Les Brown’s Live Your Dreams should be required reading for the aspiring dreamer, for those with a plan to be someone and–more importantly–hose who don’t. This book is a classic of modern motivational literature. Les Brown shows that anyone from humble beginnings can rise through the mess of it all with will and tenacity.

Les Brown, born on the floor of an empty apartment, left by his mother, and adopted by Mrs. Mamie Brown, his guiding light who would teach him to be the man he would become.

Les Brown, written off by teachers as a lost cause, stuck in special education classes, set up with the expectations of failure, would rise up to be an influencer, and mega motivator.

Live Your Dreams illustrates that a good mentor can change your life. In Les’ case it was Mr. Washington, a substitute teacher. Les had a gift. And Mr. Washington saw it. With determination and Mr. Washington’s guidance, Les would find the courage to defy the stigma of special education, rise up from his upbringings to become a disc jockey and then a State Legislature to improve his community. Soon after that, he would rise the ranks of the world’s leading motivational speakers.

The chapters are short, get to the point, offer helpful ideas with encouraging snippets of Les’ extraordinary life, and move on. They don’t drag. I also like that Les offers the reader an Action Plan. At the very end of the book, there are thoughtful exercises including a step-by-step game plan to learn about yourself, your skills, your weaknesses, and how to capitalize on what you are good at. More importantly it helps you realize what you can offer to the world.

I wish there were more chapters. I could read Les Brown all day. Thankfully, there are more of his books and more of his speeches to listen to.

Jason’s Takeaway: Read this book. 5 Stars.

“Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you will still land among the stars.”
–Les Brown.


Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly. His new book is Train of Thought.