A Les Brown Review – The Man Behind the Myth
Les Brown is one of the world’s top motivational speakers. As motivational speakers go, few come any more inspirational than Les brown. Ever since he dusted his own less-than flattering childhood, his life and his speeches have inspired not a few persons to put their past behind them and step into a life of triumph and confidence and of contribution to the human race.
Les is a firm believer that we all have locked within each of us the ways and means to unbelievable achievements. And if you ever listened to any of his speeches, you’ll agree that he has taken it upon himself to set as many people as would make themselves available on the road to achieving more than they ever dared to imagine. If you peep into his background you’ll understand why this guy thinks the way he does.
Les Brown was one of twin boys born to a mother who didn’t want them because their birth was to reveal the shame of her illicit affair. She went to great lengths to hide their birth; first, she gave birth to them in an uncompleted building.
And when that didn’t quite hide the secret, she arranged to have them adopted within their first month of life by a woman who herself was an unmarried domestic staff. Though the woman showed the young Brown lots of kindness and instilled some self-belief in him, his checkered childhood was always going to take a toll on him-for a while.
During his adolescent years he was gradually gaining a reputation for being an unruly and mischievous child. He had problems concentrating, and was soon labeled “retarded.” And he lived true to that label-until someone gave him another one!
To all intents and purposes, it was LeRoy Washington who redirected Les Brown’s course in life. LeRoy was quoted to have told Brown that “someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.”
That statement was to change Les Brown’s approach to life forever. It was like a release from the mental fetters with which he had been hoodwinked for years. Having learned that empowerment comes from within, Les’ life was never going to be the same again. The former city sanitation worker steadily worked his way to the Ohio state legislature.
Then a chance meeting with Zig Ziglar, the great motivational speaker finally inspired Les Brown to harness his own public speaking skills. At the time, neither Les nor anybody who knew him thought he could make a great public speaker. But as he said in one of his books “life takes on new meaning when you become motivated.” Les Brown’s foray and eventual success in public and motivational speaking owes more to the power of motivation than anything else. His speaking career eventually blossomed and he began to speak to larger and larger audiences, including Fortune 500 companies.
So what can you learn from this great orator and motivator? Personally I have identified two key lessons we all can learn from Les Brown’s life and career: (1) Do not operate your life with a manual handed to you by others. Simply put, do not allow people’s opinion of you to determine how you approach life and what you attempt in life. (2) Les Brown’s personal life and career achievements also prove that with the right motivation and inspiration, each one of us can go much further in life than where our family circumstances and environment left us. Now, that should be very liberating, don’t you agree?