Live Your Dreams â€“ Les Brown
This is going to be one of the best self help books you have ever read. Les Brown in his book, Live Your Dreams, pours out his exceptional ability to motivate and help people set and achieve their goals and live wealthier and happier life.
The book will inspire you to start dreaming of a better life if you donâ€™t have a dream already, motivate you to setting achievable goals, and giving you proven strategies to reaching the goals.
Coming from a poor background without much education or exposures, but resolutely sticking to his dream of becoming a famous public speaker, which he has achieved, Les Brown is indeed qualified to help you discover how much more you are capable of realising your dream because he had been there. In fact, he used his personal experience to drive home some of his teaches, which makes it easier for you to absorb and confidently apply the concepts being taught.
Here is an excerpt of the book. Enjoy it.
Pursue the Dream
To have dreams is the first step toward making them realities. Once you have squared yourself with your past, approved of yourself, and committed to seeking self-fulfillment, next allow yourself to dream. Chart your course. Envision yourself achieving those dreams.
Once you have dared to dream, I believe you MUST pursue that dream. If you do not pursue your dreams they will consume you; the knowledge that you had a dream but did not pursue it is killing knowledge. Consider it absolutely necessary to go after your dreams. Jose Ortega y Gasset said, â€œHuman life, by its very nature, has to be dedicated to something.â€
Without goals in your professional, personal and spiritual life, you are just looking. You are not actively engaged in this world. Not having goals is like having no idea where you want to go when you step up to an airline counter to buy a ticket. You lug your baggage up. Life says, â€œWhere will you be flying to today?â€ And you reply, â€œGee, I donâ€™t know.â€ Without direction, without goals, you canâ€™t BUY a ticket in this life.
Make This Your Decade
In order to make this your decade, you have to set specific goals and you have to be strongly motivated to reach them. Put your goals down on paper. It makes them more real to you. It gives your goals and thoughts weight and permanence.
Write down your five greatest dreams.
1. I want to buy my mother a grand house where she can entertain her friends and sit on the porch and warm herself in the sun.
2. I want to be a nationally known public speaker with a message that will better the world.
3. I want to write a whole series of books that will inspire people in the same way.
4. I want to have my own television show to reach an even greater audience that I can reach in person.
5. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to handle the challenges of life.
Follow Your Dream
When I started working on my goal to become a professional public speaker five years ago, I had no training in a multibillion-dollar industry. I was not a celebrity with some instant entrÃ©e to the club. Neither athlete nor actor, I had no proven value in this vast market. I was an ant knocking on the door to the giantâ€™s castle.
I knew virtually nothing about the business. I did know, however, that I loved talking to people. I took pleasure in making them feel good and contributing to their understanding of themselves. Other than that, the only thing I had going for me was my enthusiasm for the work. I wanted to do something that would give my life value and meaning.
On my way to the front door of that dream, Iâ€™d lost all my money, Iâ€™d lost my car, Iâ€™d lost the place I lived, I had NOTHING. Nothing except the certainty that this is what I wanted to do with my life and the sense that it was possible.
As much as you may believe you have selected your goal, I believe your goal selects you. The universe uses you to its purpose. So allow it to happen. Give yourself to your dream and follow it wherever it takes you in glorious pursuit. For a while it may beat you up; hang on over the bumps and rough spots; enjoy the trip.
There will be times when you will feel alone and deserted, when you will feel weak and doubt yourself and wonder if you are stark raving mad, but if you endure and persevere, eventually you will arrive at your dream. The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. Once you decide to go after them, the way becomes clear.
I started on the way to my goal at the library, which is still the cheapest and best source of information in the world. I found books on public speaking and began reading all I could on the topic. I found a list of organizations for public speakers. I joined as many as I could. I studied the best speakers â€“ their posture, their hand gestures, their inflections and their messages.
I talked with public speakers about their work. I asked them their secrets. They said practice was essential. So I volunteered to speak to school children because I knew they wouldnâ€™t be critical of my technique. I just needed the practice.
I spoke to grade-school students and then high-school students, and then all sorts of clubs and organizations. I spoke to any group that would listen and even many that didnâ€™t. I worked on my dream and I never let up. I may have wanted to. I may have been sorely tempted. But I hung on.
Even I would not have dared to predict five years ago, when I didnâ€™t have a car, a place to live or $10,000 to my name, that I would receive the highest award given by the National Speakers Association or that the 170,000 members of Toastmasters International would select me as one of the worldâ€™s best public speakers in 1991.
Goals Get You Going
Goals give you a purpose for taking life on. People who live without goals have no purpose and it is obvious even in their body language. They are on permanent idle, they slouch, they list from side to side. Their conversations dawdle. They telephone you: â€œHey, Iâ€™m just calling. I wasnâ€™t doing anything, so I thought Iâ€™d call you.â€ Well, donâ€™t call ME. Iâ€™VE got things to do.
Many people just muddle through life. They donâ€™t read informational material, they donâ€™t even pay attention when they WATCH television. If you ask them what they are watching, they mumblemouth, â€œNothinâ€™, Iâ€™m just lookinâ€™.â€
What are your goals for your career? For your relationships? For your spiritual life? Develop a schedule for the next month, the next six months, the next year, five years and ten years. Write it all out.
Letâ€™s take one of the most common goals: You want to make more money. If that is your goal, then take some practical steps toward realizing it.
â€¢ First, determine specifically how much money you want to make. Then, double that amount and make THAT your goal. Even if you donâ€™t reach the higher amount, you will probably still find yourself making more than your original goal.
â€¢ Second, decide the amount of energy you are willing to expend to reach your goal. How many hours are you willing to work a day? How many jobs are you willing to hold down? What sort of work are you willing to do?
â€¢ A third step in this process is to develop a practical plan of action and get started immediately. Chart out where you want to be in relation to your goal in the next month, six months, one year, five years and ten years. Get started today. Go apply for that second job NOW! Go enroll in that career training program NOW! Ask for that raise NOW!
â€¢ And finally, make sure that you have all of this written down so that you can review it every morning and every night and envision yourself taking these steps, DOING THEM and SUCCEEDING!
Road Maps To Success
Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life. Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. Goals help you channel your energy into action. They place you in charge of your life.
One of my goals as a young man was to buy my adoptive mother a house. As a boy, I told my Mama that I was going to buy her a house so that she would never have to work, and she could just stay home and fix me sweet-potato pies. (My mama fixes sweet-potato pies that you canâ€™t eat with your shoes on: You have to take your shoes off so you can wiggle your toes!)
Another goal of mine was to see that my children had a better life than mine. You need deep purposes like that; they drive you. I know my goals have served me in challenging times. Those two goals have had a definite impact on my life.
Once, when I was competing for a contract with a large company, I sat at a table facing two men representing my competition. They sized me up. I overheard one tell the other, â€œThis guy doesnâ€™t have any credentials. We have the advantage. Weâ€™ve got TWO Ph.D.s between us.â€
Upon hearing that, I got up from the table and went to the rest room. I took myself for a motivational walk. I said to myself, â€œLes Brown, what do you care about their two Ph.D.s? You have SIX CHILDREN and a MAMA to take care of.â€
If I wanted to achieve my goal of getting that contract, I could not let these more educated men intimidate me. I could not afford to worry about THEIR qualifications, I had to concentrate instead on MY goals.
In the rest room, I reminded myself of my goals and then I returned to the boardroom. I walked bold. I looked good. I felt good. I smelled good. I sat down at that table and made my presentation and conducted my negotiations in a spirit of ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY.
I was utterly certain that the corporate officials involved had been BORN to give me that contract.
And I got the contract. Hello, Goal!
You must see your goals clearly and specifically before you can set out for them. Hold them in your mind until they become second nature. Before you go to bed each night visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. Do the same while you brush your teeth or take a shower in the morning.
Goals are not dreamy, pie-in-the-sky ideals. They have every-day practical applications and they should be practical. Your goals should be:
â€¢ Well defined. You wonâ€™t know if youâ€™ve reached them if you havenâ€™t established exactly what they are.
â€¢ Realistic. Not that you canâ€™t be president some day, but shooting for state representative might be a wiser first step.
â€¢ Exciting and meaningful to you. Otherwise, where will your motivation come from?
â€¢ Locked into your mind.
â€¢ Acted upon. There is no sense in having a goal if you arenâ€™t going to go after it.
How do you find your goals? We all have dreams of what we would like to be doing. What we would like to have, who we would like to be with. Think about your dreams. What goal would you go after if you knew you would not fail? If you had unlimited funds? If you had infinite wisdom and ability?
One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you. If you need to set goals for your career, find a job or profession that is important to you beyond the bills that it pays.
It is vital to your growth as a person that your work is more than a job to you; that you have a higher purpose for doing what you do. I believe that sometimes we get into career paths or relationships that are really not what we want and then we struggle to make them work. As a result, we become frustrated and confused. We feel that we are working to no good purpose.
A woman told me once that when she went in to work at a job that she despised, it was like a refrigerator falling on her shoulders as soon as she stepped inside the door. She knew that she had gone as far as she would ever go in that job, and it weighed heavily on her. Refrigerator heavy.
She was stuck in that job and it was stuck on her. They were paying her just enough to keep her from quitting and she was working just hard enough to keep from getting fired. If you find yourself in that pattern, you must change your thinking and your behavior; otherwise you will continue to carry the weight of mediocrity on your shoulders.
This is a great book by all standard, and I very much gladly recommend it to you.