Here is the full transcript of Les Brown’s motivational speech: ‘It’s Not Over Until You Win!’
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Introducing Speaker: Ladies and gentlemen it is with great honor that we present to you, Les Brown.
Les Brown – Author, speaker
What I like me to do right now, I want you to think about your dream, because I’m in a room full of dreamers. Think about your dream right now, what you think about it and envision it.
Now ladies and gentlemen let me share something with you. I do not believe that any of us have dreams that were not given to us for the purpose of accomplishing those particular dreams. And I want to share something with you that has changed my life.
I started out, as was indicated by Jack, it’s very humble beginnings. I don’t know what that dream is that you have. I don’t care how far-fetched it might appear to be. I don’t care how disappointing it might have been as you’ve been working toward that dream. But here’s what I know that, that dream that you’re holding in your mind, that it’s possible. Let’s say that together. Please say it’s possible.
See, sometimes we can’t say I can do that. But what we can say that it’s possible, that I can have my dream, as we run toward it, as we work on it day-in and day-out. No one, ladies and gentlemen, could have convinced me when I started out just over six years ago, working on my dream. And I want you to think about whatever your dream is, because I was willing to take a chance, and most people won’t do that. Most of the people that you talk to, to try and bring them into the business, these are not risk-takers. Most people have done all that they’re ever going to do. They raise a family, they earn a living and then they die. But people who are running toward their dreams life has a special kind of meaning.
And here’s what I will share with you, that in the process of working on your dreams you are going to incur a lot of disappointment, a lot of failure, a lot of pain, a lot of setbacks, a lot of defeat. But in the process of doing that you will discover some things about yourself that you don’t know right now. What you will realize is that you have greatness within you. What you will realize is that you’re more powerful than you can ever begin to imagine. What you will realize is that you’re greater than your circumstances, that you don’t have to go through life being a victim.
As Jack indicated, I was born in Miami, Florida, in an area called Liberty City in an abandoned building on a hardon olean floor with my twin brother. We were six weeks of age we were adopted. When I was in fifth grade, I was identified as EMR, labeled educable, mentally retarded, put back from the fifth grade into the fourth grade and stayed in that category until I got out of high school. I don’t have any college training. But I met a high school teacher who one day changed my life.
I was waiting on another student and when he came in, he said to me, ‘Young man, go to the board and write what I’m about to tell you.’
And I said, ‘I can’t do that, sir.’
He said, ‘Why not?’
I said, ‘I’m not one of your students.’
He said, ‘It doesn’t matter. Follow my directions now.’
I said, ‘I can’t do that, sir.’
He said, ‘Why not?’
I said, ‘Because I am educable mentally retarded.’
And he came from behind his desk and he looked at me, he said, ‘Don’t ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.’
And that man Mr. Leroy Washington did something for me. He started planting seeds in my mind that enabled me to begin to dream as Dexter has been doing for you. And ladies and gentlemen, I started working on my dream and most people don’t work on their dreams; why? For many years I didn’t. One is because of fear — the fear of failure. What if things don’t work out. And the fear of success: What if they do and I can’t handle it.
The other thing is that most people, ladies and gentlemen, they get comfortable. They stop growing, they stop working on themselves, they stop stretching. They stop pushing themselves and they end up becoming very cynical about life and they throw in the towel on themselves, on their families and on their dreams.
And the other thing is that most people don’t feel worthy. What I’m doing now, I could have been doing years ago. But because I did not have a college education, because I didn’t believe in myself, because I allowed other people’s opinion of me to control my destiny, I didn’t act on my ideas. So I applaud you for your dreaming, for your running towards your dream. I applaud you for believing in yourself, because that’s what life is about: stretching and challenging, looking for ways that you can begin to improve yourself.
And ladies and gentlemen, as a result of stretching out, of acting on my dream and I don’t know what that dream is for you. I can tell you that it’s possible. No one could have convinced me that after just over six years I would have my own book entitled ‘Live Your Dreams’. Just over six years I would have five specials on public television. Just over six years I’ve done motivational speaking for AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Mcdonald’s Corporation, Xerox, IBM. Just over six years I will now have my own talk show that will premiere on Monday, Labor Day. I’m saying to you: your dream is possible.
Your dream is possible. But not only is it important that you believe and begin to know that it’s possible for you to live your dream as you run toward it. But I’ve done something that I want to share with you called choosing your future. In fact, I’ve developed a set of tapes talking about how to begin to create your own reality by choosing your future. And not only is it important for you to know it’s possible for you to choose your future but it’s necessary that you work on yourself, that you develop yourself. It’s necessary that you get the energy drainers out of your life, people who don’t want anything, people who are not striving, people who are not challenging themselves, people who aren’t growing, people who have stopped dreaming. It’s necessary that you align yourself with people and attract people into your business who are hungry, people who are unstoppable and unreasonable, people who are refusing to live life just as it is and who want more.
My mother used to say birds of a feather flock together. If you run around with losers, you will end up a loser. It’s necessary that you get the losers out of your life if you want to live your dream. It’s necessary to know that everybody won’t see it, that everybody won’t join you, that everybody won’t have the vision. It’s necessary to know that, that a lot of people like to complain but they don’t want to do anything about their situation, that you aren’t uncommon breed. You know, you have to know within yourself that I can do this. Even if no one else sees it for me I must see it for myself. That’s necessary.
It’s also, ladies and gentlemen, necessary that you be creative when you’re working on your ideas, that you understand the importance of changing up, of readjusting your strategies. Many times we can have a great idea but if you’re not advancing it in the right way and things don’t happen, you become discouraged and think the idea doesn’t work. No, that’s not true. It’s necessary that we become creative.
I remember when I was in New York, walking down the street and a guy approached me and said, ‘Hey mister, can I shine your shoes?’
And I said, ‘No, I’m in a hurry. I don’t have time’.
I kept walking. Someone else said, ‘Hey man, your shoes look clutty. May I shine your shoes?’
I said, ‘No, I don’t have time. I am sorry, I’m busy.’