Live Your Dreams

Live Your Dreams

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by Les Brown
     
 

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Here is Les Brown's personal formula for success and happiness -- positively charged thoughts, guidance, examples, plus an Action Planner to help you focus your thoughts on specific goals...and achieve them all. The answers are all here in this astonishing book -- with one simple, powerful message: We may not always be able to control what is put in our

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Overview

Here is Les Brown's personal formula for success and happiness -- positively charged thoughts, guidance, examples, plus an Action Planner to help you focus your thoughts on specific goals...and achieve them all. The answers are all here in this astonishing book -- with one simple, powerful message: We may not always be able to control what is put in our path, but we can always control what we are...and what we will become.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The television personality and motivational speaker's guide was on PW 's audio bestseller list. (July)
Library Journal
Brown, an up-and-coming motivational speaker, a.k.a. The Motivator, here offers his personal growth message in print. Once labeled educationally mentally retarded, he has been a sanitation worker, disk jockey, activist, state legislator, and night club emcee. Through his ``Nine Principles of Life Enrichment,'' he proposes that anyone can succeed by stoking the fires of hunger for a dream. Brown's belief in our responsibility for our own success at times suggests a Pygmalion complex. Some of what Brown says can be found in a slightly different arrangement in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Successful People ( LJ 3/15/90), Richard Gillett's Change Your Mind, Change Your World ( LJ 7/92), and Gilbert Brim's Ambition ( LJ 2/15/92). Having participated in four PBS specials, Brown may be familiar to many patrons. Public libraries should have this title in their self-help sections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/92.--Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380723744
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/1994
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
139,660
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.61(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Mrs. Mamie Brown's
Baby Boy

When I was young, I danced up this world.
-- Mrs. Mamie Brown

We called the few blocks that were my territory as a boy "The Alley" and they had an alley's nature. It could get tough, so we had to be tough.

My adoptive mother, Mrs. Mamie Brown, tells the story about the time I was coming home from the grocery store with a big bag of rice and a can of kerosene and she heard the new neighbor yell to two of his own sons, "Jump on that boy and beat him up!"

I think the neighbor had tired of watching his boys wrestle with each other so he decided they'd do better to tussle with me.

When Mama heard the neighbor sic his boys on me, she rushed to the door. She saw that they were all over me and that I was not fighting back. You see, my mother had done a very thorough job of instilling in me the importance of preserving groceries at all costs when I went to the store for her.

Mama had no husband and very little money. She had adopted my twin brother and me as infants. She worked hard as a cafeteria cook, maid and fruit picker to keep us in groceries. She could not and did not tolerate wastefulness.

I was not always an obedient son but through the effective use of a tree switch, Mama had taught me this particular lesson very well. And so, even though I was taking an awful whupping from those two boys, I held on to my Mama's groceries and tried to get a kick in now and then.

But when my Mama came out and saw those boys all over me, she suspended the grocery-preservation rule. "Throw them groceries down and get those boys!" she yelled.

And I did. They stuck towrestling with each other after that. They learned their lesson. I learned a lesson that day, too, one that I hope to impart to you in this book. There comes a time when you have to drop your burdens in order to fight for yourself and your dreams.

Many of us carry baggage from the past that hinders our ability to fight for the things we want in life, our goals, our dreams. If you learn in this book to let go of those burdensome emotions and memories, then one of my chief objectives will be realized, you will be able to pursue and live your dreams.

My Journey

Let me tell you about my life, and some of the burdens that I had to learn to drop in order to go after my own goals and dreams.

I never knew my natural parents. In fact, I still don't know their names or where they live, but not long ago, I learned just a few pieces of information about them. It was not much, but it was enough. It is still more than I had ever really desired to hear.

Mrs. Mamie Brown, the only parent I have ever known, is all the parent I will ever need, She adopted me and my fraternal twin brother, Wesley, when we were only a few weeks old and on her own she raised us and a sister, Margaret, whom she adopted five years later.

The facts that I recently discovered concerning my natural parents are these: My birth mother came to Miami from somewhere else to give birth to my brother and me on the floor of an abandoned building and to then give us away three weeks later.

This woman was married to a soldier stationed overseas but had become pregnant by another man. She wanted to have us and give us away before her husband found out about us. Those are the facts related to me by a friend of my adoptive mother. I have never discussed the matter with Mama.

For a long, long time, I hated my natural parents, even though I have no idea who they were. It was a lot of work holding that grudge. I didn't even have a picture to glare at. Finally, I dropped that baggage though, after contemplating a quote from the philospher Kahlil Gibran, who said that our parents bring us into the world, but in the end, we are responsible for what we become. Parents, he said, are like the archer's bow and their children the arrows.

"Our children come through us, but not from us," Gibran wrote.

My anger was eased too by a friend's reminder that as an adopted child, I was chosen by love, rather than being delivered by fate to my Mama, Mrs. Mamie Brown.

As a child and into adulthood, I had occasionally gone through the same inner questions that come to most who are adopted. I wondered what my father and mother looked like, what kind of people they were, if they thought about me.

I never attempted to identify or locate my natural parents but one time a friend of mine who was adopted did, and he took me along for support. I watched from the curb when his father opened the door. Immediately I saw that the likeness was stunning. This was obviously his true father.

My friend said, "Hi, I'm your son."

And his father said, "I don't have a son," and slammed the door in his face.

My friend walked away, shattered.

"I wish I had never found him," he said. "At least I would not have to live with the rejection that even now he doesn't want me."

Not all searches for birth parents end that way, of course, but I've come to feel that whoever my parents are, I forgive them. I have to play with the hand dealt me and I cannot be effective in my life if I allow myself to be burdened with anger, resentment, regret and... Live Your Dreams. Copyright © by Les Brown. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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