Following is the full transcript of Les Brown’s You Gotta be Hungry speech.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Les Brown – You Gotta be Hungry [Les Brown Greatest Speech]
Les Brown – Motivational speaker, author
Good evening. [Gustafo], I want you to sit right over here, sit right over here. Because I know, as I do this material here and once you do it three times it’s yours. So I want you to be close to me.
I want you to look at someone in your right and left, shake their hands and say ‘I’m doing better than good and better than most’. Let’s do that right quickly.
All right. I’d like to talk with you this evening about being hungry.
Somebody say ‘I’m hungry’.
It is something I’d like to share some ideas and thoughts with you. I’m not asking that you believe anything that I say. I’m not asking that you agree with me. I’m merely asking that you stand on and in the conversation that we’d share with you this evening. And if there’s something that I say that can fit and work for you, I say use it. If not, discard it and let it be. Is that all right? Say that’s fair enough. Very good. All right.
One of the things I have realized and many of us have, that if you want something out of life, if you want to change yourself, if you want to acquire something, if there is some goal that you want to reach, that is really not easy as some people will make us feel, that living your dream, changing your behaviors, overcoming negative habits, it’s challenging. It’s hard. That living alone is just very difficult.
Once we begin to come to grips with the fact that living is difficult, life is very challenging. I heard a song once by a guy named Dimples called “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”. I say to you, if it ain’t one thing, it’s 12 others. Always something you will never ever have a problem-free moment in life. Somebody say, I like this. Do you have a inner problem or [just love one] or headed toward what? Anybody found that to be — so raise your hand if you know what I am talking about. I mean there’s always something.
So how do we begin to nurture that hunger? What are the characteristics of the qualities of people that are hungry? What will it take for me to get some of the things that I want? And being hungry for those things. Number one, you’ve got to work on yourself. It’s very important that you engage in an ongoing process to develop you. Spend more time on yourself than what you’ve been spending. It’s very important you owe that to yourself. I was reading the book by Og Mandino called the University of Success, read one line, gave me a chill, and I didn’t have to read anything else in the book. He said, ‘Many of us never realize our greatness because we become sidetracked by secondary activity’. We spread ourselves too thin. Don’t know how to say no. And we find ourselves doing all kinds of things and never ever have time to do those things that we need to do to work on ourselves. And then there goes the second, there goes another second, there goes another second and we can’t stop and hold time. And before you know it, you wake up one day and you’re behind in your dreams and your bills.
So decide that you’re going to take some time to work on you, that you deserve that from yourself, that your life deserves some prime time, because you are creating your own production, as Michael Todd would say you are the star of your show, you are the director, you’re writing the script and you will determine whether your life is a smash office hit or flop. You determine that. Working on yourself, talking to yourself. That’s so very important.
Overcoming the negative conversation, that inner dialogue, is going on all the time, all the time, even when you don’t want it to be there. You can’t stop yourself right now from thinking, you can’t do it. It’s going on. And so learning how to empower yourself, part of doing that is standing up to yourself. You’ve got to stand up inside yourself sometimes and say shut up. You’ve got to do this. I was going to give a presentation and this voice inside of me saying you can’t do this, you don’t have everything it takes — shut up. Behind on my bills and you’re telling me what I can’t do. I have got to do it.
You get scared sometimes, your mind will go blank on you. Some people will allow to unnerve you and you wonder what’s wrong with me, I’m not crazy. That’s why you’ve got to learn to make a conscious deliberate determined effort to stand up inside yourself. Working on yourself, watching that inner dialogue it will determine the quality of your life. I don’t believe this. I know this. I’ve had a challenge of losing weight. I’m walking through the airport, this voice say, why don’t you have some M&M peanut? No! Well, just one.
Then after you eat that, you might as well have a sneaker now, you sucker. I mean it is challenging. My mother fixed a kind of sweet potato pie, you can’t eat with your shoes on. You have to take your shoes off, so you can wiggle your toes. It sticks on my fingers. It says eat and one little bite won’t hurt. That voice constantly, little demons from Colonel Sanders driving my car in there. I had to say no, no, no, no, I’ll be back tomorrow. I saw skinny Mary get hit by a truck, had to have a little bit more, he might live. Some of you know what I’m talking about, raise your hand if you don’t — that voice is awesome. So you have got to stand up to that voice.
When you’re working on something you want to achieve, you have got to stand up to that voice. You’ve got to sell yourself every day on your abilities on what you’re doing, on the goal that you want to reach. You’ve got to sell yourself every day, every day, every day. According to your level of belief it will manifest itself in what you’re doing. Whatever we have right now, whatever we’re demonstrating in our lives is a result of what we believe sub-consciously that we deserve. And part of increasing that belief level is that you have got to convince yourself every day. You’ve got to sell yourself.
I do a lot of training for many corporations and I conduct sales seminars and I’ve heard all kind of guys doing techniques and training — people techniques of how to close sales and how to work within and begin to control the sale and how to ask for the close. Let me share something with you. You can learn all the techniques in the world. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t happen for you. I learned all of it. So that’s why I do a training called focus on the seller. You’ve got to focus on you. And as you convince you, as you sell yourself every day, every day, every day you will begin to see a difference in the things that you’re doing. Selling yourself on your ability to perform a job, to achieve a certain objective telling yourself every day, hey I go again, and I got what it takes. This is my day and nothing out here is going to stop me. And when you go out there – say it again – well, I’ll be back tomorrow. That brings me to the next thing.
It takes courage to act. Part of being hungry, when you’ve been defeated, it takes courage to start over again. I used to do door-to-door sales, and I was working with another friend of mine. And door-to-door sales, I mean it’s punishing, it’s cruel and unusual punishment. And I was a little boy, knocking on the door, “Hello, would you like to buy a nice working television set?” No, bam! They slam the door in your face. And the friend of mine that was working with me, they slam the door on his face and I look back and he was gone to the car. He said, ‘I can’t do this’. And he sat down in the car and he said, ‘You go ahead. I’ll be here when you get back’.
Now he had a mother and father to take care of him. My mother was ill. I’m adopted. I was hungry. I had to go on. I learned something about myself, that when you step into your feet, somebody said it was Winston Churchill, he said that courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. When you step into your fears and continue to push yourself to go on, something happens for you. It will enable you to transcend yourself.
I went to the next door, ‘Would you like to buy a nice working television?’ No, bam! Went to the next door, no, bam! After a while, I no longer took it personal. And I began to play a game. I say, well, I know there’s a yes out here somewhere. And I’m going to keep on till I find it. And I’m not going home until I do. And I continue to knock on doors. And then somebody eventually would say yes and I said, are you sure? And I would go in there and I would get the sale.
When you have something you want to do, if you don’t develop the courage to do that which has been given you to do and you spend a lot of time going around trying to convince other people of trying to get their approval, what will happen is that you will lose your nerve. And other people will convince you that what you are doing doesn’t have any value and you give up on your dream. It’s an interesting thing about life, I’ve also found, that if you don’t have the courage to act, sometimes and particularly if you have something special to do, life will move on you.
If it were not for life, I would still be a disc jockey. I didn’t just leave voluntarily to go to the state legislature, I was fired. I was working on a job. And I came home one day, I was married at the time, [not two] of my former wife. I said that guy Bert I work for is stupid. She said, “If he is so stupid, why does he sign your paycheck?” Now you see why I divorced her, right? I couldn’t stand her.
That night I could not sleep well. Here was a guy that was controlling my life. I was going through all kind of changes because this man controlled my paycheck. And it was Carlyle who said truth crushed to earth shall rise again. Winston Churchill said the truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it but at the end there it is. And we know scripture that says he shall know the truth. And the truth shall set you free. And the truth that I had to come to grips with, that I wasn’t in charge of my destiny, the truth was that I wasn’t giving all that I had. The truth was that there are some things that I wanted to do but I didn’t have the courage to act on those things. And the truth was that Bert Charles was a blessing to me. He made life so miserable for me I had to start looking at my life differently.
I started going to work earlier. I started being the last one to leave there. I started working harder than anybody else. The other guys could not — Why would you work so hard, Les? I said I’m not working for them. I have been cheating Bert at thought. I’ve been cheating myself and my family. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, do it with everything that you have, develop the habit of giving more than what you’ve paid for. Develop the habit of setting standards that others will be measured by someone said do not go where the path may lead but go where there is no path and leave a trail.
All right. It is easy to be negative today. It is easy to have a low morale today. I was at a corporation and they’re going through downsizing and going to lay off some 1500 people over the next few weeks. It’s very depressing there and those people that stay there 9 times out of 10, they’re just going to do just enough to keep from getting fired. Anybody can do that. But if you can begin to harness yourself and say that where I am, I’m going to do the best I can with what I got because that is an expression of who I am. If you get into the habit of just being mediocre, it will become a part of your consciousness. If you get in the habit of giving less than what you have it within you to give it will begin to reflect itself in your personality. It will begin to damage you psychologically and you don’t want to be a part of that kind of self-destructive behavior. And so you want to set some high standards for yourself.
The next thing part of what feeds that hunger: you’ve got to develop a sense of urgency. [Marcus] Aurelius said stop living your life like you have a thousand years to live. In life you are here a day and you’re gone today. If there’s something that you want to do and you can’t do it all at one time do just a little bit of it. I like what Robert Schuller says. He said, ‘By the yard, it’s hard but inch by inch anything is a cinch’. Do just a little bit of it.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
And I’ve got another shot. See the last chapter to your life has not been written yet and it doesn’t matter about what happened yesterday. It doesn’t matter about the things that you’ve done, that you feel guilty about, if you wouldn’t do it today you’re convicting an innocent person. You’ve been reborn to a new state of consciousness. And as I say if we knew better we would do better.
And so you begin to decide, I’m not going to be denied. I remember and I was telling someone and they asked me would you repeat that again. I was interested in going into broadcasting. I’m adopted and that was my key out. I wanted to make my mama proud of me. I was very much appreciative of what she’s done for my brother and sister and I and that was my way out.
And I went over to a radio station, asked a guy that and told him that I was interested in broadcasting. He looked at me and maestro had him overalls. He said, ‘Do you have any broadcasting background’.
I said, ‘No sir, I don’t’.
‘What do you do?’
‘I cut grass’. Young ladies asked me what kind of work I do and I was working on a garbage truck. I say, ‘Well, I’m a sanitary technician’.
He said, ‘We don’t have any job for you’.
I decided that that was something that I was going to do. I decided I’m unstoppable. I’m going to go up and here, I’m going to do this. I started going to the radio station every day developing a relationship with the people that were doing what I wanted to do. And that’s what I encourage you to do. Whatever area you want to go and find people that are doing it the way you want to do it and develop a relationship with them.
When I decided to go in this area, I wrote letters to Dr Norman Vincent Peale, to Zig Ziglar, to Dennis Waitley, all of the giants in this area and I said this is something I want to do. I’ve been following your career. Would you help me? Dr Norman Vincent Peale answered my letter, did an article on me, wrote about me in the most recent book that he issued and done many broadcasts about me. I’d wanted to develop a relationship and rapport with those people that were achieving those things that I wanted to achieve. By the same token I would go to the radio station and I developed a relationship with the guys and they used me as errand boy and they needed some food or someone to go pick up the entertainers that came in the town, Temptations singing ‘My Girl’, Jerry Butler singing ‘For Your Precious Love’, Sam Cooke singing ‘Darling you send me’, I would pick up the entertainers at the airport and driving around in the disc jockeys, big Cadillacs, didn’t have any driver’s license but I was acting like a heads up.
And every day I used to go home and work on my communication skills, developing myself. It was Whitney Young, he said it’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. Start working in developing yourself and prepare yourself for what it is that you want because you expect to get it. And when the disc jockeys were in the control room, I would go in and watch them and develop a trust level and they would let me stay and I would watch and observe them working the controls.
When you want something out of life, don’t worry about how you’re going to get it. How is none of your business. The most difficult thing it is, is to hold the vision, is to hold the vision. So there I was at the radio station. A guy was on the air and he started to drink by the name of Rock. I was outside the window looking at him and watching — hungry and ready, saying drink Rock drink.
Pretty soon, the phone rang. He was the general manager. I said ‘Hello’.
He said, ‘Les, this is Mr Klein’.
I said, ‘I know’.
He said ‘Rock can’t finish his program. He’s slurring his words’.
I said, ‘I know’.
‘Can you work the controls until one of the other disc jockeys come in? Would you call them?’
I said, ‘Yes, sir’. I hung the phone up. I said now he must be thinking I’m crazy. I called my mom and my girlfriend Cassandra, said, you all come out on the front porch and turn up the radio. I am about to come on the air.
I waited about 15 minutes. I called him back. I say, ‘Mr. Klein, I can find nobody’.
He said, ‘Why don’t you go in there and work the controls until they get there and don’t say nothing here’.
I said ‘Yes sir’. I couldn’t wait to sit down at that turntable Mustafa. I said look, this is me, I will be Triple P, Les Brown, [plan a plan, papa]. There were none before me and there will be none after me, therefore that makes me the one and only. Young and signal, love to make a certified bonafied, then doubly qualified to bring you satisfaction and a whole lot of action, look out baby and I am your love man and I was hungry.
Shake somebody’s hand on your right and left and say you’ve got to be hungry.
You want to be persistent about what it is that you want to achieve. Alexander Graham Bell said what this power is I cannot say. All I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man or a woman is in that state of mind in which he or she knows exactly what he or she wants and is fully determined not to quit until they find it.
When our children are learning how to walk, how many times will your baby attempt to walk and fall and you just say just sit down. Don’t try any more, you’re falling 20 times. Just sit down somewhere, busting and you’re limping everything, get in folks’ way.
When would a baby walk? It will walk when it walks. That’s when it will walk. Les, when will you be known nationally as the motivator? I will be known when I am known. That’s when I’ll be known. Don’t get caught up in — well, I’ve tried it four or five times and things didn’t work out. If there’s something that you want and you’re hungry for it, you’ve got to do whatever is necessary until and when you give the best you can and that’s not enough, you must do what is required. And don’t give up on yourself. Don’t throw the towel in so quickly. Many people give up on the one yard line. What if they have the determination just to keep on knocking, there is a funny thing about life. If you are home one day and someone is knocking on the door and you say I don’t want to be bothered today. And if that person just keeps on knocking, can you believe that the fool is still knocking? Pretty soon you say what is it? What do you want? And that’s how you got to be about your dream.
Some people — well I guess ain’t nobody home. I knocked on the door but nobody came. I heard a television on and people were moving around but I guess opportunity probably went out the back door. Oh no no no see, life is not just that simple. It’s not that cut and dry. And that’s why most people never realize their personal greatness. Because they’re casual about life and when you are casual about life you will end up a casualty. Life is serious business.
So I encourage you to be persistent, to not decide that well I’ve done the best I can. I guess I just can’t have it. Don’t make that decision. Many of us make premature decisions about ourselves. Calvin Coolidge said something, man who was a president that was not known for his eloquence on making any historical decisions but something he wrote about persistence. He says, press on, nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. The world is full of unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not. Un-rewarded genius is almost the problem. Education alone will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
Here is a person that is the embodiment of persistence and determination, a person who decided that some time ago that I am not going to take anything to my grave with me, I am going to use myself up and I am going to give and give and give until my last breath. This summer I am going to be working for her and with her doing training, teaching young people techniques and strategies on how to manifest their personal greatness, teaching them techniques and strategies that will change them at the subconscious level, changing their value systems and let them see the major role they can play in society. Let’s give Mrs Rosa Parks a round of applause if you please.
Thank you. Here we are in the presence of greatness. Mrs. Parks, people couldn’t see, so would you come up, could you? See such a beautiful person.
I encourage you to see Mrs Parks and Mrs Elaine Steele about the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for self development. If you are interested in your children participating in that, they have some information over here to share with you. It is just a fascinating and just a blessing to have these women when a lot of folks who are giving up and here this year she celebrated her 75th birthday and still has a dream of being an instrument of change. And there is a Rosa Parks in all of us who made a decision at one point in time standing on the platform of oughtness as Immanuel Kant talks about in a book called Critique of Pure Reasoning that there are certain things we know we ought to do, we just know it. We owe to ourselves and those around us.
I don’t know what your dreams are. I don’t know what your goals are but let me leave this with you. Mine is to be the best son that I can to my mother. Mine is to be the best father that I can to my children and to be the best servant that I can to humanity and the best man that I can to the woman that I’ve decided to share my life with. Whatever your goals are, I know that you can achieve them.
Here’s something that I like to leave with you. It says simply that if you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it, if all that you dream and schemas about it, and life seemed useless and worthless without it, and if you gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it, and if you simply go after that things that you want with all of your capacity, strength, and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence and stirred pertinacity, if cold, poverty, famines, or sickness, or pain, can keep you away from the thing that you want.