ve never been. You gotta become a risk taker.
If you’re not willing to risk, you can’t grow.
And if you can’t grow, you can’t become your best
And if you can’t become your best, you can’t be happy.
And if you can’t be happy, then what else is there?
3. Eliminate Negativity
And the other thing is upgrade your relationships. You earn within 2-3000$ of your closest friends. You got to look at the people in your life and askWhat is this relationship doing to me?
There are many people, because of the toxic negative energy draining people in their lives they will never be successful, because those toxic relationships will compromise their power. There’s a new term in psychiatry called relational illness. There are some people that can make you sick. Now some people might say Les, can we change them? No! It’s a full time job changing yourself. There are some people that are so negative they can walk into a dark room and begin to develop.
4. It’s All About Attitude!
They did a study of some top achievers and successful people around the world and they wanted to find out what was the common denominator among them that enabled them to reach their goals and what they discovered, that 85% of them reached their goals because of their attitude, their vision about themselves and 15% because of their aptitude.
So school, as you know, is focused on reading, writing and arithmetics it does not consider critical thinking in the conceptual education and it does not help young people begin to mold a vision of themselves that will allow them to be an asset to our society rather than a liability.
5. You Have Greatness In You
You have greatness in you. I don’t know you, but here’s what I know based upon my own experience: You have greatness in you. You have the ability to do more than you could ever begin to imagine. You have greatness in you… that as you think about yourself I’m reminded the words of Howard Thurman who said:
There’s a presence in each and everyone fo us,
that waits and listens to the voice of the genuine in yourself.
It will be perhaps the only guide you will ever have or hear.
And if you can not hear it all of your life will be spent on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.
When you recognize your greatness,
no one will ever pull your strings.
You are different, you were created on purpose with a purpose to manifest that purpose through you. You were made in the likeness and image of God. And we are given authority and dominion over everything on the face of the earth. But you will never exercize authority and dominion over life until you exercize authority and dominion over what you are not.
Most people go thru life living the lie that has been told about them. And we’re encouraged be it not conform to this world be it transform, by the renewing of your mind.
Work constantly to renew your mind, to expand your vision of yourself, to hold a vision of yourself, living in the future living a life of contribution.
I’ll give you all your eyes can see greater is he than he that’s in the world. There’s something in you that’s greater than your circumstances. There’s something in you that’s greater than the adversities that you’re facing. Life is just like Forrest Gump said, A box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get. And in life we’re either in problem, just came out of one, or headed toward one.
You have greatness in you. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
6. Believe In Yourself
I’m curious, when did you start to believe in yourself?
My mother was working for a very wealthy family, she worked for wealthy families on Miami Beach. And I remember Mrs. Siderski, she cooked for these families and we ate the food leftovers from the families that she cooked for.
She kept their children and hand me down clothes of the children that she worked for.
And when I had the assignment of cleaning Mr. Siderski’s office and shining his shoeshe was listening to various motivational recordings… This is reel to reel. This is before 8 track and before cassettes. And those words, I had no idea while I was shining his shoes, listening to people like Jim Rohn:
When the end comes to you, let it find you CONQUERING new mountain,
not sliding down an old one.
and people like Zig Ziglar:
If you give enough people what they want they will give you what you want.
Listening to some of the words of Winston Churchill:
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
So I had no idea, while shining his shoes, listening to these words, that it began to restructure my vision of myself and I had an interruption when I was in the 11th grade, because I was in special education from the 4th grade all the way to the 11th grade. And I met a gentleman by the name of Mr. Leroy Washington. I eulogized him last year, they called him The Great Communicator. And I was in his class waiting on another student
he said: Young man go to the board and work this problem out for me and I said I can’t do that, sir… and he said Why not?
I’m just here to see someone. I’m not one of your students. He said go to the board and do what I’m going to give you directions anyhow. And I said I can’t, sir. The other students started laughing, saying He’s Lesley. He’s got a twin brother Wesley. Wesley is smart. He’s DT. He said, Whats DT? He’s the dumb twin. And I said I am, sir. And he came from behind his desk, he looked at me, he said Don’t you ever say that again.
Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
How people live their lives is a result of the story they believe about themselves.
I’m training people to get into their greatness, to begin to develop the courage to pursue dreams beyond their comfort zones.
Because in order to do something that
you’ve never done,
you gotta become someone you’ve never been.
When you pursue your greatness
you don’t know what your limits are.
So you act like you don’t have any.
Booker T Washington said:
Judge a person not by what they accomplish, but what they had to overcome for their accomplishment.
7. Don’t Reject Yourself! Don’t discount yourself.
I didn’t do what I’m doing now for 14 years because I didn’t believe being labeled educable mentally retarded, failing in the 5th grade, put back to the 4th grade and no college education that I can compete with people with PhDs and MBAs, so for 14 years… a lot of people say they have no regrets, the biggest regret that I have is that I disapproved of myself for 14 years and then they say coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous:
I went to a training and a guy was speaking. And Mike Williams had already said: Hey brownie, you know why you go to see Zig Ziglar and Dr. Schuller and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who wrote The Power of Positive Thinking? I said because I like the message. He said No. He said You like to help people. That’s in you. So he just kept saying that to me. And I was at an event and a guy was speaking and it he just stopped, like a spell came over him. He said there’s somebody here who should be doing this. He said I do it because I make a lot of money. I love to make money. He said – But you, you want to change lives and you can make money too young man, young lady. And he said You know who you are, and then he paused again, he said
The reason I’m standing up here
holding this microphone
and you’re seated out there,
I represent the thoughts
you have rejected
That hit me right between the eyes. I began to cry. At that time, this is in 1980. I went outside, I called Mike Williams. A telephone call was a dime then. I said Mike! He said Yes. I said I’m not rejecting myself anymore! Do you hear me? He said Brownie, calm down. Listen to me, man! I’m not rejecting myself anymore!
Who am I really? Who am I really? Dr. Carter G Woodson, who I think is one of the most profound thinkers that I’ve ever read, and he said: If you could determine what a man shall think you’d never have to concern yourself with what he would do. He said: If you could make a man feel inferior, you’ll never have to compel him to seeking an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. And if you could make a man feel justly and outcast you’ll never have to order him to go to the backdoor, he’ll go without being told. And if there’s no door, his very nature will demand one.
And so we have to begin to ask ourselves Who am I?
MIT did a study, if I say to you ‘You can’t do that.’ somebody else has to come along to say ‘You can do it!’ 17 times to neutralize that one time. So most of us are living a lie. Most of us, because we live in a world were we’re told more about our limitations
rather than our potential, we go to our graves never knowing who we really are. That’s why they say ‘Most people die at age 25, but don’t get buried until they’re 65’.
What was your favorite Les Brown Quote?
Watch the full interview here: