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Les Brown: Live Your Dreams Book Summary

  • Chapter 1: Mrs. Mamie Brown’s Baby Boy
  • There comes a time when you have to drop your burdens in order to fight for yourself and your dreams.
  • Our parents bring us into the world, but in the end, we are responsible for what we become. (Kahlil Gibran)
  • Our children come through us, but not from us. (Kahlil Gibran)
  • It is the person you become, not the things you achieve, that is most important.
  • You must walk by faith and not by sight.
  • If you summon the courage to go after your dream, life will provide the answers.
  • I believe that you can do things you never imagined if you challenge yourself.
  • Tough time don’t last, tough people do.
  • Oh, God, to reach the point of death only to realize you have never lived.

 

  • Chapter 2: You Gotta Be Hungry!
  • Press on. Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; the world is full of unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. (Calvin Coolidge)
  • Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling.
  • Coincidences are God’s wat of staying anonymous.
  • When people have that kind of motivation, when obstacles are not a factor, when only the dream matters, they make things happen. The universe has no choice but to yield to that sort of energy.
  • You must find a powerful motivation to drive you.
  • Many of us go through life with brakes on. The brakes of fear, the brakes of procrastination, the brakes of unworthiness, the brakes of negative thinking. These prevent us from giving all that we have to give and sharing all that we have the share.
  • Develop a sense of urgency in your life. Take actions now that will move you toward your goals.
  • Develop courage. Let yourself feel the fears that are holding you back and mentally push them aside.
  • Devote yourself to operating on a massive, relentless scale in order to accomplish your goals.
  • Develop the conviction that you can accomplish your goal. Your level of belief in yourself will inevitably manifest itself in what you do.
  • Read inspirational material such as the biographies of people who overcame great odds to succeed. If they can do it, you can do it.
  • Get acquainted with successful people and ask what drives them and how they achieve their goals.
  • Develop your communication skills. Take public speaking courses or courses on leadership and communication.
  • Smile! Project a positive image. Say “YES!” to your life. A person’s smile reflects how he or she feels inside.
  • Get your ideas on paper and study them. Don’t let them go to waste.
  • The most dependable hand you can rely on is the one at the end of your wrist.
  • To build hunger, develop a “do-or-die” attitude.
  • Do not go where the path may lead, but go where there is no path, and leave a trail.
  • One way to get back on your feet real quick is to miss two car payments.
  • I believed the name of the game was TTP: Talk to People. If that didn’t work I tried another game-TTMP: Talk to More People.
  • You have to get your material out there on a massive scale. Consider it your personal crusade. Your life’s mission.
  • You don’t have to tell truly HUNGRY people to do their homework or to set high standards or to go at it massively. They realize those are essential steps in reaching their goals. People bound for greatness jump out of bed and embrace the morning.
  • It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. (Whitney Young, Jr.)
  • Washington. He told me not to take it personally. He said some people are so negative they have to say no seven times before they say yes.

 

  • Chapter 3: The Power to Change
  • I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • Do not ever say that again! He intoned. Someone’s opinion of you does NOT have to become YOUR reality.
  • Work harder toward your goals. Just the act of working harder focuses your mind and your actions, pulling you out of lethargy and into becoming an active life-force again.
  • Be creative and change your approach to life.
  • Modify your goal. Goals galore exist out there. Find one, get on top of it and climb to the next highest.
  • Ask for help. Support groups work. They tell you that you are not alone, and they are run by people who often understand exactly where you are coming from and where you need to go.
  • Stay busy.
  • I perceive consciousness as more than just awareness; I see it as a potential energy force comprised of your thoughts and feelings and impressions. I view consciousness as an active dimension of the human mind, not merely a passive vault where thoughts are stored. Once activated, this consciousness becomes a driving life-force to be used for your betterment and the betterment of those around you. After all, if one highly motivated mind can make a difference, consider how much more a collective force can accomplish.
  • You must endure the turbulence of change in order to grow.
  • In the prosperous times, you build what is in your pocket. In the tough times, you strengthen what is in your heart. And that is when you gain insight into yourself, insight that leads to self-mastery and an expansion of your consciousness as a life-force in both your personal and professional lives.
  • Life is an ongoing war with insecurities and fears.

 

  • Chapter 4: Wake Up and Work on Your Dreams
  • What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but what it enables us to give others. (Thomas Merton)
  • To be conscious of what we are perceiving or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence. (Aristotle)
  • This process of personal growth involves four stages of increased awareness in the areas of: self-knowledge, self-approval, self-commitment and self-fulfilment.
  • It troubles me that we spend years in school learning about the lives of other people, but we devote hardly any time at all to studying ourselves.
  • I once heard it said that everyone is born unique but most of us die copies.
  • Understand that most of your limitations are self-imposed because of your history and that your field of vision is too often limited by your experience instead of being guided by your imagination.
  • If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • No one who feels greatness within must be forced out of bed in the morning.
  • Until one is committed, there is hesitance, the chance to draw back. Always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elemental truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meeting and material assistance which no man could have dreams would come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
  • The work never is done while the power to work remains…For to live is to function. That is all there is in living. (Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter compared to what lies within us. (Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • Review your self-knowledge.
  • Re-examine your level of self-approval.
  • Renew your commitment to personal growth.
  • Set a course for a new level of self-fulfilment.
  • Courage is the capacity to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. (Sir Winston Churchill)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average. (M. H. Alderson)

 

  • Chapter 5: Live Your Dreams
  • It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, the tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideals, but it is a disaster to have no ideals to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach. (Dr Benjamin Isaiah Mays)
  • If you don’t dream you might as well be dead. (George Foreman)
  • Human life, by its very nature, has to be dedicated to something. (Jose Ortega y Gasset)
  • Let’s take one of the most common goals: You want to make more money. If that is your goal, then take some practical steps toward realizing it.
  • First, determine specifically how much money you want to make. Then, double that amount and make that you goal. Even if you don’t reach the higher amount, you will probably still find yourself making more than your original goal.
  • Second, decide the amount of energy you are willing to expect to reach your goal. How many hours are you willing to work a day? How many jobs are you willing to hold down? What sort of work are you willing to do?
  • A third step in this process is to develop a practical plan of action and get started immediately. Chart out where you want to be in relation to your goal in the next month, six months, one year, five years and ten years. Get started today. Go apply for that second job NOW! Go enrol in that career training program NOW! Ask for that rise NOW!
  • Goals help you channel your energy into action. They place you in charge of your life.
  • I would rather fail at what I love than succeed at what I hate. (George Burns)
  • Most people take their dreams to the grave with them because they are fearful or they don’t feel worthy or they listen to negative inner conversations instead of creating their own circumstances for success and exercising the power to change their lives.
  • Make no small plans. Think big when you set your goals. Dare to think big and then set a series of smaller goals to get you there. Your goals should go beyond your own material needs. They should be goals that serve your purpose while meeting a larger need in the world.
  • You are limited only by the limits on your ability to dream. And we can all dream.

 

  • Chapter 6: Fix Your Focus
  • People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in their world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, MAKE THEM. (George Bernard Shaw)
  • Visualization has become a major area of study in a number of fields. Visualization is another form of concentration and focus. Studies have shown that nearly all top athletes instinctively use visualization of some sort.
  • The secret of success is constancy to purpose. (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals.
  • You need to get out of that idling existence to tap your talents and abilities and achieve your goals.
  • Small opportunities are often the beginnings of great enterprise. (Demosthenes)
  • You have to focus on yourself and sell yourself on your ability to perform, to achieve your objectives and to deserve them. Tell yourself when you review your goals each day, that you deserve them. Say to yourself, “I’m capable, talented; I’m committed. I DERSERVE my goals”
  • Judge a man not by what he has but what he had to overcome to make his accomplishment. (George Washington Carver)
  • There is no defence against an excellence that meets a pressing public need.
  • I believe…that living on the edge, living in and through your fear, is the summit of life, and that people who refuse to take that dare condemn themselves to a life of living death. (John H. Johnson)
  • If you want to make it happen, you have to be relentless.
  • You cannot be wimpy out there on the dream-seeking trail. Dare to break through barriers, to find your own path.
  • 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 scheme is about it and life seems useless and worthless without it. If you gladly sweat for, fret for and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it. If you simply go after that thing that you want with all of your capacity, strength and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence and stern for tenacity. If neither cold or poverty, famish or gout, sickness or pain of body and brain can keep you away from the thing that you want. If dogged and grim you be size and beget it, with the help of GOD you will get it. (Berton Braley)

 

  • Chapter 7: Fear of Frogs
  • Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • Fear is an emotion, and like any mere emotion it can be controlled. I have heard the word fear defined as an acronym: False Expectations Appearing Real.
  • We must face our fears in order to live fully. You can turn back, but if you want to grow you must be willing to go forward and face your fears again and again and again. (Abraham Maslow)
  • If your achievements exceed your level of expectation you may begin to engage in self-destructive behaviour.
  • The majority of the fears that we have are not life-and-death fears. And yet we give them more power than they deserve and permit them to govern our lives.

 

  • Chapter 8: The Young and the Goal-less
  • There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it, who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society protect that society but when they don’t have it they unconsciously want to destroy it. (Martin Luther King)
  • Cowardice asks the question ‘Is it safe?’ Consensus asks the questions ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks, ‘Is it right?’ (Martin Luther King)
  • I know this, because I am an example of it. Because of Mr. Washington’s liberating words, I became aware of a larger life, a greater destiny. My constant fantasy was charting my path to greatness. That is why it is so important for you to hold on to a vision of who you want to be and where you want to go. It is equally important to fashion a vision of what you want to leave behind.
  • Know your greatness. Help others find theirs.

 

  • Chapter 9: Be Positively Charged!
  • There are studies showing that negative people are vulnerable to certain illnesses while optimistic and positive people live longer and spend less time in the hospital. Positive people are even said to have longer-lasting relationships. Negative people have a higher divorce rate.
  • Rule number one: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two: It is all small stuff.
  • Good things are supposed to happen to me. No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets, I’m going to make it.
  • I’m doing better than good and better than most and sometimes even better than that. I’m great and getting better.
  • There was once a study conducted on 3000 high achievers from around the world and the common denominator was not a sky-high intelligence. The study concluded that 85 percent of them had achieved their goals in life because of their attitude, and 15 percent of them because of their aptitude.
  • There are two types of people in your life. Those who nourish you, and those who drain you. Those who help you grow, and those who are toxic to your growth.
  • I believe that right now you don’t even know 95 percent of the people who will help you reach your dream. They are strangers. Some people close to you won’t help you because they know you.
  • Don’t let someone else’s lack of vision restrict your growth.

 

  • Chapter 10: It’s Possible!
  • We grow through our dreams. All great men and women are dreamers. Some, however, allow their dreams to die. You should nurse your dreams and protect them through bad times and tough times to the sunshine and light which always come. (Woodrow Wilson)
  • Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
  • The difference between these two men was the difference between eyesight and mindsight. One operated on the basis of what he saw. The other operated on the basis of the possibilities he envisioned. That is what you have to do with your dreams. I want you do things that give your life meaning and value. Operate out of your imagination, not your memory.
  • No life is without confrontations and failures. You will hear catcalls and encounter failure in your life. Be aware. Be ready. Absorb the blows, be wiser for them, and perseveres because the possibilities are never exhausted.
  • What must there be locked within you, a dynamic, thinking, feeling, creative human being? You have to have more possibilities than a peanut!
  • I believe you are destined for greatness but there are forces working out there to impede your journey to greatness.
  • Most people won’t share your visions either. They judge by appearance; again, it is a case of eyesight versus mindsight.
  • These are all problems caused by people, and people can find ways to solve them just as you can find ways to deal with all of your problems too, if you can see the possibilities.
  • Until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.
  • That you must confront rocky times, establish a mastery over them and then move on
  • My captors could not extinguish my spirit. (Victor Frankl)
  • You still have the power to choose how you will respond, with resignation or defiance. (Victor Frankl)
  • The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. (Charles Swindoll)
  • People do not plan to fail, but they do fail to plan. (Robert Schuller)
  • Everyone needs some sort of strategy for their lives. Stop and draw up a blueprint for living your dream. Ask yourself these questions once a year. Write down your answers, save them and review them regularly. Where have I been so far with my life? Why am I here right now? Where am I going? Has life given me what I am looking for? Am I challenging myself? Is my life an adventure or is it boring?
  • The joy of fostering a loving relationship is worth it. The love of a child is worth it. The experience of a wonderful day is worth it. The reward of helping another is worth it.
  • The giant bamboo tree is a hard seed that needs constant water and fertilizer every day for four years before any portion of it breaks the soil. The fifth year, the tree shows itself and grows at rates as fast as four feet a day to a height of ninety feet in less than a month. Most people do not realize that if the grower had stopped watering or fertilizing that seed at any point, the tree would have died.
  • I will persist until I succeed. (Og Mandino)
  • I learned this, that if you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and endeavour to live which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. You will put some things behind, you will pass an invisible boundary, new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within you; or the old laws will be expanded, and interpreted in your favour in a more liberal sense, and you will live with the license of a higher order of beings. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • If you live and pursue your dreams, the universe will line up on your side. The universe will yield to you. You will live with the license of a higher order of being. Things will happen for you, just as they happened for George Colin, an unstoppable man who knew that the most important factor in reaching his dream was himself. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • Your true dream is always worth it. It is your destiny.
  • If not now, when? If not now, when will you begin living your life.
  • March forth. Live your dreams.

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One comment on “Les Brown: Live Your Dreams Book Summary

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