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Les Brown’s “You Gotta Be Hungry!”

Les Brown’s “You Gotta Be Hungry!”

In a college success class while earning my associate’s degree approximately 2002-ish, I heard a powerful speech that absolutely changed my life. This speech wasn’t in-person, but was broadcasted via a VHS tape. Yes, it was a VCR and I began to cringe as my instructor was putting it in.

But when the video started playing, I was like “Wait… What!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. My expression had to be like Kevin Hart.

Is that a black dude? He’s articulate and not performing a song. This man is educating an all-white audience. Again, I was like, “Wait.. is he Black!” Astonished and amazed, I couldn’t wait to learn who this guy was and hear what he had to say. His name is Les Brown.

Hold on, let me give you some background.

My Wake Up Call

I’d say during my high school career that I wasn’t college material. Instead of college, I was going into the military. My goal was to do the U.S. Marine Corps for 30 years and I wouldn’t have to write papers, read books, nor become ‘educated.’

In my third year in while stationed overseas, we were all required to do book reports. My mouth dropped. I felt as if I went back into time and there was no escape. Honestly, I never read a book by this time. My mom did my previous book reports, so I was lost in a bowl of spaghetti sauce (lol, a Marine saying).

That event was my wake up call to go to the next level, but I ran from it. I ran until I could no longer run from it anymore. That’s when I dragged myself to college, and that’s why I was in this class due to being a soccer player. But that’s a different story.

So when this instructor–which is also one of my biggest supporters and friend–began showing us this video, I finally saw learning can be an asset. From that point on, I got hungry to learn. I developed this burning passion to seek out what I missed from being lackadaisical about my education.  Life changed immediately because I got hungry for success.

“You Gotta Be Hungry!”

Being Inspired

There’s so many outlets to fill your inspiration tank with. Les Brown was just the beginning for me. In one of my other blogs, I speak of the top 8 motivational speakers but I also missed one with Dr. Eric Thomas. I can listen to any one of these speakers and be motivated, but not all can inspire to succeed.  So let me break this down a bit further.

Inspiration comes from within. Motivation stems from the word motive. My interpretation of motive is purpose. In life, I found it was easier to be excited and motivated about a purpose but not everything I was doing was purposeful to me.

Being excited about my purpose wasn’t easy. Finding my purpose was hard, but I was really just scared. I believe my purpose was given to me by my Creator. I didn’t find my purpose until I enrolled myself in one of the things I feared the most. In other words, I’m inspired when I learn.

When I learn something that fuels my inspiration, the satisfaction seems unquenchable. In an article written by Scott Barry Kaufman from the Harvard Business Review’s Why Inspiration Matters, “Thrash and Elliot developed the ‘Inspiration Scale,’ which measures the frequency with which a person experiences inspiration in their daily lives. They found that inspired people were more open to new experiences, and reported more absorption in their tasks.” In a couple of paragraphs later, Kaufman comes to a conclusion I arrived at as well but has studies to back it up. “Inspired people also reported higher levels of important psychological resources, including belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism. Mastery of work, absorption, creativity, perceived competence, self-esteem, and optimism were all consequences of inspiration, suggesting that inspiration facilitates these important psychological resources.”

Chain Reaction

If you have watched the Les Brown video by now, you know he’d say “You gotta be hungry!” Right?!

Learning is exciting and I have to share it. I do my best to incorporate it in all presentations to youth, including my Fail Forward presentation I do for a workshop setting. Les was my catalyst. He was my spark to having the chain reaction to helping others.

What’s yours?

I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.

Nathan A. Webster, MBA
Business Strategist
Consulting | Social Media | Web Design


I was born, raised and currently residing in Vancouver, WA. Grateful to have an entrepreneurial life that allows me to use my God-given talents to help others pursue their passion. I'm blessed to be educated (MBA-Operations) veteran (US Marine Corps) who enjoys the community with all my family members (blood and adopted).

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