Back in the late 1990’s I was armed with a college degree, a few years of real estate experience and a whole lot of uncertainty about what my goals and dreams were. I grew up, went to school and started my career all in the same town in Nova Scotia, Canada. My real estate career had given me the chance to travel to conferences and see some places across the country but could I leave my hometown and explore the world on my own?
I didn’t know it at the time, but when I was first introduced to Les Brown this was the internal struggle I was going through. I first saw Les Brown speak at a real estate conference of course. I don’t remember where or exactly when, but I do remember watching, listening and taking notes like a crazy person. His message, his humor, his humility and his stories were so powerful. At the end of his speech I ran to the back of the room where he had his merchandise table set up and bought everything he had.
About 2 years later, I packed up my life in Nova Scotia and headed to Toronto to take on the corporate world and jump into the next chapter of living my dreams. Driving out of my Dad’s driveway that morning was of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew life would never be the same.
Les’s book, Live Your Dreams has travelled with me from Nova Scotia, to Ontario across the border to New Jersey and across the country to now live with me in California! According to my handwriting on the inside cover, I first read it in December 1998. Fast forward 15 years later, Les is still as powerful on stage as he was that first time I saw him. His messages still makes me uncomfortable because they remind me that my biggest regrets will be the chances I didn’t take.
You must be willing to do the things today that other people won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow that other people won’t have.
This is a Les Brown quote that has been my personal mantra for 15 years. I say this to myself whenever I really don’t want to do something that I know I should do. Whether it’s that phone call I don’t really want to make, those emails that could wait until tomorrow but should be responded to today or the discipline to skip dessert and go for a run. To hear Les say these words from the stage again brought a flood of emotion as I thought of all the times I whispered them to myself.
I’ve come a long way from Coldbrook, Nova Scotia and have lived many dreams. Thanks Les Brown for reminding that the only thing holding me back from even bigger dreams is me.
You’ve got to be hungry!