This Is Why You DON'T SUCCEED! (Don't Let This HOLD YOU BACK From Success) | Les Brown | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "This Is Why You DON'T SUCCEED! (Don't Let This HOLD YOU BACK From Success) | Les Brown".
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- Many people never achieve their goals because they have too many toxic, negative energy draining people in their lives. And you have to have goals outside of your comfort zone that will challenge you because in order to do something you've never done, you've gotta become someone you've never been. And you gotta have a mentor whose experience who's been there done that. And as a result of that relationship because you can't see the picture when you're in the frame, Muhammad Ali said, "I'm the greatest, but you never want a championship without Angelo Dundee." And Michael Jordan never want a championship without Phil Jackson. So you've got to have someone that can see something in you that you can't see that can take you to a place within your self that you can't go by yourself. - Hey everyone, welcome to Impact Theory. Today's guest is a best-selling author and one of the most lauded and sought-after speakers on the planet. But nobody would have predicted that given where he started. Born on the dirty floor of an abandoned building, he and his twin brother were later adopted and raised as two of seven children to a single mother who struggled to make ends meet. He was deemed teachable, but mentally retarded when he was a kid and classmates referred to him as the dumb twin. Despite all of this, however, one day, while shining shoes, he paid attention to the powerful words of the motivational tapes one of his most successful customers was listening to. The message made him realize that with enough effort he could turn his life around. He began reading and drinking in as much wisdom as humanly possible and after years of relentlessly improving his skillset and receiving encouragement for mentors, he stepped into what he now calls his power voice. Since then, he has hosted popular national TV and radio talk shows, one is Chicago area Emmy, spoken to crowds as large as 80,000 people, written best-selling books and received the National Speakers Association's most prestigious award, the Golden Gavill. He was named by Toastmasters International as one of the top five outstanding speakers in the world and he's been featured by NBC Success Magazine, Inc. and The Washington Post to name but a few. So please, help me in welcoming the man who refused to accept the limitations placed on him by others, the multiple-term state representative for Ohio who can count AT&T, Disney and IBM among his staggering client roster. One of the most powerful orders and teachers of our time, Les Brown.
Principles Of Resilience And Personal Development
Impact Theory (02:49)
- How you doing, man? - Great, thank you. - Thank you, it's a pleasure to be here. - Dude, it is so good to have you. You are an unparalleled motivational preacher and I use that word very intentionally. You have a way of conveying a message with such chills-inspiring goose bump giving power. It's really, really extraordinary to witness and becomes all that much more powerful knowing that you didn't start there, that that wasn't sort of naturally your beginning and you've called life a battle for territory. What do you mean by that? - The things that you get in life, Frederick Douglass said, we might not get everything that we fight for but everything we get, it will be a fight. And I love the quote that life is a fight for territory and once you stop fighting for what you want, what you don't want will automatically take over. Like getting ready to come here to see you. I wanna just first of all thank you for the great work that you're doing. I watch you and I study you and you have had some incredible guests that impacted my life and preparing to come here. I'm being treated by cancer centers of America for fourth stage cancer, which I've been kicking cancer's butt for 27 years. And I've been working on getting a six pack before getting here. I still got one pack. But I, and I've been working against the muscles so I can wear my t-shirt but they were lodging us our long sleeve. - That's amazing man. Talk to me about cancer. You've had such an upbeat attitude about it. It's really pretty extraordinary. Was that your initial reaction? Did you go through a trough of despair when you first got diagnosed? Like how have you framed that? - Dr. Alfred Golsen who since passed was a very unusual guy. And he told me that Mr. Brown, you have cancer. I said, can you give me a second opinion? He said, yes and you're ugly too. I said, oh my God. So I didn't have chances to have fear because those three words you have cancer, three of the most feared words in seven different languages. I saw it as a fight. And from that time to this time, my PSA was 2,400. That's a prostate specific antigen. And now it's below zero. And metastasized in seven areas of my body which was a good thing because seven is my lucky number. So, no, I never was fearful that I was gonna die from it. And I think that I read something by Dr. Norman Cousins, he wrote a book called The Biology of Hope. And he talked about the fact that when something happens to you, you don't deny it, you defy it. And I was defiant that I'm gonna beat this. I'm gonna handle this. That there are people who many times when something happens to them, that they embrace it from a place of fear and it takes them out. And Elsie Robinson said, "Things may happen to you and things "that happen around you, "but the most important things are the things "that happen in you. "And you have to stand up inside yourself "and deal with it and handle it." So fortunately, that never bothered me, but I had sought a campaign. That had me speaking in unknown tongues. At all of the wheelchair for several months, speaking from the wheelchair. And it was something that I dealt with that frightened me, "Will this ever end?" It was 24 hours. I lost a lot of sleep. It was exhausting, going from all types of specialists in and out of the country. And just one day it stopped. And I'm glad that I'm past that. I just, I feel like when you go through some stuff, you death of some certain things that you don't want ever to see or get it. That's what I don't want to ever see or get. But fear has not been the biggest challenge that I face with the things that I've been dealing with in terms of my health.
Structure of Being Resilient (07:16)
- Well, talk to me about the process that you go through mentally. So there've been a few times in your life in getting to know your story where they seem like really key inflection points. Being told that you were teachable, but mentally retarded, that for sure is something that would define most people. And they would have a hard time escaping that. Being told that you have cancer that it's stage four, that they don't know how to treat it. Like that's something that consumes most people. How do you build that resilience? So maybe by the time you get to cancer, you've already done so much work. So I get maybe how that one you're protected by the mechanisms you've built. But in the beginning, how did you crawl out from under the labels that people were putting on you? - The easiest thing I've done was to get out from under the labels and to live the life that I live. The most difficult thing I've ever done was to believe that I can do it. - What's the difference? - The difference is that when you don't know what's impacting you, and it's something that's holding you down and you're not aware of it, the great anthropology as Margaret Mead was at a restaurant in London. And a guy was serving her and said, "There's several Americans here tonight." And she said, "Is that right?" "Yes, let me know when you serve them, dessert." I'll tell you exactly how many are here. He said, "Oh, you couldn't possibly." And so he came back and said, "Okay, I've done it." And she got up and she walked around, and she came back and she said, "There are around 25 here." And he looked at the roster, "How did you know that?" Say, "In America, we eat differently from you "when we eat a dessert. "You eat it from the crust toward the tip. "We eat it from the tip toward the crust. "When you eat a slice of pie, how do you eat yours?" - I definitely have from the tip back to the crust for sure. - Yeah, okay, and so there are things that, in my situation, when you live in a dominant culture that is designed to destroy your sense of self and your belief in yourself, and you have to learn ways in which you can begin to connect with this power that you have within yourself to handle where you are. The key is to be constantly in a perpetual process of discovering the truth of who you are and fighting constantly to look for ways in which you can escape the inner conversation. I speak to audiences around the world, and I train speakers as well, and I tell them that when you speak that there's an objective that you want to achieve when you speak to an audience, because how people live their lives as a result of the story they believe about themselves. So you as a speaker, when you speak in this program, when people see you, what you do is distract, dispute, and inspire. You distract people from their current story with your guess and the questions that you ask through the process of the ongoing questioning and the way in which they respond and the things they have learned, you dismantle their current belief system and inspire them to create a new chapter with their lives. And so, but that's an ongoing process of constantly interrupting that conversation, what psychologists call your self-explanatory style, because life is gonna beat up on you in so many ways, and many things, they come back, negative thoughts and how you feel about yourself. They don't die, they come back. Once you stop doing the maintenance work on your mind, listening to motivational messages, going to seminars and workshops, spending time quietly listening to the still small voice within, who am I really? Is this really me? Am I giving my best? Am I just reflecting what's around me? Because all of these various things affect how we show up in life. And so, having a strategy to continuously find ourselves reaching higher, Robert Schuller had a book, it's not very popular, but I loved it. It's called Peak to Peak, U-P-E-A-K to P-E-E-K, because you're constantly reaching higher to find out and discover your better self. - Yeah, I wanna talk about that difference between, so you have the notion of figuring out who you really are and I assume you mean beneath the labels.
Being Real vs. Potential (11:52)
So people are telling me that I'm not smart, but that's not necessarily true. So I wanna get down to that layer of what I'm really capable of. But you also talk about, we have this profound ability to change, and you talk about people needing to be relentless, like to relentlessly pursue that growth. I find that juxtaposition incredibly interesting, where you've got, there is a real you, which maybe you would call potential, and then there is the actualized potential. Is that how you see it, or is there something else? - Absolutely, there's a real you. Richard Wright said it best, he said, "The impulse to dream "has slowly been beaten out of me "through the experiences of life." So when you live in a culture that is designed to destroy your sense of self, where you are marginalized, where you have a feeling of being hopeless and you're terrorized, I remember going downtown with my mother, and I saw a water fountain. I think I was about five years old, and I ran, and I drank from the water fountain. All of a sudden, she grabbed me by the neck and said, "Don't you ever do that again "and start punching me in the back of my head and my face, "and got me down on ground, "it's punching me relentlessly." And I said, "Mama, please, it's me, Mama, "it's me with this crazed look in our eyes." And then a white policeman came and he had a night stick in his hand. He was hitting it in his left hand. He said, "Okay, all right. "You beat that little nigga boy enough. "Now, I won't have to beat him with this night stick." And he walked away laughing, and my mother broke down and started crying and saying, "Lessie, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry." I said, "Mama, why'd you beat me like that?" She said, "This water fountain's a for white only son, "and if that carpet hit me with his night stick, "he would have to kill me. "I'd have fought him 'til he killed me "and I'd left you and your brothers and sisters "by themselves to raise themselves. "I'm so sorry." And the book called "Learn Optimism," is to seal him and talk about the fact that between ages zero and five, we determine what's available to us and what's not available to us. And so that was a defining moment. I knew there are certain things I could not do, certain places I could not go. They used to have signs on Miami Beach that said, Jews, dogs, and collets not allowed. And so now you have to operate within the constraints of the dominant society and the things that they have created for you. And it's a challenge to see yourself beyond that and to work to get outside of that, even after those laws have changed, because that has become so much a part of you, you unconsciously operate within the parameters of what has been put in place. Like you go, you're driving on the expressway, the four or five, and you'll get off on an exit that you weren't going in that direction, but you unconsciously did it because you've done it so many times that many people, because they're not making a conscious, deliberate, determined effort to think outside of what life has thrown at them, they end up doing the same thing over and over and over again. Einstein said that thinking that has brought me this far has created some problems that this thinking can't solve.
And so through relationships, through reading, through studies, through goals and dreams, beyond your comfort zone, it allows you to begin to live out of your imagination as opposed to out of your history. Disney said, the imagination is a preview of what's to come. And so as a kid, I dreamed a lot about taking care of my mother, I used to go with her to work to clean homes and she kept her children and she cooked for these wealthy families. My mother could bake a sweet potato pie still good. You couldn't eat it with your shoes on. You had to take your shoes off so you could wiggle your toes. And I used to look at these big beautiful mansions and said, mama, what is it, Leslie? When I become a man, I'm gonna buy you a big, beautiful home just like this. Oh, you don't have to do this. I know, but you didn't have to adopt this either. And you did. And so I'm here with you because of two women. One gave me life, the other one gave me love. God took me out of my biological mother's womb and placed me in the heart of my adopted mother. And because of her example in my love for her and her passion that I felt in my heart, I've got to do something to make her proud. I've got to do something to put myself in position, to be able to take care of her. That drove me. Nietzsche said, if you know the wife of living, you can endure almost anyhow. - Jesus, man, that was a lot. I wanna go back to this notion of dominant culture. You look so young, I forget how long you have been walking this planet. - 75, I'm 75 years old. - It's fucking incredible, man. - Thank you. - You have so much optimism. You're so positive, you're so quick to laugh. Going back to the way that the dominant culture can dismantle so many people, what are ways that the dominant culture is dismantling people's creativity? They're very spirit today that people should be watching out for. - Well, just think about if you're an immigrant and you're watching television and you see people who can come from white cultures with no problems whatsoever, like the presidents in laws, but brown people coming from other countries, they're separated from their children and put in cages and there's a silence.
The Dominant Culture (17:49)
There's not millions of people protesting and saying, this is not who we are as the country. This is inhumane. I believe that all of us have a responsibility that we want to live a life that will outlive us, the work that you're doing. There are people that you will never meet who's live that you've transformed, that you are living a life that will outlive you. Just think about the fact that this problem has given a lot of people hope and there's hope in the future and gives you power in the present. Every 42nd, someone commits suicide, but because of something you say or some guests that you've invited in and as they share their story, you interrupt that story of being hopeless and powerless and not wanting to be here anymore. And because they took the time to watch, you create an experience. All of a window home said that once a man or woman's mind has been expanded with an idea, concept or experience, it could never be satisfied to going back to where it was. And so at the end of the program, at the end of one of their presentations, there are people who, because of you, their lives will be transformed and they will become a pencil, as Mother Teresa would say, in the hand of God and start writing a new chapter with their lives. - I wanna talk about that, writing a new chapter. So you've talked about the little voice that people have, the need to create quiet space to hear that. Combine that with the notion of the culture sort of chipping away at people and whether it's based on race and oppression or whether it's just the school system teaching you to be a good cog in the machine or whatever other things people have to fight against, how can people that are listening to this now, especially if they're an adult, that's got all those labels put on them that's had their creativity squished, what process do they do to hear the voice, what sort of communion can they do to create that imagination that's going to allow them to get out of that and move towards something new? - That's the reason why you designed this program, you and your team, for them to do that, that they have to expose themselves to something that will give them a different vision of themselves and in addition to that, they have to put themselves in a community of what I call OQP, only quality people, a gentleman who dramatically transformed my life. I was a junior at Bubba T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida and I went in his class looking for another friend and he said, "Go to board and work this problem out for me."
Leslie's life-changing teacher in Miami (20:56)
I said, "Sir, I can't do that." He said, "Why not?" I said, "I'm not one of your students." He said, "Do it anyhow." And the other kids started laughing saying, "He's Leslie, he's DT." And he said, "What's DT? "His brother's smart, but he's the dumb twin." And I said, "I am, sir." And he came from behind his desk and he pointed at me, he said, "Don't you ever say that again. "Someone's opinion of you does not have to become "your reality." And he taught me three things. He said, "If you want to become successful "in life, young man." He said, "Number one, you got to change your mindset." He said, "You don't get in life what you want, "you get in life what you are." Number two, practice OQP, only quality people. You earn within two to $3,000 of your closest friends. I found that out, I left all my broke friends. I said, "Y'all got to go." 'Cause I used to be so broke, I'd pass a bank and trip to your lawn, you know? And the third thing is that, develop your communication skills because once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are. He said, "Those are three major things "that you want to work on that will liberate you "from living in Liberty City, living in poverty and over town. "It will help to escape out of where you are right now, "because I see you watching me, "and I know you want more." I can see the hunger in your eyes. That's why my book is about to come on call, "You got to be hungry." I love that notion, I love that title. So how do people get hungry? - You get hungry by finding something that's you.
Bob's Secret Sauce (22:57)
I believe that all of us are born unique, but most of us die copies. You got to find out what is it that turns you on, what resonates with you. One of the things that I realize and what allowed me to become successful as a speaker, the speaking industry has been hijacked by people who speak to sell. And it's okay to do that and make money. I speak the changed lives because somebody spoke and changed my life. So this is my passion, this is my drive, this is something that I feel in my heart. And so the key to that hunger driven life is a hard centered life. I didn't do what I'm doing for years because of my programming, because of the culture in which I was raised in. I would see other people with degrees and PhDs and MBAs and credentials. I don't have an I convinced myself I couldn't do it. But Mr. Washington, on that day, we became friends. And he taught me not only someone's opinion of you does not have to determine your reality, he said that you have to work on yourself and you have to have an unstoppable attitude and no excuse is acceptable. And you got to make it a priority, a non-negotiable in your life and hold a constant vision of what it is you want to achieve, see it accomplish and go all out, find a way to win in spite of the setbacks, in spite of the disappointments, in spite of your failures. I tell people, when I'm giving presentations you will fail your way to success. I have a saying is life knocks you down, try and land on your back because if you can look up you can get up. And so those experiences of going after goals that's beyond your comfort zone and having relationships that will challenge you and surrounding yourself with coaches and mentors who can take you to a place within yourself that you can't go by yourself because you can't read the label when you're locked in the box. And so those experiences, they challenge you to go to that next level and continue to move forward in your life doing new and exciting things that I has not seen, eer has not heard. No one's entered a heart of mankind what God has in store for you when you live a hard-centered life deciding that you're gonna live a life that will outlive you. You're gonna live a life that counts a life that will build a legacy and change the planet. Hars Mann said, we should be ashamed to die until we've made some major contribution to humankind. And so my goal is to make a major contribution to humankind. I am a father of 10, five boys and five girls. I'm suing the people who came up with the rhythm method. The rhythm method to work. I've got rhythm, but the rhythm method does not work. Okay. And I have 15 grandchildren and four great-grand sons. And so every day when I get up, my mindset is what is it that I can do to touch and impact somebody's life today? What does that look like? Like seeing you, I'm so excited. I started doing push-ups. I said, well, I'm gonna go on, he's gonna see that I got muscles too. What you've done with your mental muscles is so extraordinary. I don't know that you need to worry about anything else. Talk to me about your grandkids, your great-grandkids.
Programming Of Our Minds (26:46)
Like if you had just an hour to spend with them, what would you give them in terms of setting them up the way that Mr. Washington set you up? Like what are those core principles that you think are most impactful? One, get to know yourself. That I believe that we're taught, be not conformed to this world, be transformed by the renewing of your mind is because-- What does that mean? Like that sounds like it's hell, but I don't actually understand. I know it. What it means is that don't live the life that has been given you. Buy culture, buy your parents. Buy their circumstances, buy the people that surround you. That Sidney Poitier wrote a book called The Measure of a Man. And he said, when you go for a walk with someone, something happens without being spoken. He said, either you adjust to their pace or they adjust to your pace. Whose pace have you adjusted to? And so there are things that we pick up and we think that they're out choices, but they're choices that we've been programmed by life to do. When we leave our homes in the morning, we're bombarded with over 6,000 advertising hits through Facebook, through Twitter, through Instagram, through television, through our phones and through our communities and through the computers. And so all of these things are impacting us every day. So if you don't have a program for your mind, then your mind is going to be programmed and you find yourself doing things that you did not know and that they affected you, that they, through marketing techniques and strategies, that they will create a thirst within you. I came up in an era that said, if you built the best mouse trap, the world would be to pass to your door. But if you know marketing, people will sleep outside your store to buy a telephone they've never touched or seen. But because of the marketing, they said, I got to have that. And when they get it, it's a smartphone, but they're dummy because they don't know how to work it. And that is me. I got a smartphone, but all I could do is do text messages on it.
The power of having a mentor (29:05)
- And that's already pretty good. All right, so we've got our grandkids in a room. We tell them, don't be programmed by the culture. You gotta figure out who you are. - Yes, you gotta get to know yourself. You wanna spend time reading. Reading is very important. - Give me some powerful books. - One of the books I enjoy is by my mentor, Mike Williams. He saw this last crowd before I saw him. I was a disc jockey, WVKO Radio Station in Columbus, Ohio. And he said, "Hey, brownie." I said, "Yes." He said, "You know why you go see Robert Schuller "and Tony Robbins and Zig Ziegler?" I said, "Because I lack that message." He says, "No." He said, "That's who you are, man. "You can do that." And he said, "You know why Bert Charles "give you so much hell here?" I said, "Well, he just doesn't like me." No, because you've outgrown this place. There's something else for you to do. You can do what those guys do. But at that time, I was suffering from possibility blindness. I couldn't see it. I had the conversation in my head of being labeled, educable, mentally retarded and failing twice in school. But over the years, experiences continue to peel away new acts of floor. You don't put wax on the existing floor. You strip it first. And so over the years, the seminars, the workshops, the examples, the things that observe like people, like yourself, begin to peel away and penetrate and connect with that part of myself that says, "I can do this. "I can do more and I deserve more." And so I would teach my kids that you have to transform your mindset. You have to continuously upgrade your relationships. My youngest son, John Leslie, poses a question. He said, "When you have goals and dreams you want to achieve." He said, "Ask yourself the question, "who should I count on and who should I count out?" And so many people never achieve their goals because they have too many toxic, negative energy draining people in their lives. And you have to have goals outside of your comfort zone that will challenge you because in order to do something you've never done, you've got to become someone you've never been. And you've got to have a mentor whose experience, who's been there done that. And as a result of that relationship because you can't see the picture when you're in the frame, Muhammad Ali said, "I'm the greatest, "but you never want a championship without Angelo Dundee." And Michael Jordan never want a championship without Phil Jackson. So you've got to have someone that can see something in you that you can't see that can take you to a place within yourself that you can't go by yourself. So I would tease in the value of having a life code that life is an adventure and it's gonna be a challenge and get ready because you're gonna fail your way to success. You will get slapped around by life. And don't spend time complaining about it and telling everybody 80% don't care and 20% glad as you. - That's pretty true. I wanna close the loop on the books really fast. So give me two or three books that you think everybody should read. - The Road to Your Best Stuff by Mike Williams. I wrote the forward to that. Live Your Dreams by V. It's a very good one. Another one that's a little known book that people don't talk about. It's by Robert Collier called Secret of the Ages. That's a book that really inspired me that Mr. Washington gave me. Secret of the Ages. Another book that I love. - It is the Secret of the Ages. - The Secret of the Ages that you have the power to do more than you can ever begin to imagine. Don't underestimate yourself. You don't know enough about yourself to become a cynic. And so you've got to challenge yourself to access that power that you have within you. You're more than a conqueror. And the other one is a little small book that I don't care how many times I read it. I always get something of value. James Allen as a man thinketh. And they have a female version of it as a woman thinketh. Those are books that I enjoy very much. - What is it about as a man thinketh? I tried reading it to be honest. I couldn't get into it. But I've heard a lot of people that I respect a lot say that that book really has something. What am I missing? - You know, he died in prison. And in spite of all of the things that he went through because he was a guy that was ahead of his time, his experience in the area where he was and being in prison because of his philosophy of life didn't make him bitter. We've all heard the saying things in life will make you bitter or they'll make you better.
How to overcome negative thinking (33:50)
And he became better. He did even more profound work while he was incarcerated before it ultimately died. And so his focus on the value of not only just changing your mind, but having a program to do maintenance work on your mind because those negative thoughts will come back with a vengeance. Once you stop the ritual or whatever you are doing, that will hold those negative thoughts in check. Negative thoughts are like weeds. You can't kill weeds. You can hold them down for a minute. But once you stop doing the things to overpower those negative thoughts because we've been taught to to dislac ourselves that if I said to you, Tom, you can't do this show. You just don't have what it takes. You have a face that only a mother could love, Tom. You can't do this. Then MIT did the study and somebody else has come along and say, Tom, don't pay any attention. You can do it, Tom. You can do this. Don't listen to him. You can do this. Listen to me, Linda. You can do this 17 times to neutralize that one time. And so when we think about him and his work and he did a lot of profound work, it's focused on how to begin to get under those conscious thoughts and impact that subconscious mind to create an ongoing process of renewing how we see ourselves. Yeah, I want to talk about that process. I think that's really powerful. It's a great analogy that the negative voices like weeds are going to keep coming back. And the moment that you stop tending the garden, you're going to be in trouble again. What does your process of tending the garden look like?
Four Steps to Greatness (35:53)
What do you do on a daily basis to keep it clean? Well, we've developed a program called Four Steps to Greatness. And it's a cyclic process. One, self-awareness, where you constantly, every day when I get up, I read. I get up and there's a scripture I love 'cause all things work together for good, for those who love God and for those who are called according to its purpose. And so I meditate on that and I visualize myself doing some good stuff in the planet. The next step is not only self-awareness, but the next thing is self-approval, that you have to have a program that will increase your sense of self, reading, doing good work, volunteering, constantly looking for ways in which you can improve all the dimensions of your life, being a better father, being a better husband, a wife or being a better person because we want to have a holistic approach to life. Because if your achievements outgrow your sense of self, you will unconsciously engage in self-destructive behavior and we're witnessing that now on a national level. - Yeah, you're touching on the thing that I find maybe most distressing in life.
Tony's Mom (37:13)
I want to know about your mom and how you were able to see her so well and the way that this kid couldn't see his father. What was it about your mom? You've said, you've quoted Abraham Lincoln as saying everything that I have or ever will have as a result of my mother and you said you feel the same way. What was it about her spirit, what she did that so impacted you? - One, I believe that she lived a hard-centered life because I don't feel I was given away. I've never done a search for my, birth parents until recently out of, because of these various advertising on television, you know? And this has something happened to you or some of your children. You want to know if this is something that runs in your family. But a reporter asked her one time, how did you know as a single mother, third grade education, that you could raise seven children by yourself? And her response was, I just felt that the Lord would make a way somehow. And so whenever I go after a goal, even though I don't have the money, even though I don't have the resources, even though I don't have the connections, I remember sending up one of my messages to Dorothy Rinker who had a commercial for Tony Robbins, personal power, every 30 minutes on television. So I sent them one of my motivational cassette tapes at that time. And they sent me a letter back, said, you got an inspiring story, but you're black. And I wrote back and said, thank you for telling me, I never would have known that, had you not reminded me. And so at the end of it, I wrote, I'll see you from the top. Are you okay? And so because my mother, she made a way out of no way. She promised our birth mother. She said, our birth mother, Mr. Moss said, your mother was confronted by your birth mother. I took her in Liberty City on 62nd Street in this abandoned building. And word was this lady had twins and didn't want them separated. And when I brought Mamie in there, my mother, your birth mother got up and got in her face and got close to her nose and said, are you the one where you take good care of my boys? And mama said, yes, you promised never to separate them. She said, yes, you're gonna be good to them? She said, yes, I promise you, I swear to God, yes. And she, and he said that there was a look of determination on mama's face as she was holding us in a light blue blanket coming out of there that she was gonna do this no matter what. So I learned to become a no matter what from my mother and I learned the power of faith and of relationships. She never met a stranger. She would talk to anybody, talk to a telegram folks, you know? And I admired how when things happened, that when she lost her jaw, she couldn't work anymore. And she started selling home brew and moonshine to keep food on the table. And she was arrested, you know? She went to jail for us. And I was 10 years old and they said I was an old man because I became a man then. I sold copper and aluminum, had peppers, junkyard, I cut grass, a shine shoes, I sold newspapers to provide until mama came back. And when she came back, because I opened the door, because this guy who came to a house and he was what you call an undercover agent today, during that time we called him a stupid pigeon. And he said I want to surprise your mother, told her I don't know, that I'm here, I've got some friends, I want to meet her. And I opened the door and he threw me against the wall and he hit me and they went in the back and they brought mama out in handcuffs. And she said I told you never opened the door without letting me know. And I said I'm so sorry mama, I'm so sorry. And when she got out, she never mentioned it. She never brought that up. But mama, she sacrificed. Mama, we never went to bed hungry. Mama kept a roof over her head. When she got out, she kept children, she baked sweet potato pies, she cooked for people. She found another way to generate income for us. So that's why I admire so much.
Motivation And Inspiration
Being Hungry (42:59)
- Yeah, that's incredibly powerful. You have really lived that in your life, which is extraordinary. You told one story one time, which I was really moved by about the by any means being relentless, not stopping, not making excuses, selling door to door. And you and another guy started at the same time. I think it would be really powerful, especially given that context of how much your mother planted that seed in you. - Yeah, this is a time where you have to be hungry. Because the over, according to the Department of Labor, over 20,000 people lose their jobs every month and being replaced by artificial intelligence. And so I used to sell television sets, a guy named Sam Maxarot, knock on the door, hello. Hi, would you like to buy a good working television set? Nobody doubt. As they know, you're going from door to door. And he would call the guys together when it gets so laid and say, okay, we gotta go. And he would call everybody to the car. And he said, wait a minute, he counted here. Hey, Leslie's not here. And I could hear him saying, hey Leslie, come on, come on to the car. And I said, no, Sam, why not? I said, I'm not gonna stop until I sell a television set. I haven't sold yet. No, nobody's sold anything yet. I don't care, Sam. I've gotta do this. I made a commitment. I'm gonna make enough money to put groceries on our table. And I would knock sometimes 10, 30 at night. And hi, would you like to buy a nice working television set? Nobody doubt? Do you know what time it is? Yes, I do. I'm gonna buy a groceries file family. Somebody's gonna buy a nice working television set from me tonight, and it might as well be you. And they say, come on in here fool, it better be a good one. So I learned how to be unstoppable. And he came to pick the other guys up. We had to wait till they got dressed. But I would be standing out front looking for him, waiting because I was hungry. They were getting money just to have a good time to party on the weekend. I was earning money so that we could eat.
Making People Thirsty (45:33)
That's all really incredible in terms of just having a vision, knowing what motivates you, going out, being relentless and pushing. How do you, you talk about making people thirsty? You've, the oft quoted, you can lead a horse of water but you can't make them drink. So how do you make the horse thirsty? You make the horse thirsty by finding out what is it that will create that thirst. One of the advantages that I had coming into the speaking industry, it's governed by the philosophy of the Dale Carnegie course, which is a great course. Tell them what you're gonna tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. Mike Williams, my mentor said, "Brownie, "never let what you wanna say "get in the way of what your audience wants to hear. "Condup communications intelligence. "Ask them, listen to what they're telling you. "And then craft and create a story "out of your experiences and things you've observed "and learned to begin to allow them "to see a vision of themselves differently "than what they had when you came in. "Orchestraed an experience. "That experience is major. "If information could change people, "everybody would be skinny, rich, and happy." - I love that quote. You've talked about how for people to make real change, you have to give them a significant emotional experience. Working with people connect with you to get that significant emotional experience. - They can go to lesbrown.com. We do a variety of seminars and workshops, discover your power of voice, getting unstuck, and a power of logic vision. That's how they get in touch with me. - I love it. What is the specific impact that you wanna have on the world? - I aspire to inspire until I expire. - Nice and simple. - Yes.
- Guys, if you haven't already listened to this man's talks on YouTube, you are missing out. You probably have, by the way, since he's basically the meat and potatoes of virtually every motivational compilation that is out there. It is truly extraordinary. If you haven't seen his Georgia Dome talk, which is the one he did in front of 80,000 people, check it out. It is extraordinary. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. Last, that was fucking extraordinary. - Thank you. - How does a firefighter go into a burning building? - When there's this enormous adrenaline and epinephrine, you know, that could stop most people dead on their tracks, they learn, here's the feeling, it's normal.