When rummaging through the past of successful people, we often find out, that these individuals at one point in life were social outcasts or just plain different than the rest of the world. We always got the impression that successful people most be some kind of genius or that they went to college. The answer is surprisingly no.
Here is the the story of an ordinary man, that will make you think twice about your life.
Leslie Calvin Brown (also known as Les Brown) and his brother Wesley were given up for adoption shortly after they were born. Adopted by Mamie Brown who was a domestic assistant, they grew up living in harsh circumstances, sometimes even having less or nothing to eat.
In grade school Les Brown gets declared as educable mentally retarded. Even having his classmates laughing at him, self esteem issues and not the best grades at school, Les Brown manages to turn his life around. Later he becomes a morning DJ and rises to a broadcast manager, from community activist to community leader, from political commentator to three-term state legislator in Ohio and from a banquet and nightclub MC to premier keynote speaker and CEO of Les Brown Enterprises, for audiences as big as 80’000 people, including Fortune 500 CEO’s. In his lecture Choosing Your Future Les says that the turning point in his life, was a teacher who told him that he should never let someone else’s opinion become his reality.
My mission is to get a message out that will help people become uncomfortable with their mediocrity. A lot of people are content with their discontent. I want to be the catalyst that enables them to see themselves having more and achieving more.
– Les Brown
How could a man, who was labeled as educable mentally retarded, come so far in life with no college degree?
Here are the 6 principles of success that Les Brown follows and learned through the years :
1. It’s Possible
No matter what you are going through or how far you goal seems to be, always use this sentence as a benchmark: It’s possible. You don’t have to say you can do it, because if you fail you might get discouraged. But use this benchmark instead, because whenever you will say it, it will be true.
2. Follow Your Dreams
While we are establishing our mark on the planet, we must avoid taking our purpose too lightly. We must pursue our passion and understand that pursuing our dreams is not an option, but necessary in order for us being able to live happy and in integrity with ourselves.
3. Take Control
Be honest to yourself and accept that it’s you who isn’t strong enough yet to handle some problems, instead of blaming your environment and the circumstances around you. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go and no one else.
4. Get Ready For The Hard Knocks
After recognizing what your dream and passions are, you will have to start going after it. At this point most people quit because it’s hard. You can’t be choosing dreams based on how much stress they will or will not cause. You have to face up that dream, which is your dream, and befriend yourself with the fact that is hard. If it’s hard you’ll just have to do it hard.
5. Ask Yourself Why Are You Willing To Suffer To Achieve This Dream
As Shakespeare Hamlet says: Why would anyone suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? We are not pain seekers, on the contrary we seek comfort and happiness. Is anyone of sound mind voluntarily choosing to endure great obstacles and pain? Why would he do it? The answer is simple: It’s worth it. Seek the thing that is for you worth doing it and you will be motivated enough to withstand the storms of the journey.
6. There Will Be A Point Of No Return
There is a certain moment in time when you will know the race has be won before it’is over. You’ve crossed over the line and built a such momentum that quitting will be no longer an option. In the deepest parts of your consciousness you’ve settled the fact that you should not be denied. Touching the finish line will only be a formality. you know now that what you seek is already yours and you continue to run the race knowing that it’s done.