Les Brown: You Gotta be Hungry (Full Transcript)

A friend of mine Bobby Currie used to be a roommate. Bobby wanted to go into the area of public relations. He loved working with the public. Young lady he wanted to marry named Clara Reese. Bobby was a great procrastinator. Pretty soon the job where Bobby worked they transferred him to another location. He went out to celebrate with the people on that new job site. And Bobby suffered a massive heart attack and died. Bobby didn’t drink and didn’t smoke, was under 40 and he died. Ask you a question: how much time do you have left? How much time do you have left? When you start thinking about that we don’t know, we don’t know. Bobby took all the greatness and all of the talent and all of his abilities to his grave with him. One of the things they could have put in parenthesis under his name: he didn’t use all his stuff. Most of us do that.

Most of us don’t use the stuff that we have brought into the universe. And we want to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to start living life with a sense of urgency and using what we’ve got, using ourselves up, sharing what we brought into the universe to share, because if we don’t, nobody else will. Stop wasting valuable time. Knowing that if we begin to live our lives as if each day were our last, our lives will take on a whole new meaning. It’d take on a whole new expression, valuing each moment that we are blessed with.

The next thing that begins to nurture that hunger: Honor yourself as your word. Don’t give your word out lightly. When you throw your word out there and you don’t honor it, it makes a statement about you. If you decide to maintain a sense of integrity with yourself, that if I speak it, I’m going to live it. It’s who I am and I’m going to be very cautious in how I give my word to others and most of all with the commitments that I make to myself, because I want my life to reflect my words and honoring who I am and what I express.

Another challenging area in terms of nurturing and developing that hunger in yourself is learning the art of becoming single minded, learning how to concentrate, learning how to focus in. And you’ll be surprised at the things that you’re able to do. When you learn how to block things out, when you learn how to keep that eye single, you’ll be surprised at the ideas that will come to you, of the people that you’ll be able to attract, of the opportunities that you’ll be able to see, you’ll begin to see things have been staying there looking at you in the face, and say I can’t believe this has been here all this time.

ALSO READ:   Tesia Marshik: Learning Styles & The Importance of Critical Self-Reflection at TEDxUWLaCrosse (Transcript)

Here is a habit that I do. Maybe it might be of some value to you. I get up in the morning and I start writing what great ideas that I can think of today that can improve me and that will enable me to reach my goal. And I just let my mind flow. Sometimes I write 15, 20 ideas. Some days it’s more difficult than others. One idea can change your life. One idea can turn your life around. Deciding what you’re going to focus to develop your skills — the guy was the new owner of a team. A team — a baseball team that was in the basement of the league when he took it over. He went to the pitch and he said what is your best throw? He said, ‘Well I got a good curveball and I’ve got a good fastball’, and he went on talking about his different throws. He said, ‘But tell me this: What is your best throw?’ He thought for a moment. He said, ‘I’ve got a good fastball’. He said, ‘That’s all I want you to work on. Nothing else, just develop your fastball’.

The next year, they went to the World Series. Most people don’t know what their fastball is. Most people go through life never discovering what their talents are. Most people never develop their talents. They have skills and abilities but if you don’t nurture them, if you don’t develop them they will never serve you. Your gifts can take you many places if you develop your gifts. Most of us don’t like to do those things that come easy to us.

I’ve always loved to talk to people. I decided taking this advice to develop my skills as a speaker and my gift has developed and it developed and it’s taken me many places. You have something that you brought to the universe and that if you decide that my life deserves my developing this what I do well, and becoming the best at it and mastering myself and seeing what I have within me, if you decide to drop your buckets where you are and develop your gifts, I grant you you’ll never ever be without. I grant you that your gifts will take you places that will literally amaze you. I grant you that if you begin to work to develop your gifts, you develop a strong sense of happiness, you’ll get a larger vision of yourself, because part of beginning to get a larger vision of yourself, all of us need some area of our lives where we can have a feeling of competence. That people know when they think about this area, that’s something you do. That you eat and sleep that, and that you do that, you do that and people know it. And you know it and you know that you know that, you know this, if you don’t know anything else you know this. Can you tell I know I know what I’m doing? You know this. So you’ve got to work on it.

ALSO READ:   Transcript: Helena Norberg-Hodge on The Economics of Happiness at TEDxEQCHCH conference

When other folks are having a good time you’ve got to have the strength of character to concentrate, to read, to digest information. If you decide any particular area that you’re concerned about to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to read one book a month in that area. In five years you’ll be among the top 5% experts in the world. I read a minimum of two books a week. The average American reads only one book a year. If you decide that area that you love, that you are going to master that particular area, in this era of accelerated change, overwhelming complexity and tremendous competition, as you begin to develop and expand your skills and your talents and your vision of yourself, you will always be in control of your destiny.

The next thing is whatever it is that you want to do, you want to do it massively. Have a friend who was telling me that his sales were down. I said, ‘Well, how many phone calls you make a day?’

He said, ‘25’.

I said, ‘Double them, make 50 or 75 or 100’.

He said, ‘Oh, man that’s just too much’.