David Laroche : Hello achiever today. I'm with a new amazing speaker he's one of the top motivational speaker in the world. You have to know him but I'm sure you know him. So he's Les Brown. He's with me to answer my questions. So follow this interview. Hi Les.
Les Brown : Hi, how are you David?
David Laroche : Awesome day, I'm very glad to do my last interview with you.
Les Brown : Thank you so much you saved the best for last.
David Laroche : Thank you. Who are you, and how did you become one of the best motivational speaker?
Les Brown : I am a speaker, a father, I am an entrepreneur, I'm an author, I'm a variety of things. And I think that what allowed me to become the kind of person that I am as a speaker is because of my experience, because of my journey. And we all have journey's and I think that the journey that you have it has a great deal of impact on how you show up in life. And so, I like a quote by Booker T. Washington who said “Judge a man not by what he has accomplished but what had he to overcome for his accomplishment.” And so, I think because of the things that I've been through, being born on an abandoned building on a floor with a twin brother in a poor section of the United States. Being labeled educable mentally retarded and put back from the fifth grade to the fourth grade, and failed again in the eighth grade and being adopted. And no college training. I think that all of those things that one would think I would become a sadistic, and as opposed to doing that I've been able to position my life to influence and motivate and inspire millions of people around the world.
David Laroche : It's amazing because a lot of people are thinking I have too many challenges, too many struggles, I can't succeed I don't have any luck. So, do you think we can build luck?
Les Brown : We can I think that Pete Rose who was a baseball icon said that “The harder he works the luckier he gets.” So, I think that when you work that you create things that you are working on yourself, you do your internal work and your external work. That you're going to be able to move yourself to a place to accomplish things that will literally surprise you, and things that you weren't even setting out to do. There are things that I'm accomplishing and things I'm doing that when I started out those things they weren't on my agenda, but you begin to evolve to that level.
David Laroche : So you're becoming another person? Another level so your face change, your action change.
Les Brown : Yes when you get outside of what's familiar, what's comfortable, what feels right and put yourself in a position beyond your comfort zone, that will give birth to a part of yourself that you don't know right now. Because in order to do something you have never done you got to become someone you've never been. We all have greatness within us but greatness is not our destiny, it is a choice that we have to make consciously to put ourselves outside of our comfort zones, to stretch and to develop ourselves and have in our environment people we can learn from and grow from, that will hold us to a higher standard and that will always challenge us to go higher.
David Laroche : So, you are saying that when we are going outside our comfort zone we are finding ourselves?
Les Brown : Yes we're discovering things about ourselves that we would never discover in our comfort zone. I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes “unless you attempt to do something beyond that which you've already mastered you will never grow.” Most people don't achieve a level of mastery, most people suffer from arrested development. They stop developing themselves, they stop growing, they stop reaching, and they literally settle in and accept life as it comes at them.
David Laroche : Yeah and I totally agree with that because I started to do my first English interviews, and it was very hard at the beginning. Yes I'm discovering a lot of things about me in doing that.
Les Brown : Yes.
David Laroche : I have a question for you, how to unleash our greatness? It is a great question. So how can we help people to do that?
Les Brown : I think that the people that are discovering how to unleash their greatness are people who have the mental resiliency and the courage to face failure. That you will fail your way to greatness, that most people allow their fear of failure, 80% allow their fear of failure to outweigh their desire to succeed. When you're willing to fail again and again and again when you make up your mind to become unstoppable, when you make up your mind to become a no matter what person, then that will then give birth to a part of yourself that you don't know right now. And maintaining a spirit of optimism and challenging yourself and learning from your mistakes, understand that setback is a setup for a comeback. You have come back power. There's a friend of mine named Willie Jolley would say that “The things you experience when you win,” I used to be a state legislator in Columbus, Ohio. When I want to debate and got legislation passed I won because of what I knew. When I lost a debate I lost because what I didn't know. And so now I had to go back to the drawing board and study harder to come back again and to challenge my opposition.
David Laroche : Yeah it's amazing and I would love to know because you mentioned courage. According to you can we develop that? Can we develop our courage?
Les Brown : Yes, courage can be developed absolutely, and there are things that will help you to do that, by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes life will force you to become courageous and so it's there that most of us don't develop our courage muscle case in point that I've had the challenge and I'm watching my languaging of dealing with the fear of Claustrophobia of being closed in. And I had to have an MRI and so I've never had one before. So the first time I came, they had about four or five females in the room, they said “Are you afraid?” When they opened the door I looked at the them I said no. I was terrified but I developed my courage. But the first time they closed the door, I started knocking and say hey let me out, let me out. And then I had to call a friend of mine to calm me down and he said “Les he said cancer is a thief, let them find it before it becomes a murderer.” He said “Focus on the outcome not on the process.” And so the way that I handle fear is I don't focus on what is it that's terrorizing me, I focus on what is it I want to accomplish. And I see myself achieving the victory. I see myself living from the dream, living from that place that I'm reaching for in my mind. Einstein said “The imagination is the preview of what's to come,” and so we can bypass the things that will cause us to be afraid. By looking at and being focused singly on the things that we're going for.
David Laroche : Yes and I would like to have your point of view about something. When people are setting up big goals sometimes I have big fears in doing that. So do you think we have to keep our big goals or we have to lower the goals, or is it lower the action, lower the comfort zone?
Les Brown : We're living in an incredible time that there's nothing that we can't do. We're living in a time where we have in our lifetime seen someone go from prisoner to president of a country in South Africa Nelson Mandela. Where President Barack Obama raised in a single family household an African-American male became the most powerful man in the world. So what we know is that anything's possible. And we must challenge ourselves. The only reason that most of us don't accumulate a level of achievement in our lives, one most people end up aiming low that's what I did most of my life. That most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss. Most people fail in life because they aim too low and hit and that's what I did. I was a disc jockey, I was very satisfied, I achieved a level of professionalism and mastery in that area and then someone challenged me and said “You can do more.” And it took him 14 years to convince me to become this person that you now see. This person that you now see, this voice which I consider my power voice I had absolutely no idea that this person existed. But there are some times in life someone can take you to a place within yourself where you can never go by yourself. And he saw something in me and sometimes you have to believe in somebody's belief in you until your belief kicks in.
David Laroche : And what do you say to someone who are saying nobody around me are believing in me.
Les Brown : And that's okay, if you have that that's great. If you don't have it it's okay. I for years read books of people who I didn't know, but I consider them as my personal mentors. I studied Winston Churchill who said “The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may derided but at the end there it is.” I studied Earl Nightingale who said “All of us get in life what we are not what we want, all of us are self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” So I studied these people and they mentor to me I feel their spirit. I surrounded myself in my bed with their books and the audio, in my imagination and listening to their audio programs. Yes so how much does a library card cost? It's free in the United States I don't know what in your country. So I suggest that you spend time working on yourself, study the high achievers. I did that to find out. How did they get there. I studied the life of Frederick Douglas who say “We won't get everything that we fight for but everything we get it will be a fight.” And so as you study these people and imagine yourself in their position and in your mind's eyes say to yourself as I did. If they can do it I can do it. They put their pants on one leg at a time, they breathe air just as I do. And so I believe that what you focus on the longest becomes the strongest, what we think about we bring about. When you train your mind to serve you by reading a minimum of 20 to 60 pages a day, listening to audio programs, writing goals down. Reading them three times a day you literally creating a new mental blueprint and imagining and seeing yourself already living from the goal. You begin to do some things that when most people look at and see as magical.
David Laroche : Great, and do you advise to read a lot of biography?
Les Brown : Yes I love to read the biographies of people, because I wanted to know what is it that helped to develop their thinking, their character, their philosophy their whole approach to life. What are the things they went through, what are the things that challenged them. What are some of the things that I can learn and glean from their life that will help me to get to that next level. It's very informative to look at the whole person as opposed to a slice of their lives.
David Laroche : I want to make a difference for us do you think it could be a powerful idea to help us to read biography?
Les Brown : It is very important that they read biographies. I did that as a young person absolutely because I was…I'm a twin and so my twin brother was always held up in my face and I was taunted I was called the DT the dumb twin. And so I wanted to prove that I was not dumb. It just takes me longer to learn things than most people, and so I read the autobiography of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Winston Churchill of people that I admired of Paul Robinson. And by reading and studying their careers it gave me some clues, success leaves clues. And so it gave me some keys to things that would become part of my life that would help me to become successful in the area that I had chosen.
David Laroche : At the beginning of your journey did you had belief that the fact that you are black could be a disadvantage at the beginning?
Les Brown : At the beginning, I thought that that would be a factor for me. My mentor said “Les don't focus on your paint job focus on where you're going once again, keep your eyes on where you're going.” It became a factor in a variety of situations but to my advantage and what I mean by that it gave me a strength and an advantage to motivate and inspire audiences. When a Tony Robbins or a Joel Osteen or Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen these are my friends go into a primarily white audience and 99.9% of my audience are Caucasian, and say you have probably good dreams. People look at them and say if he can do it I can do it, but when I come in and say you have greatness within you. You have the power to live your dreams. They look at themselves, they look at me and say “If he could do it, I know I can do it and they leave there running. So that's the advantage I have.
David Laroche : I think so. So everybody can transfer from the kind of inconvenience in a huge advantage?
Les Brown : Without any question and it takes work. Now there's no question that there are certain situations and structures around the world that don't allow people to dream. I'm doing some work in South Africa right now in Johannesburg and my first step is to help people to learn how to dream. Because they were on their apartheid a form of enslavement that did not make dreaming possible. And there are other places around the world that just like that right now, it's destroying people's dreams, and I think that's why we see such global upheaval in terms of many dictatorships. Because people are becoming more enlightened. In 2007, Time magazine recognized a computer of the person of the year. And the reason it did because it gives everyday people access to information that they never had before. And so now people with that access of information becoming more enlightened and it's causing a great deal of disturbance with various types of governments around the world.
David Laroche : My message in France and I would like to spread that everywhere it's you have a dream it's possible so take an action now. How can I help people to believe it's possible?
Les Brown : It's an ongoing process, “The faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing” that's what my favorite book says. That you have to be an unreasonable person who's not looking at and judging the circumstances such as you see them. But you're calling forth those things that be not as though they were. And if you read the book called Change or Die by David Deutschman…
David Laroche : I will do.
Les Brown : He said “There is a person who is an unreasonable person who brings a message that it's possible. And repeat that message, and there are people who hear that message who are able to relate to it and identify with it. And then they begin to move from and develop a whole approach to life with that new level of enlightenment.” That as he speaks or she speaks it begin to give people a vision of themselves beyond their circumstances and their mental conditioning, and challenges them to begin to embrace some habits that cause them to make some new choices that will help them to carve out and become the architect of their future as opposed to becoming volunteer victims.
David Laroche : Great, you do a lot of speeches all around the world and you are not the only speaker, a lot of speakers. So according to you…
Les Brown : I'm a trainer, I'm known as a speaker but my gifting is I started out as a trainer. Teaching people how to live their dreams, teaching them how to use their voice in their story and leverage their knowledge to go from being local to being global That's what I'm gifting is in.
David Laroche : I understand so as a as a trainer why there are some speaker or trainer who give only kind of information and you say oh it's interesting and also speakers like you according to me and you feel something. And you're not thinking about it's interesting but I can do that. I want to take an action. I want to change something in my life. I don't know if it was interesting but I will change something in my life. What's the difference?
Les Brown : Well there are many speakers think that people are stuck because of lack of information. I always say, if that if information could change people everybody would be skinny, rich and happy. They don't need us to come in and speak, they can go online, they can Google the information. So information alone cannot create transformation. That in order to change human behavior you have to create a significant emotional event. The materials that I provide the training that I provide is designed to impact a person's mind, their heart, and their spirit. And so the goal is, is to distract to spew and inspire. To interrupt their story, how people live their lives, is a result of the story they believe about themselves. So when I'm training speakers, I teach them how to become a strategic experiential storyteller, be strategic on how they use their story. You never make a point without a story, you never tell a story without a point. And experiential because Oliver Wendell Holmes said that “Once a man or woman's mind has been expanded with an idea or concept or experience they could never be satisfied to going back to where it was.”And so when you take that approach that change how they think and what they feel then you now have positioned yourself to begin to create a thirst. There's no saying you can take a horse to the water but you can't make it drink. You create a thirst where they want to drink, where they want to change and now you have…because of their encounter with you, you have now allowed yourself to be an instrument as Mother Teresa would say “In the hand of God.”And now that person will begin to write a new chapter with their lives. So it's about how do we change the story. That people believe about themselves, that's been given to them by life. Given to them by their circumstances. We learn between ages zero and five, what's available for us and what's not available for us. And based upon those experiences and the people around us and our environment a word formulates in our mind. It's either yes or it's no, a word formulates in our heart. It's either yes or no. It formulates in our spirit yes or no. And there's various things that can impact the formulation of that word and the conviction behind it and how we move our lives forward. My goal, if the word is no is to interrupt that word and to change it to a very affirmative yes.
David Laroche : It's great. I love that, how to have a strong will because a lot of speakers are speaking about you have to have will but how?
Les Brown : Will is…that's why I talk about the mind, the heart and the spirit. The reason we celebrate Nelson Mandela…
David Laroche : I love him.
Les Brown : Is that for 26 years they tried to control his mind. They were able to control his body but most importantly they couldn't break his spirit. And so that deep down resolve, that dimension that's available to all of us was explained to us in the book called “Man's Search for Meaning” that Viktor Frankl that there's a part of us that's always a part of us in our hands the irreducible essence of who you are. That either you say yes or no not based upon the circumstances, not based upon the pressure that's applied but based upon your conviction. Are you going to give this the power to take advantage of you. Are you going to turn yourself over to this. We always have that choice, that's the greatest choice that human beings have. Am I going to give myself a pass to surrender or am I going to stand up. I remember telling a story when I produced my first PBS special in public television of a man who came by a house and there were people on the ports talking. And there was a dog moaning and groaning. The guy was curious and he went back and he asked the owner, “Why is this dog moaning and groaning? ”The owner said, “Because he's laying on a nail.”The guy said, “Well why won't he just get off? He said because it's not hurting bad enough for him to get off. Just hurting bad enough for him to moan and groan. And so what most people do in life, they have the power to change their circumstances. You are made in the likeness and image of God, you've been given authority and dominion over everything on the face of the earth. But most people would rather moan and groan about their situation, show up in their lives as volunteer victims rather than become actively engaged in doing the work necessary to change their circumstances. It's been said that there are two types of people those who work and those who watch them. So you got to be willing to do your internal work so that you have the mental resiliency and your external work, find something that you want to master that will allow you to move yourself forward.
David Laroche : So we have to…the first step is to find what we want to master?
Les Brown : Why are you here? What's your reason for being? Why do you get up in the morning? Most people don't have a clue. Pay the bills, to keep a roof over your head. I think we have to reflect on who am I? Why I'm I here? What drives me? If I died today. What three words would I want said about me if I died today. What is it that defines me, and how do I define myself? Most people allow their circumstances to define them as opposed to defining themselves and how they're going to show up in life. And so my mission is to help people to connect with the power they have within, their greatness when you're pursuing your greatness, you don't know what your limits are. So you act like you don't have any. And when you live from that place you can now to be able to make a greater contribution, make a greater impact with your life. Because of the fact that you see yourself in a larger context. One of the principles…there are nine principles that we teach of greatness. The first one is each of us can achieve far beyond our horizons and in avenues of life we have never explored. But most people settle in and accept things and life as it has been given to them, as opposed to rising above that working to create something that they can feel good about.
David Laroche : Is a first person principle.
Les Brown : Yes.
David Laroche : What are the next?
Les Brown : The next one is we must take responsibility for our actions and our reactions. When you look at your circumstances, George Bernard Shaw said “The people look for the things they want in life and if they can't find them they create them.” And so we look at ourselves it's about doing that. It's about taking ownership for your stuff, for your own life and one of the things I emphasize that changing is not easy, that changing your life, changing habits reinventing yourself, picking yourself up after life has knocked you flat on your back. I've got a saying that when life knocks you down try and land on your back because if you can look up you can get up. Well that sounds cute but that's not easy. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 17 years ago, the first time that happened I said hey I can handle this, then when he came back a year later I mean last year 17 years later and this time it metastasized to seven areas of my body and ate 40% of my T1 vertebrae now the stakes are higher. Is life saying okay Mr. Motivator, you beat cancer the first time, what you're going to do now? I started laughing when the doctor told me he said “Why are you laughing? Are you in denial?” I said no, I said I feel like Mother Theresa he said “What do you mean? “She said Lord, I know you know how much I can bear. I just wish you would have so much confidence in me.” So I said the stakes are higher. So I've got to dig in and got to fight more. Because at the end of the day, life is a fight for territory, and once you stop fighting for what you want, what you don't want will automatically take over. And so it's a fight, it's a challenge in life, every day. And what we have to do is embrace it. What we have to do is see it as a project to be worked on. I've read something once that I live by it said “In life you will always be faced with a series of God ordained opportunities, brilliantly disguised as problems and challenges.” And so I see even cancer as a gift as a God ordained opportunity
David Laroche : Is a kind of test for you to [Crosstalk].
Les Brown : It's a test right, no test no testimony, and so you have to be willing to step up and handle it. Anybody can have faith David, if the bills are paid, if they have their health, the marriage is working out fine, the children acting like they have good sense, they have a lot of money in the bank, a lot of investment.
David Laroche : Everything is perfect.
Les Brown : Anybody can have faith of those circumstances. The true challenge of faith is when life knocks on the door. The true challenge when you lose your health or something happens to someone you care about, or you lose your wealth or some tragedy happens to you. All of us over the next year will experience at least three tragedies. We'll experience it personally or someone we care about. Charles Udall Said, “In life he said things will happen around you and things will happen to you, but the only things that really count are the things that happens in you.”And that's where…
David Laroche : Wow, excellent.
Les Brown : That's our domain, that's where we have the control.
David Laroche : Yeah, we choose the answer.
Les Brown : Yes, and we choose how we are going to respond to this. Will I allow this to get the best of me? Will I allow this to stop me? Am I going to surrender to this? Will I give myself a pass? Will I wimp out on myself. That's always a choice.
David Laroche : I love that the speech just before you said a sentence that I love can you repeat it about the fact that when it's hard…
Les Brown : If you do what is easy.
David Laroche : I love that.
Les Brown : Giving yourself a pass, giving yourself permission to stop. If you do what is easy your life will be hard, but if you do what is hard, your life will be easy. I didn't do what I'm doing now for 14 years because it was hard to make the radical change in my approach, my dress, my learning the language of corporate America, gaining access, developing myself in intellectual resource. Where corporations would reach over people with years of experience, PhD's and MBA's and I have no experience and no credentials. And be able to compete with them, it was hard but we can do hard. All of us have moments in our lives where things have been thrust upon us, and we had to do hard. So if you do what is easy your life will be hard, but if you do what is hard your life will be easy. And so don't give yourself a pass, don't run away from hard. Because you can do hard and through that you discover a part of yourself that you wouldn't know otherwise.
David Laroche : Yeah you are building your power when you have challenges and when it's hard.
Les Brown : Yes, those things only happen through growth experiences, through challenges. If you go to the gym to work out and you don't feel any discomfort the next day, here's what we know you haven't done anything and so you got to challenge yourself. And you're going to get hurt. Victor Frank calls it “Unavoidable suffering, life is full of pain and disappointment, it's a part of the process.”
David Laroche : And we are proud of ourselves when we overcome something.
Les Brown : When we overcome things, we discover things about ourselves. No tests, no testimony. No guts, no glory. And I was doing a broadcast once and the guy was coming up and he had crutches, he was coming up to be interviewed by me and he missed a step and he fell. It was very embarrassing moment and I went down to help him get up and he said “Don't feel sorry for me and be embarrassed he goes with being a paraplegic I fall all the time.”And so we fall all the time in life, we make mistakes all the time in life. There's no life without mistakes, anything that's worth doing is worth doing badly. It's worth doing right, if you know how to do it. But if you don't know how to do it is worth doing badly until you get it right. All of us are going to fall on some tough times. Eight out of 10 millionaires have had to file bankruptcy. It's part of the process. You go up, you go down and we learn things during the tough times. That's where we really learn things, that's where we begin to discover things about ourselves. Adversity introduces you to yourself, that a part of yourself that you would never know otherwise when things are going real good for you. And so what we have to help people to understand is to maintain a spirit of optimism in spite of their circumstances, to give them hope. Why? Because when there's hope in the future that gives you power in the present. So my goal is training 100,000 voices of hope. Who will do three things, help give people hope that's number one, number two teach them methods that will help them to develop the desire to reinvent themselves, so that they are not replaced by an app or outsourcing. Because this is a time where you have to continuously reinvent yourself to stay ahead of technology and cheap labor around the world. That's number two continuing to work on yourself and growing and developing. And the third thing is to build communities, collaborative achievement driven cultures, supportive cultures, that will help you to get to the next level. Have a group we call ourselves Cancer Conquerors and so one goose can fly 75% further in formation but the geese that he can never fly by himself. So if you've got 100,000 voices giving people hope that's number one, number two encouraging them to develop their capacity their skill set. There's no shortage of opportunity, there's a shortage of capacity to take advantage of the opportunities that are available in the global economy. And encouraging people to create communities of collaborative achievement driven supportive relationships, we can accomplish anything.
David Laroche : And how can the people and me can contribute to this dreams?
Les Brown : They can email me and yes, [email protected] brown.com, and we'll be setup within a few weeks and send them out some information. But also in the meantime, what we will do is send them a video that as they watch this, they'll see the message that I'm bringing and a format we're going to be teaching them the seven principles of storytelling. So that they can learn how to influence an impact and change lives, one or one small groups or in large groups.
David Laroche : Yeah. So with 100,000 voice you can make a big difference in this world.
Les Brown : Absolutely yes, that's the goal because…we want 100,000 voices outside of politics and outside of religion both of which polarize and divide people. Just everyday people I'm not an educated guy. Both my parents came in right now I would not know either one of them. I'm adopted. I don't have any credentials I'm just an average person, and I have a desire to make a difference of our life. To live a life of significance and to live a meaningful life and to help others who have a desire to do the same thing.
David Laroche : Yeah. So it's perfect for my next question. What is your favorite commitments to yourself?
Les Brown : My favorite commitment to myself is to always challenge myself to grow, that you're never too young to teach, and you're never too old to learn. I'm learning from young people like yourself because you are my future. A future that I will perhaps never see, and so by being open. I remember when I graduated from high school, we had a theme that said you never find out how much you know until you find out how little you know. The moment you think you know…
David Laroche : It's just a beginning.
Les Brown : You've lost it. You don't know life is something to be experienced, you get a Glimpse. You peak to peek as Robert Schuller would say you p-e-a-k so you can p-e-e-k. You peak to peek and know there is more there. Yes Socrates says “A man's reach is to supersede his grasp or what are the heavens for.”
David Laroche : You have a lot of quotes, do you advise to have a lot of quotes to grow up?
Les Brown : You know what I just went downstairs to the hotel and asked him what is my room number? I don't know where this quotes come from I study a lot. When I first started out I disciplined myself to learn about three quotes a day. Somebody taped me one time I gave a lecture at a manpower Conference of Bishops T.D. Jakes and they said I did over 215 quotes and I never repeated myself. So I love quotes it's a passion of mine. So they come up when they come up at the appropriate time.
David Laroche : And you have your own quotes?
Les Brown : I have my own and I study a lot of other individuals and once I hear it I repeated to myself and we use it in conversation. When I'm training speakers I tell them the best speakers are the best listeners to listen to things that touch your heart, and then use it in conversation over and over again. And then use it on stage when you're speaking to an audience.
David Laroche : Yeah not only you and your format but also the people who are…
Les Brown : Everybody that's around you.
David Laroche : Great and do you advice to people to write their own quote?
Les Brown : I think that yes. You want to write… Sometimes you're saying them and you can't hear them because you can't see the picture when you're in the frame. And so when I tell people if you're speaking to always record yourself, because there are things is going to come up inspiration, revelations you will receive and say whoa
David Laroche : That was right.
Les Brown : That's right. And so you want to record that.
David Laroche : I record everything.
Les Brown : Yes that's good, that's a very good habit.
David Laroche : I have a weird question for you, maybe the first time you have this question. According to you, how can we become a looser? Do you have advice keys?
Les Brown : I think that the key to being a loser…
David Laroche : Yeah, very important.
Les Brown : Is not loving and appreciating yourself, and allowing what other people think of you, become more important to you than what you think of yourself.
David Laroche : Wow, new advice. Great thank you.
Les Brown : That we were born to do something. You're here to do a work. The two most important moments in our lives, it's been said, the day when we're born and the day that we realize why we were born. And if you don't know, if you want to live a life of misery, don't try and find out, and if you want to live a life that has meaning and value and a sense of direction, spend as much time as you possibly can to answer the question, why am I here? And not…
David Laroche : So you will know yourself a lot of time.
Les Brown : Yes. So don't ask what is the meaning of life. Ask what is the meaning of my life. What am I supposed to do? What is this work that I was chosen that God saw something in you that you were chosen out of 400 million sperm, he saw something in David. What was it that he saw, he saw something in Judy, he saw something in Les. There was something that caused us to be here. And I believe there's a work for us to do that there's something that if we don't do it that the world will be deprived. And finding out what that something is that element the element is when what you love to do and what you were born to do come together that will allow you to show up in life in a bigger way.
David Laroche : So our job is to find what we love.
Les Brown : What is it you love to do, that you weren't born to work for a living, but to live your making and living your making will make your living.
David Laroche : Just before we were talking about to go outside our comfort zone, and there are also some books about letting go. How do we know when we have to let go or be perseverant or committed or persistent? My own difficulty, I'm a very persistent but sometimes maybe too much I don't know.
Les Brown : You know that we don't always know that. Let me give you an example. I've been out in Los Angeles for about five years looking to have a production company to sponsor a new talk show. I had a talk show 10 years ago, I've done so many interviews and they all say, “He's great, he's sharp and he's old.” So I leave the interview, they tell my person who came there to set the meeting up. He's old, I know he's sharp but he's old. And then I was looking at television the other day on the Discovery Channel and a program comes on. Now my show is designed to give people hope, in the United States more people die from suicide than from traffic accidents okay. Now I think there's something wrong with that. My program is designed to give people hope and inspire them to increase their skill set in this age or what the late Peter Drucker calls they are the three Cs exhilarated change, overwhelming complexity, and tremendous competition. And to create collaborative achievement driven support and relationships. The program that I saw on television thatshocked me among many was Naked and Afraid. Two women no, no there was a man and a woman naked on an island. And this television show was designed to watch them while they're trying to learn how to survive on the island naked and afraid. And at that moment, I said to myself don't go and audition anymore. Don't go and talk to anyone else about your concept of using television not just to entertain people but to empower them. Find another way to do this. Now do I see that as giving up on that medium, because they're more concerned about headtrash. I don't want to be in that toilet. Maybe I can carve out something else. Maybe I can have my own channel on YouTube and create a motivational channel from that place and be able to reach people around the world. And so maybe the instrument that I'm to use is not regular television. But theInternet but leave that alone that's not my place.
David Laroche : If I understand well, you have your purpose.
Les Brown : Yes.
David Laroche : And you keep your purpose but you just changed the way…
Les Brown : That I approach it, yes.
David Laroche : So your goal was not to have a production but your goal was to impact people.
Les Brown : To impact people's lives and to them I'm old because I'm 69, to me I'm not retired I'm refired. I'm ready to take it to the next level. I'm here to find out what is it that I have left, I've got a lot of life in me, and so I'm not going to let them to define what my contribution before I leave the planet is going to be. I'm just not going to try and get into that arena to do it. But just like now you've given me another avenue. I didn't even know you and here you are talking to me. And this is going to be seen by people that had it not been for this relationship, this collaborative relationship people who will see me who would have never had access to me otherwise.
David Laroche : And I will do my best to do that.
Les Brown : Thank you, I appreciate that. Thank you so much.