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Motivation Masters: Les Brown

Born in an abandoned building and given up for adoption, declared mentally challenged in public school, it took the encouragement of his adopted mother and an inspirational high school teacher to help Les Brown become a well-known and respected motivational speaker.

Les talks about a variety of different aspects of reaching for success, often with great humour and colourful stories. Here’s some choice words that resonate with our dancing journeys.

It’s possible.

Sometimes, something is so daunting that we can’t just say “I can have that”. But there’s a place we can retreat to, and maintain a sense of integrity, while still staying in the game. And that is “It’s possible”.
– Les Brown

Les invites us to recognize that no one, not even us, know what we are ultimately capable of, and that any assumption that we can’t accomplish something is exactly that – an assumption. You may not know how good a dancer you can be, but most certainly you can be a better one than you are now. Let that push you forward.

You can live your dreams, or live your fears.

We all have fears, don’t we? We all have something that’s holding us back. And as we go through the challenges of life, we discover that the reason most people aren’t going after what they really want, and not fulfilling their full potential, is because of fear. – Les Brown

Sooner or later on our dancing journey, we will run into something that we instinctually want to avoid. Maybe we’re uncomfortable being looked at, or of being judged. Maybe we fell doing that pivot turn, and now we’re scared to try it again.

While Les admits we can never have a fear-free existence, he also encourages us to embrace our fears – to acknowledge them, but not be stopped by them. By connecting to our dreams and desires, we can propel ourselves past our fears. As he says, “there is a difference between having a fear, and the fear having you.

There is no safe position in life.

We all hang on aspects of our life – a job, a nice car, our spouse. These attachments are sometimes productive, but often they hold us back. How many of us are in jobs that we dislike, because we are afraid to lose them? How many of us don’t pursue dance, because we are protecting our image of ourselves?

As Les points out “sooner or later, we’re all going to die anyway.” Recognizing this fact is one of the quickest ways to realize we truly have nothing to lose. We are already naked. With that in mind, there is little to nothing to stop us from reaching for our full potential, while releasing those attachments that hold us back.

You only have one life. Dance your heart out.

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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