Here is the full transcript of motivational speaker Les Brown’s speech: I Will Fear No Evil. For more info on the speaker, read the bio here.
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Les Brown – Motivational speaker
That many times I’m sure that we’ve all taken time just to stop and reflect many times when we hear what’s happening in the news or read the newspapers. Where is all of this leading to? What’s going on here?
And so I think that now more than ever we must begin to look at what are the things that we can do that would put us on some firm footing in life, that will enable us to do some things and use some powers that we have that many of us go through life, never ever discovering that we have those things going for us.
And part of that, I believe, is knowing what it is your life work — what is it that gives your life a sense of meaning and purpose? Because once you find that, it puts you in your power place.
See, if you know what your life work is I encourage you to start working on it. If you can’t do it all at one time, do just a little bit of it. And if you don’t know what it is that you showed up to do, if you don’t know why you’re here, I encourage you to find out what your purpose is here, what is the meaning of your life, what will be different? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I’ve done that.
I remember coming from a friend of mine’s funeral and I was reflecting on how much time I had left. And I went for a walk in a park thinking about this guy whose life was so promising. And I mean, he wasn’t an old guy, he was quite young, in fact. And I thought about all of the things that he said he was going to do and he never got a chance to do those things.
And I start thinking about my own life and how much time I had left to do the things that I would like to do. And at that time I wasn’t sure what my life purpose was, what my life’s work was. I wasn’t sure about it at that time. And I thought about it quite a lot.
I had some idea but I wasn’t convinced that I don’t think I felt worthy. I didn’t believe that it could be me to do this kind of work that I’m doing right now.
And I say to you that if you begin to take a conscious effort to find out what it is that you’re supposed to do, I say that it can literally save your life. I said that it can literally save your life.
85% of the American public, according to recent studies, are going to jobs that they hate, working on jobs that do not challenge them. They get sick thinking about going, because see, when you go to a job and you already know how far you can go, you can already see that proverbial glass ceiling.
See, when you’re going someplace and you already know how much you’re going to make, you already know how far you can go, you’re in a dead-end position. It erodes your self-esteem. It lowers your sense of yourself. It creates an inner turmoil. It creates an emptiness in you.
So I say that your life is worth finding what it is that you’re supposed to do. And I’m not saying quit your job. I’m saying find it and do just a little bit of it. Just start working at it, just a little bit but do find out what your work is and hold on to it and don’t let your dream go. Don’t let it go.
See, and here’s something else I want you to begin to look at: why is it that most people don’t pursue their dreams, or don’t do better than what they’re doing if they’re capable of doing it? I think that many of us don’t go the next step, because we don’t know what to do yet.
And I say that, that the reason that we don’t even explore the possibility of what to do is because subconsciously we don’t believe that it can happen for us, and we don’t believe that we deserve it.
So here’s what I’m suggesting: how much time do you spend working on you? How much time do you spend every day working on your dream? In the last 90 days, how many books have you read? In the last year, what new skill or knowledge have you acquired? What kind of investment have you made in you?
So I’m saying that as you begin to look at where you want to go, if you want to make it today and things are changing so fast, you have to literally run to standstill. I’m saying that you’ve got to make some conscious effort to begin to work to develop you.
Here is something else: most people are not living their dreams because of fear, ladies and gentlemen. Fear, limited vision, and lack of self-esteem is what keep most people doing things they don’t want to do. The same reason that people stay in relationships where they’re abused, they’re unhappy, what’s unfulfilling; they can’t see themselves beyond that relationship. They can’t see themselves enjoying life without that person. They think that this is all that they can do. The same reason that people get stuck at a certain level in life. They can’t see things being better for them and they think that this is it and this is all they deserve. This is all they’ve ever seen, has been passed on to them.
And they think that this is it for them. Oh, no, looking what Dr. Blanton — Smiley Blanton — who was a colleague of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, what he said about fear – he said, “Fear is the most subtle and destructive of all human diseases.”
Ladies and gentlemen, fear kills dreams. Fear kills hope. Fear put people in the hospital. Fear can age you. Fear, ladies and gentlemen, can hold you back from doing something that you know within yourself that you’re capable of doing, but it will paralyze you. And it seemed like you’re in a hypnotic spell.
And I ask you a question: what is the benefit? What’s the benefit of allowing fear to hold you back? What’s the benefit of giving up on yourself, of not stepping out on life and taking life on? What is the benefit for you? What’s the plus in that?
It’s one of the things I had to ask myself. So I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I wanted everybody to like me. I wanted to be perfect the first time I did something. It’s not going to happen. You’re going to make some mistakes. You’re going to hurt some folks’ feelings. You’re going to create some enemies. Whatever you decide that you want to begin to take life on, you’ve got to ask yourself: how long? Am I going to allow this to hold me back? I like what Zig Ziglar says. He said, “Fear is false evidence appearing real.” That is an illusion that we create in our mind. It is a state of mind that can be changed.
So let’s look at how we can begin to take some steps to restructure that fear, to begin to expand our visions of ourselves, to begin to increase our self-esteem. Webster said that self-esteem means confidence and satisfaction in one self.