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Les Brown is known today as one of the most well-known motivational speakers in the world. He is also an author, corporate trainer, mentor, and a former radio and TV personality. He is also a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
With numerous achievements to his name, Les Brown established himself as a beloved icon of inspiration. He has a gift in connecting with, empowering, and bringing out the innate greatness in people. He has spoken to a wide array of audiences, including Fortune 500 companies and international organizations.
Les’s honest and passionate approach to motivate allows his audience to become engaged and inspired. His charisma and warmth have changed and continue to change the lives of many people worldwide. As a mentor, he has trained numerous aspiring speakers across America.
But even more inspiring are his origins and how he rose to become the motivational giant that he is today.
Leslie Calvin Brown, with his twin brother, Wesley, was born on February 17, 1945 in Liberty City, a low-income section of Miami. Both of them were given up for adoption by their biological mother. When he was six weeks old, Les was adopted by Mamie Brown, a cafeteria attendant.
When Les was in grade school, he was billed as “educable mentally retarded” and was held back by a grade. This affected his self-esteem greatly.
He attended Booker T. Washington High School where an instructor inspired him to look into a career in radio broadcasting. After a brief stint in the Department of Sanitation, Les Brown worked as an errand boy for a radio station.
Career and Professional Life
Le started out as a DJ, before he began his career in television and became a TV host on PBS. He also became a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1977 to 1983.
In 1993, he had his own talk show the Les Brown Show, which ran for nearly four months and focused on the solutions to problems, rather than on the problems themselves. Les eventually established his own company, Les Brown Enterprises, Inc., and became a motivational speaker. He received the National Speakers Association’s Council of Peers Award of Excellence in 1989, which is the organization’s highest award.
In 1991, he was recognized by the Toastmasters International as one of America’s best speakers and was awarded the Golden Gavel.
As an accomplished author, he has written highly acclaimed books such as Live Your Dreams, The Laws of Success, and It’s Not Over Until You Win. He collaborated with another well-loved speaker and author, John C. Maxwell, for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, which takes an insightful and candid look into the lives of professional speakers.
Les Brown had a difficult childhood and owes who he is now to his mother, Mrs. Mamie Brown. He had persistence and determination. He rose above life’s challenges and became an iconic figure—a reminder that you can take charge of your life to create the future that you want.
He is an example of living life to its fullest potential, of letting go of fear and mediocrity and embracing the seemingly limitless human potential.
Here are # Les Brown quotes to inspire you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams:
Les Brown Inspirational Quotes
- “Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” – Les Brown
- “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” – Les Brown
- “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown
- “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
- “Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” – Les Brown
- “If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.” – Les Brown
- “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” – Les Brown
- “The greatest revenge is massive success.” – Les Brown
- “Live out of your imagination instead of out of your memory.” – Les Brown
- “?Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” – Les Brown
- “Align yourself with people that you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.” – Les Brown
- “Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you miss, you’ll land in the stars.” – Les Brown
- “Just because Fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” – Les Brown
- “Perfection does not exist – you can always do better and you can always grow.” – Les Brown
- “Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.” – Les Brown
- “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown
- “I will heighten my life by helping others heighten theirs.” – Les Brown
- “No one rises to low expectations.” – Les Brown
- “It’s not over until you win.” – Les Brown
- “The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.” – Les Brown
- “A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand.” – Les Brown
- “It is better to aim high and miss than to aim low and hit.” – Les Brown
- “Make sure when you fall you land on your back if you can see you can get up.” – Les Brown
- “If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” – Les Brown
- “You don’t have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great.” – Les Brown
- “Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” – Les Brown
- “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living out fears.” – Les Brown
- “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” – Les Brown
- “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” – Les Brown
- “There are winners, there are losers and there are people who have not yet learned how to win.” – Les Brown
- “To achieve something that you have never achieved before, you must become someone that you have never been before.” – Les Brown
- “Don’t let the negativity given to you by the world disempower you. Instead give to yourself that which empowers you.” – Les Brown
- “Everything you do and every decision you make should be from a place of good. You should always be striving to make the world a better place.” – Les Brown
- “If you don’t program yourself, life will program you.” – Les Brown
- “A lot of people do not muster the courage to live their dreams because they are afraid to die.” – Les Brown
- “To sit on an idea or fail to act on a goal is not really goal-setting, but wishful thinking.” – Les Brown
- “Ask yourself if you’re one of the good people who successful people want to be around.” – Les Brown
- “Act the way you want to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” – Les Brown
- “It is important to surround yourself with people who life you up, encourage you, share your vision and inspire you.” – Les Brown
- “Success is both very personal and relative, depending on where you would like to be in your own life.” – Les Brown
- “No one can continually insult you or hurt your feelings without your permission.” – Les Brown
- “Each of us owes someone. We all benefit by reaching out and helping others.” – Les Brown
- “I believe adults and parents who do not get involved in children’s lives effectively forfeit any right to attempt to influence their lives.” – Les Brown
- “You can make decisions like that about your life. If you are carrying strong feeling about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present. You have to get rid of them.” – Les Brown
- “YOU decide what your limits are, and YOU decide your level of success. You are responsible for the time that you spend on this planet.” – Les Brown
- “I often speak to people who wonder why they continue to fail. In many situations, they are concentrating their efforts in the wrong places period.” – Les Brown
- “There are people who are wise enough and motivated enough to change their lives and live their dreams, and then there are those who need a kick in the pants to change their ways.” – Les Brown
- “Fear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it. You can accept that you are afraid and then move on.” – Les Brown
- “You can get the kind of results that you are looking for in life if you are willing to work smart to achieve them.” – Les Brown
- “I have learned that to get out of life what I expect, I must commit myself to beginning each day by concentrating on positive thoughts and focusing on my goals.” – Les Brown
- “You can complain about the direction of your life all you want, but until you sit in the driver’s seat and begin to drive yourself, you aren’t going to get where you want to go!” – Les Brown
- “It’s important to me that money not be important to me.” – Les Brown
- “When you want something, you have to be willing to pay your dues.” – Les Brown
- “Are the people around you holding you back or empowering you to move forward? If you life is going nowhere, take a look at the group of people you hang around with.” – Les Brown
- “We have the capacity to change, to lead meaningful and productive lives by awakening our consciousness.” – Les Brown
- “Dealing with life means taking advantage of each new challenge as an opportunity to learn and accomplish something new.” – Les Brown
- “I don’t dwell on the things that are too late to fix, but I do my best to get life’s lessons and put them into action.” – Les Brown
- “Make a conscious effort to let go of fear and act from a sense of consciousness that will empower and protect you. You are strong. You are greater than the fear!” – Les Brown
- “One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you.” – Les Brown
- “Get your ideas on paper and study them. Do not let them go to waste!” – Les Brown
- “You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” – Les Brown
- “A person with the right attitude says to himself or herself, I may be here in this situation, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay here. When faced with a challenge, do you ask: why me? Or do you accept the opportunity for you to grow?” – Les Brown
- “Reading about the lives of other achievers and their impact on our world inspires me to continue to help others realize their greatness.” – Les Brown
- “Very often, the biggest hurdle in reaching a goal is getting started. And the second biggest hurdle is getting started in the right direction.” – Les Brown
- “Without a solid, realistic and detailed plan, the goal is nothing more than a pipe dream. And without the commitment to follow through on that plan and put forth the necessary effort, the dream is nothing more than a good intention.” – Les Brown
- “You gotta be hungry!” – Les Brown
- “In day-to-day commerce, television is not so much interested in the business of communications as in the business of delivering audiences to advertisers. People are the merchandise, not the shows. The shows are merely the bait.” – Les Brown
- “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Les Brown
- “Making things happen in your life requires a faith, or an ability to believe that is unshakable, regardless of your circumstances.” – Les Brown
- “Set a goal that’s meaningful and compelling enough, and your skills, your knowledge and your effectiveness will expand in order to reach that goal.” – Les Brown
- “If you allow your self-esteem to erode, your fear will eat at you; ultimately it could destroy you.” – Les Brown
- “Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown
- “Not having goals is like having no idea where you want to go when you step up to an airline counter to buy a ticket.” – Les Brown
- “Think big when you set your goals. Dare to think big and then set a series of smaller goals to get you there.” – Les Brown
- “Negatively charged people sit on their “buts.” Monitor your language. Listen to the way you respond to questions and situations.” – Les Brown
- “No runner ever won a race buy looking over his shoulder and demeaning the competition.” – Les Brown
- “Take the energy you are wasting feeling sorry” for yourself and use it to help someone else.” – Les Brown
- “When we spend our time looking at what other people do or what they have, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to see our own value.” – Les Brown
- “You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” – Les Brown
- “You have to realize that there is something special within you, a basic goodness that you must choose to manifest in every way you can – toward your family, your profession and your planet. Each of us has something good to offer.” – Les Brown
- “I take pride in knowing that of all the things I have accomplished, no success or honor is greater than that of being a father.” – Les Brown
- “I don’t believe that man was born to work for a living; I believe he was born to make what he lives for his work.” – Les Brown
- “If you died tomorrow, are there three things that your eulogists could say you did to make the world a better place for your having lived in it?” – Les Brown
- “Sometimes we have to discard the tools that we have long depended on and look to new ones. This is especially true in businesses where changing technology demands workers have the ability to change with it.” – Les Brown
- “I am often fascinated by the resiliency of some of the people I meet. Life keeps knocking them down, but in what seems to be outright defiance, they keep getting up, stronger and better than before.” – Les Brown