Les Brown: On the Meaning and the Purpose of Life


If you don’t know why you are here. I encourage you to find out what your purpose is here. What is the meaning of your life? What will be different? Have you ever asked yourself that question? And most people go to their graves with their greatness still in them. What if you live your whole life only to discover that it was wrong?

We’ve all taken time just to stop and reflect many times when we hear what’s happening in the news or read the newspapers. Where is all of this leading to? What’s going on here?

And so I think that now more than ever we must begin to look at what are the things that we can do that would put us on some firm footing in life, that will enable us to do some things and use some powers that we have that many of us go through life, never ever discovering that we have those things going for us.

And part of that, I believe, is knowing what it is your life work — what is it that gives your life a sense of meaning and purpose?

See, if you know what your life work is I encourage you to start working on it. If you can’t do it all at one time, do just a little bit of it. And if you don’t know what it is that you showed up to do, if you don’t know why you’re here, I encourage you to find out what your purpose is here, what is the meaning of your life? Because once you find that, it puts you in your power place.

I remember coming from a friend of mine’s funeral and I was reflecting on how much time I had left. And I went for a walk in a park thinking about this guy whose life was so promising. And I mean, he wasn’t an old guy, he was quite young, in fact. And I thought about all of the things that he said he was going to do and he never got a chance to do those things.

And I start thinking about my own life and how much time I had left to do the things that I would like to do. And at that time I wasn’t sure what my life purpose was, what my life’s work was. I wasn’t sure about it at that time. And I thought about it quite a lot.

I had some idea but I wasn’t convinced that I don’t think I felt worthy. I didn’t believe that it could be me to do this kind of work that I’m doing right now.

And I say to you that if you begin to take a conscious effort to find out what it is that you’re supposed to do, I say that it can literally save your life. I said that it can literally save your life.

85% of the American public, according to recent studies, are going to jobs that they hate, working on jobs that do not challenge them. They get sick thinking about going, because see, when you go to a job and you already know how far you can go, you can already see that proverbial glass ceiling.

See, when you’re going someplace and you already know how much you’re going to make, you already know how far you can go, you’re in a dead-end position. It erodes your self-esteem. It lowers your sense of yourself. It creates an inner turmoil. It creates an emptiness in you.

So I say that your life is worth finding what it is that you’re supposed to do. And I’m not saying quit your job. I’m saying find it and do just a little bit of it. Just start working at it, just a little bit but do find out what your work is and hold on to it and don’t let your dream go. Don’t let it go.

See, and here’s something else I want you to begin to look at: why is it that most people don’t pursue their dreams, or don’t do better than what they’re doing if they’re capable of doing it? I think that many of us don’t go the next step, because we don’t know what to do yet.

And I say that, that the reason that we don’t even explore the possibility of what to do is because subconsciously we don’t believe that it can happen for us, and we don’t believe that we deserve it.

Imagine if you will be on your death bed, and standing around your bed, the ghost of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life but you for whatever reason you never pursued those dreams, you never acted on those ideas, you never used those gifts, you never used those talents, and there they are staring at you, as you are lying on your bed, with large angry eyes, we came to you! Only you could have given us life and now we must die with you forever.

And the question is: if you died today… What dreams? What talents? What abilities? What gifts? What ideas? Would die with you.

Transcript from Les Brown speech 2014.


~Leslie Calvin “Les” Brown is an American motivational speaker, author, former radio DJ, former television host. As a former politician, he was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Excellence Reporter 2019

Categories: Awakening

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.