Les Brown: You Gotta be Hungry (Full Transcript)

And what do you mean too much? Are you behind on your bills? You’re talking about too much, you know one way to get back on your feet real quick is to miss two car payments, you’re talking about you’re tired. There’s no competition out here. Decide that you’re going to push yourself. Most people won’t do that. Most people give up on themselves easily. You know the human spirit is powerful. There is nothing that’s powerful, it’s hard to kill the human spirit. They asked Benjamin Disraeli, a man who became the head of a country at the time when Jews were not allowed out after ten o’clock. They said how did you do it? How did you achieve against such great odds? He said nothing can resist the will of a people that will stake even their existence on the extent of their purpose for good. That when you have a made-up mind, when you decide that you want to do something — I was reading something the other day, he said the power to hold on in spite of everything, the power to endure, this is the winner’s quality. The hunger, the ability to face defeat again and again without giving up, this is a winner’s quality. You have that quality within you.

When you’re hungry you don’t care about the facts, you don’t care about the odds. Doug Williams played for the Washington Redskins, and quarterback, John Elway of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, everybody was talking about Elway, Elway. After the Super Bowl when Doug Williams made a historic passing game, I asked him, and said how were you able in spite of all of the negative publicity saying that you couldn’t win. How did you do it? He said ‘I ignored my critics. I just didn’t pay any attention to them. I ignored myself because they kept on saying it so much. There were times I doubted whether or not I can do what I needed to do’. There’s a Doug Williams in everybody here. There is greatness in you and you’ve got to learn how to tune out the critics outside and the critic inside and say I’m going to do this, I’m going to harness my will. And I’m not going to let anything stop me. I deserve this. I’m going to do it until — and this friend I told him and said, start increasing your calls. I said, make a hundred calls a day, I got a callous in my ear, you can’t see it but it’s there. His sales have increased. He is working harder now.

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The other thing is that, if you want something, you have got to be relentless. You’ve got to learn how to become resourceful. You’ve got to learn how to become creative. When crises strike in your life and in the Chinese language crises mean danger but it also means opportunity. And this is an opportunity for you to grow and you’ve got to be so relentless, regardless of what comes down the pike that you are always looking for a way to get over, always looking for a way that you can break through, always looking for a way that you can win, always looking for a way that you can strike a telling blow, and pretty soon I think there are some people watching us in the universe that say, wait let’s call a meeting over here. You know I’ve got Mustafa, look heading down there. He won’t stop, just that fool, oh no he can’t get over, look, look, look here. Why don’t we do this, let him go. Let’s mess with somebody else. Just let him go through. Life would just get tired of whipping you sometimes and just say, just let this one go. I believe this.

Now no one has told me this but I just kept on kicking. I didn’t have sense enough to stop. I was intelligently ignorant, I didn’t know what I couldn’t do. So I just tried anything. And the fascinating thing about life because you can’t get out of it alive, you might as well have a good time. You guys are going to have a good time.

Live your life with passion with some drive. I was giving a seminar the other day and I mentioned that I was going to do some training in August with some young teenagers and take about one hundred to a two or three day camp and wipe them up, been working on this. So after the speech one of the parents walked up to me and said, ‘Mr Brown, I like you to do something for my son, he’s not motivated’. I said I wonder why. I wonder what’s wrong with him. And he had no foul whatsoever.

See, what you do speaks so loudly, folk, I can’t hear what you say. And so if you don’t have any fight, you know you’ve got to watch the people, the relationships that you develop, have people of kindred mindsets. If you’re around folk who are dead and negative all the time, they will affect you. You want people that around you that have smiles on their faces, looking good. I was telling the group last week Abraham Lincoln refused to hire a guy because of his face. He said but the guy can’t help, but he said anybody over thirty is responsible for their face. If you have some depressing face looking at you every day, it affects your blood pressure. Keep these damned faces away from you, it’s contagious. This is serious. So you’ve got to watch your consciousness, watch your face, have an uplifted expression, watch your body posture, all of these things affect you psychically. You’ve got to be the kind of person that you are fearless, fearless, folk, leave fearless people alone.

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There are some people walk through a neighborhood and every dog in the neighborhood would bark at them. But there are some people come through and nobody is going to mess with this. You are unstoppable and because you’re unstoppable, because you’ve got power, that you haven’t even begun to use yet, you owe it to yourself to release your brakes. How many of you had the experience of pulling out of your drive when you’re mashed on accelerator and the car would just — and couldn’t move and you mash hard and it couldn’t move and then you discovered you had your emergency brakes off and then you release those emergency brakes it goes. Have you ever had that experience before? Most of us go through life without brakes on, holding back not giving all that we have, not sharing all of ourselves. Most of us go to our graves still holding on rather than releasing it.

What are some of those things that keep us from releasing it? Because of past experiences, past defeats, past pain. We look back, well it didn’t work out then. It probably won’t work out now. Many people get confused their performances with who they are. I was reading Pat Riley, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. But you’re going to like this quote here. After the Trailblazers had blown them out of the water and I’m sure he said this last night they asked him, how do you feel? He said tonight we were exposed for what we owe right now. You see, that if my speech tonight doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad speaker. It means that what I did didn’t work tonight. And I’ve got to separate what I do from who I am.