#121 - 3 Life Lessons from Les Brown

January 5, 2022

Here are 3 lessons that (if applied) will undoubtedly change your life for the better. You're gonna hear Les Brown talk about the importance of mindset, networking, and communication. There's a lot to learn in this episode!

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, you are going to receive three pieces of advice that will undoubtedly change your life for the better. All right. Roll the intro. The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the life and English community. You'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip. So the man speaking in this clip today is Les Brown, a motivational speaker from Miami, Florida. Now, I came across Les a couple of months ago on TikTok, and even though I'm not really into, like, the motivational speaker type thing, when I hear Les speak, he does it, like in a more captivating and unique way. It doesn't feel like a motivational speech when I listen to him talk, you know. It sounds a lot more like somebody who's just passionately, yet humbly passing life's lessons on to his listeners, you know? Like, there's no fluff, there's no rah rah go conquer the world type shit. It's just real talk. You know what I'm saying? So I'll definitely be sharing more of Les's speeches in the future on the podcast. But today I'm going to play the clip, explain the words and phrases that I think might be difficult to understand or that you've never heard before. Then I'll leave you with a few things to think about and we'll get out of here. As always, my friend. So let's not waste any more time. Let's get into this episode. Let me play the clip.

[00:01:45] Taught me three things, he said, if you want to become successful in life, young man, he said, number one, you’ve got to change your mindset. He said, you don't get in life what you want, you get in life, what you are. Number two, practice OQP, only quality people. You earn within 2 to $3,000 dollars of your closest friends. Used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm. You know? And the third thing, he said, develop your communication skills because once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:02:20] All right y'all, so let's dig into these life lessons that Les Brown was gracious enough to share with us, but actually before we do that I want to share some definitions and explanations of a couple of words and phrases that I think or I imagine might not be so easy to understand or that you haven't been exposed to yet. So starting with number one, mindset. He said, "You need to change your mindset if you want to change your life" right? That's the idea. And a mindset is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermined a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. That's a very wordy definition that basically describes a way of thinking. That's another definition of mindset, it's just the way you think about things, you know. And the way you think about things predetermines the way you respond to or interpret situations, right? So it's all kind of the same. Now, the next word is get. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? So in this context, the word 'get' means to receive or to obtain, right. So you don't obtain in life what you want. You don't receive in life what you want. You obtain or receive who you are. Now the next thing I wanted to bring to your attention is actually the same sentence. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? Or what you are, I think is what he said. So if you notice words that end with a T, that are also followed by words that start with a Y, we end up connecting those words by making a TCHU sound. So instead of saying "You don't get in life what you want" you say "You don't get in life what you want". 'What' ends with a T, 'you' starts with a Y and we connect those words and say what you want. Now, this isn't something you have to do. It's just something that I wanted to bring to your attention because many times when we speak fast, we connect all kinds of words and this is a pattern that you'll notice all the time when we speak is if it ends, if a word ends with the Y is followed by word... Excuse me, if the word ends with a T and is followed by a word that starts with the Y, almost every time we connect those words and make a TCHU sound right there in the middle. All right? But let's move on. The next word I wanted to explain was 'earn'. In lesson number two he said, "You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends". So the word 'earn' in this case E A R N, earn. It's a formal word for make or receive money. So if you earn money, you are making money or receiving money, it's all the same.

[00:04:52] Earn, I think is just a formal word for that. You see what I'm saying? A much more common word at least here in the U.S is make money. Like, I make $80,000 a year. I make $20 an hour. I make or I made $500 last week. You see, we use the verb 'make'. But you can use receive or earn, they're just more formal options. All right, cool. Now, the next word is in the same sentence 'within' W I T H I N, within. You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. So in this context, the word 'within' means not exceeding the fixed limits of, or not beyond, or no more than. So you are going to earn or make or receive no more than 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. That's the idea. Ok? Now, the next phrase or the joke that he told "I used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm". So the word broke, it's just like, I guess you could say it's slang for having absolutely no money. So somebody says, like "Yo man, I'm broke" it means I have no money. Zero dollars. Or at least that's what they want you to think, right? Now, trip the alarm, to trip the alarm means to set off the alarm or unintentionally activate the alarm. That's what it means.

[00:06:08] So I used to be so broke just by walking or passing by the bank, I tripped the alarm or set off the alarm. Ok? Now, the last thing I wanted to explain is when he said "once you open your mouth" and that's just another way of saying once you start talking, because obviously when you talk you open your mouth. Now, you probably already knew that. But just in case, if you didn't, now you know. Alright y'all, let's get into the actual lessons from this clip, starting with number one. Change your mindset. You don't get in life what you want, you get in life who you are or what you are. Now you probably heard this one said in one of a few different ways. Right? Whatever you put out, you get back. Your thoughts produce your reality. Whether you think you can or can't, you're right. Think positive thoughts, the way you see the world is a reflection of your beliefs. If you go looking for something, you're going to find it. Right? All of these phrases point to the idea that your mind is an incredibly powerful tool, and it's literally creating what you've come to know as your life experience. Your thoughts determine the actions you take and your actions determine the life you live. Now, unfortunately for most people, the lives they live only reinforce the thoughts that they have habitually, which further reinforces the actions they take habitually, which only continues to create the same life experience.

[00:07:31] And this is what we call a negative feedback loop. One negative thing influences the next in this endless cycle, you know? And what I believe Les is saying is that if you want to escape that negative feedback loop, you have to change what created the loop in the first place. You have to change the way you think if you want to change the way you behave and you've got to change the way you behave if you want to have a better or even just different life experience. So how about a practical example, so you can really understand? I used to be a very negative person because I was unhappy with myself and because I was unhappy with myself. I was unhappy with the world and everyone in it, everything in it. I just was not a fulfilled, happy, positive person. You know what I'm saying? And because of that, I saw and thought about everything in life in a negative way. You see what I'm saying? I would, like, just naturally look for the worst in people. I could find a problem in any situation. I could find the negative in any situation. I was quick to criticize. I was very, like skeptical and all these things. It was just nothing positive about the way I thought, the way I talked, the way I behaved. It was all negative. So what that did was create a negative life experience, like if I'm always just thinking on a negative frequency, if I'm always looking for the negative in a situation or always looking for the negative in the person I'm talking to or the people around me.

[00:08:57] That's what I'm going to find. It's just more negativity. You see what I'm saying? If I'm always looking for negativity. If I'm always putting out negativity into the world? That's exactly what's going to come back to me. And then when that comes back to me, it obviously doesn't feel good to, like, have a negative life experience. So all that negativity coming back just makes me feel even more negative and unhappy. And then I put more of that out into the universe, which creates that negative feedback loop I was talking about. So it's like, just the mindset alone, just the way I chose to look at the world that created the world that I saw. Right, you're going to see what you're looking for. So it was only, I think it was maybe like 2000... What year was this? I don't know, like 2017, 2018 something like that. A few years ago that I came across Dr. Jordan B Peterson and his teachings and his lessons and things like that, the videos he was putting on YouTube and eventually his books and everything. I think that was really like the catalyst for me in switching my mindset from negative to positive, really coming to understand that the only difference between a fucking miserable human being and one that's happy is choices.

[00:10:14] You know what I'm saying? Like, and it's much deeper than that, obviously, like you have to get to know yourself and you have to learn to understand yourself and things like that to understand, like, why you even think the way you do today. What influenced your way of thinking and being, you know? Basically, why you are the person that you are. You have to kind of start to understand those things and analyze those things if you want to make positive changes. Not just now, but ones that last and have a lasting impact on your future. Hopefully, I'm making sense here. I didn't write this down. I'm kind of just speaking off the cuff. But that's what it is man, it's all about your mindset. If you look for the positivity, you're going to find it. If you look for the negativity, you're going to find it. If you choose to focus on someone's positive attributes, you'll see them in a positive light, and then hopefully you can build something with that person, or at least just keep it friendly and cordial. You know what I mean? But if you only see the negative, if you only criticize, if you're always judging, if you're always skeptical about everything. Never have anything positive to say or contribute to your own life or somebody else's, you know, just going to be a miserable human being.

[00:11:22] And I know for a fact, you know somebody like that. You know somebody who's just a fucking miserable person. And for that reason, they have to make everybody around them fucking miserable. Just like you probably come into contact with somebody who was just so happy, so fulfilled, so at peace that that also had an effect on you. Like, you feel good when they're in your presence, they make you smile, they engage with you. You know what I'm saying? They don't feel the need to gossip or start problems or criticize other people or talk shit. Nothing like that. And if that type of person makes you feel uncomfortable and irritated, unhappy, it's probably because you're a miserable motherfucker. You know, I'm not trying to call you out. I'm just saying. It's something to think about. It's really something to think about. Your mindset is one of the most important things to develop, regardless of your age. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 76, bro. So, anyway, let me summarize by saying you're going to get what you're looking for. Whatever you go looking for, you're going to find it, bro. So you can choose to look for positivity opportunities, you know, peace, friendship, happiness, money, prosperity. You can choose to focus on and look for those things as opposed to negativity, skepticism, criticism, gossip, fucking toxicity, all that other shit you can choose to focus on one or the other.

[00:12:46] Whichever one you focus on is what you're going to start to create and manifest in life. Which then in turn, influences how you think and feel, which in turn influences what you experience, it just never ends. All right? I'm gonna leave it at that. I'm sure I've got my point across. So let's move on to lesson number two, which is only quality people or OQP. I like that. And this one is more important than you might think. A lot of people are hanging around friends or staying in relationships that don't serve them or their life's purpose in any way. I'm not saying that you should only be friends with people that can do things for you. But I am saying that the people you keep in your social circle will have an influence on you, whether you believe it or not. If you hang around with five bum ass niggas every day, eventually you're going to be bum ass nigga number six. It's just the way it is. If you hang around soccer players, eventually you're going to play soccer. If you hang around drug dealers, eventually you're going to do or sell drugs. If you hang around millionaires, eventually you're going to learn about their mindset, their daily habits and the things that they had to do in order to become rich.

[00:13:52] It's just the way it is. The type of conversations you have with people tends to change depending on the type of group it is, right? Or whatever you're talking about is what you're thinking about. Whatever you're thinking about is what you're focused on, and whatever you're focused on is what you begin to manifest in life. So if you're always talking about and thinking about nonsense that doesn't serve your life's purpose in any way or improve or enrich your life in any way. What type of life experience would you expect to have? One full of nonsense. Instead of one full of achievement. By hanging out with and listening to people that have done the things you want to do, you'll learn how to do those things too. By hanging out with and listening to millionaires talk about their money, investments and businesses, you'll come to understand how to become a millionaire. You'll notice that the behavior and daily habits of millionaires are quite different from those of most of the people around you. You'll understand that it's mainly a question of, number one, mindset. Number two, your network. And number three, something that we call soft skills, right? Which leads us to Les's third and final piece of advice. Develop your communication skills. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are. That's a code line, bro. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:15:15] He said it a lot better than I did. He got the voice for it, too. He should have his own radio show. But anyway. As times goes by, excuse me, as time goes by, I've gotten a lot less interested in teaching language and a lot more interested in teaching communication skills. In my opinion, communication is at the base of everything we do in life, and language is just one of the tools that we use to communicate. Now, of course, I still find language fascinating and I found a way of teaching it that I enjoy. But I've come to understand that it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Your choice of words, the intonation of your voice, the expression on your face, how fast you talk, how loud or quiet you are. There are a bunch of things that influence how your message is sent and received. Now, all of these things fall under the umbrella of communication, not language. And they all tell people something about you when you speak. And whether we like it or not, we're leaving impressions on people and they're making judgments about us simply because of the way we express ourselves. So I really believe that improving your communication skills is one of the most important things you can do to be successful in life, no matter what it is you want to do. I don't recommend being fake or manipulative with your words in any way, but I do recommend that you learn more about how to use your words to move people.

[00:16:34] And when I say move people, I mean, influence people. Right? Learning how to express yourself in a clear and engaging way so that people better understand you and feel more connected to you. Learning about the art of storytelling and understanding the power of being able to deliver a message through an entertaining story. Studying the art of communication and learning how to have more of the positive interactions that you want to have instead of the awkward and unpleasant ones that most of us have when we don't know how to talk to somebody. I could talk for hours about communication itself, because it's just so fascinating, and I really think it's the key to everything that we want in life. You want money, you've got to communicate. You want a girlfriend or boyfriend, you've got to communicate. You want to get a job, you have to communicate. You want to travel, you've got to communicate. You want peace, you've got to communicate. You want food, water, shelter, you've got to communicate. The list just goes on and on and on. So do not underestimate the importance of communication. And I know you're focused on improving your English and speaking fluently right now. But what good is being fluent in a language if you don't know how to use the language effectively? If you don't remember anything else from this episode, remember this.

[00:17:51] There are a lot of things that can contribute to your success. But mastering the art of communication is at the very top of the list. Without communication, we have nothing. Absolutely nothing. So in my mind, it only makes sense to invest some time into learning how to communicate effectively so we can properly share our true selves with the world around us and also get what we truly want out of life. Whatever that may be. So, my friend, I really hope this episode gave you something interesting to think about, and I hope that you and I can continue to learn and grow together in this coming year. Now let me know if you guys enjoy episodes like this one, and I'll definitely record some more soon. I've got a lot of good stuff coming for you in 2022. More podcast episodes. Also, YouTube videos. So if you're not already subscribed to the YouTube channel, I suggest you check it out for more lessons about English and American culture. So you can check that out at youtube.com/lifeinenglish. Also, check me out on Instagram and Tik Tok at @englishwithkaizen for some short videos and quick English tips. All right? But that's it for now, my friend. I hope you enjoy the episode. This is life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I will talk to you soon. Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, you are going to receive three pieces of advice that will undoubtedly change your life for the better. All right. Roll the intro. The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the life and English community. You'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip. So the man speaking in this clip today is Les Brown, a motivational speaker from Miami, Florida. Now, I came across Les a couple of months ago on TikTok, and even though I'm not really into, like, the motivational speaker type thing, when I hear Les speak, he does it, like in a more captivating and unique way. It doesn't feel like a motivational speech when I listen to him talk, you know. It sounds a lot more like somebody who's just passionately, yet humbly passing life's lessons on to his listeners, you know? Like, there's no fluff, there's no rah rah go conquer the world type shit. It's just real talk. You know what I'm saying? So I'll definitely be sharing more of Les's speeches in the future on the podcast. But today I'm going to play the clip, explain the words and phrases that I think might be difficult to understand or that you've never heard before. Then I'll leave you with a few things to think about and we'll get out of here. As always, my friend. So let's not waste any more time. Let's get into this episode. Let me play the clip.

[00:01:45] Taught me three things, he said, if you want to become successful in life, young man, he said, number one, you’ve got to change your mindset. He said, you don't get in life what you want, you get in life, what you are. Number two, practice OQP, only quality people. You earn within 2 to $3,000 dollars of your closest friends. Used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm. You know? And the third thing, he said, develop your communication skills because once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:02:20] All right y'all, so let's dig into these life lessons that Les Brown was gracious enough to share with us, but actually before we do that I want to share some definitions and explanations of a couple of words and phrases that I think or I imagine might not be so easy to understand or that you haven't been exposed to yet. So starting with number one, mindset. He said, "You need to change your mindset if you want to change your life" right? That's the idea. And a mindset is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermined a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. That's a very wordy definition that basically describes a way of thinking. That's another definition of mindset, it's just the way you think about things, you know. And the way you think about things predetermines the way you respond to or interpret situations, right? So it's all kind of the same. Now, the next word is get. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? So in this context, the word 'get' means to receive or to obtain, right. So you don't obtain in life what you want. You don't receive in life what you want. You obtain or receive who you are. Now the next thing I wanted to bring to your attention is actually the same sentence. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? Or what you are, I think is what he said. So if you notice words that end with a T, that are also followed by words that start with a Y, we end up connecting those words by making a TCHU sound. So instead of saying "You don't get in life what you want" you say "You don't get in life what you want". 'What' ends with a T, 'you' starts with a Y and we connect those words and say what you want. Now, this isn't something you have to do. It's just something that I wanted to bring to your attention because many times when we speak fast, we connect all kinds of words and this is a pattern that you'll notice all the time when we speak is if it ends, if a word ends with the Y is followed by word... Excuse me, if the word ends with a T and is followed by a word that starts with the Y, almost every time we connect those words and make a TCHU sound right there in the middle. All right? But let's move on. The next word I wanted to explain was 'earn'. In lesson number two he said, "You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends". So the word 'earn' in this case E A R N, earn. It's a formal word for make or receive money. So if you earn money, you are making money or receiving money, it's all the same.

[00:04:52] Earn, I think is just a formal word for that. You see what I'm saying? A much more common word at least here in the U.S is make money. Like, I make $80,000 a year. I make $20 an hour. I make or I made $500 last week. You see, we use the verb 'make'. But you can use receive or earn, they're just more formal options. All right, cool. Now, the next word is in the same sentence 'within' W I T H I N, within. You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. So in this context, the word 'within' means not exceeding the fixed limits of, or not beyond, or no more than. So you are going to earn or make or receive no more than 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. That's the idea. Ok? Now, the next phrase or the joke that he told "I used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm". So the word broke, it's just like, I guess you could say it's slang for having absolutely no money. So somebody says, like "Yo man, I'm broke" it means I have no money. Zero dollars. Or at least that's what they want you to think, right? Now, trip the alarm, to trip the alarm means to set off the alarm or unintentionally activate the alarm. That's what it means.

[00:06:08] So I used to be so broke just by walking or passing by the bank, I tripped the alarm or set off the alarm. Ok? Now, the last thing I wanted to explain is when he said "once you open your mouth" and that's just another way of saying once you start talking, because obviously when you talk you open your mouth. Now, you probably already knew that. But just in case, if you didn't, now you know. Alright y'all, let's get into the actual lessons from this clip, starting with number one. Change your mindset. You don't get in life what you want, you get in life who you are or what you are. Now you probably heard this one said in one of a few different ways. Right? Whatever you put out, you get back. Your thoughts produce your reality. Whether you think you can or can't, you're right. Think positive thoughts, the way you see the world is a reflection of your beliefs. If you go looking for something, you're going to find it. Right? All of these phrases point to the idea that your mind is an incredibly powerful tool, and it's literally creating what you've come to know as your life experience. Your thoughts determine the actions you take and your actions determine the life you live. Now, unfortunately for most people, the lives they live only reinforce the thoughts that they have habitually, which further reinforces the actions they take habitually, which only continues to create the same life experience.

[00:07:31] And this is what we call a negative feedback loop. One negative thing influences the next in this endless cycle, you know? And what I believe Les is saying is that if you want to escape that negative feedback loop, you have to change what created the loop in the first place. You have to change the way you think if you want to change the way you behave and you've got to change the way you behave if you want to have a better or even just different life experience. So how about a practical example, so you can really understand? I used to be a very negative person because I was unhappy with myself and because I was unhappy with myself. I was unhappy with the world and everyone in it, everything in it. I just was not a fulfilled, happy, positive person. You know what I'm saying? And because of that, I saw and thought about everything in life in a negative way. You see what I'm saying? I would, like, just naturally look for the worst in people. I could find a problem in any situation. I could find the negative in any situation. I was quick to criticize. I was very, like skeptical and all these things. It was just nothing positive about the way I thought, the way I talked, the way I behaved. It was all negative. So what that did was create a negative life experience, like if I'm always just thinking on a negative frequency, if I'm always looking for the negative in a situation or always looking for the negative in the person I'm talking to or the people around me.

[00:08:57] That's what I'm going to find. It's just more negativity. You see what I'm saying? If I'm always looking for negativity. If I'm always putting out negativity into the world? That's exactly what's going to come back to me. And then when that comes back to me, it obviously doesn't feel good to, like, have a negative life experience. So all that negativity coming back just makes me feel even more negative and unhappy. And then I put more of that out into the universe, which creates that negative feedback loop I was talking about. So it's like, just the mindset alone, just the way I chose to look at the world that created the world that I saw. Right, you're going to see what you're looking for. So it was only, I think it was maybe like 2000... What year was this? I don't know, like 2017, 2018 something like that. A few years ago that I came across Dr. Jordan B Peterson and his teachings and his lessons and things like that, the videos he was putting on YouTube and eventually his books and everything. I think that was really like the catalyst for me in switching my mindset from negative to positive, really coming to understand that the only difference between a fucking miserable human being and one that's happy is choices.

[00:10:14] You know what I'm saying? Like, and it's much deeper than that, obviously, like you have to get to know yourself and you have to learn to understand yourself and things like that to understand, like, why you even think the way you do today. What influenced your way of thinking and being, you know? Basically, why you are the person that you are. You have to kind of start to understand those things and analyze those things if you want to make positive changes. Not just now, but ones that last and have a lasting impact on your future. Hopefully, I'm making sense here. I didn't write this down. I'm kind of just speaking off the cuff. But that's what it is man, it's all about your mindset. If you look for the positivity, you're going to find it. If you look for the negativity, you're going to find it. If you choose to focus on someone's positive attributes, you'll see them in a positive light, and then hopefully you can build something with that person, or at least just keep it friendly and cordial. You know what I mean? But if you only see the negative, if you only criticize, if you're always judging, if you're always skeptical about everything. Never have anything positive to say or contribute to your own life or somebody else's, you know, just going to be a miserable human being.

[00:11:22] And I know for a fact, you know somebody like that. You know somebody who's just a fucking miserable person. And for that reason, they have to make everybody around them fucking miserable. Just like you probably come into contact with somebody who was just so happy, so fulfilled, so at peace that that also had an effect on you. Like, you feel good when they're in your presence, they make you smile, they engage with you. You know what I'm saying? They don't feel the need to gossip or start problems or criticize other people or talk shit. Nothing like that. And if that type of person makes you feel uncomfortable and irritated, unhappy, it's probably because you're a miserable motherfucker. You know, I'm not trying to call you out. I'm just saying. It's something to think about. It's really something to think about. Your mindset is one of the most important things to develop, regardless of your age. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 76, bro. So, anyway, let me summarize by saying you're going to get what you're looking for. Whatever you go looking for, you're going to find it, bro. So you can choose to look for positivity opportunities, you know, peace, friendship, happiness, money, prosperity. You can choose to focus on and look for those things as opposed to negativity, skepticism, criticism, gossip, fucking toxicity, all that other shit you can choose to focus on one or the other.

[00:12:46] Whichever one you focus on is what you're going to start to create and manifest in life. Which then in turn, influences how you think and feel, which in turn influences what you experience, it just never ends. All right? I'm gonna leave it at that. I'm sure I've got my point across. So let's move on to lesson number two, which is only quality people or OQP. I like that. And this one is more important than you might think. A lot of people are hanging around friends or staying in relationships that don't serve them or their life's purpose in any way. I'm not saying that you should only be friends with people that can do things for you. But I am saying that the people you keep in your social circle will have an influence on you, whether you believe it or not. If you hang around with five bum ass niggas every day, eventually you're going to be bum ass nigga number six. It's just the way it is. If you hang around soccer players, eventually you're going to play soccer. If you hang around drug dealers, eventually you're going to do or sell drugs. If you hang around millionaires, eventually you're going to learn about their mindset, their daily habits and the things that they had to do in order to become rich.

[00:13:52] It's just the way it is. The type of conversations you have with people tends to change depending on the type of group it is, right? Or whatever you're talking about is what you're thinking about. Whatever you're thinking about is what you're focused on, and whatever you're focused on is what you begin to manifest in life. So if you're always talking about and thinking about nonsense that doesn't serve your life's purpose in any way or improve or enrich your life in any way. What type of life experience would you expect to have? One full of nonsense. Instead of one full of achievement. By hanging out with and listening to people that have done the things you want to do, you'll learn how to do those things too. By hanging out with and listening to millionaires talk about their money, investments and businesses, you'll come to understand how to become a millionaire. You'll notice that the behavior and daily habits of millionaires are quite different from those of most of the people around you. You'll understand that it's mainly a question of, number one, mindset. Number two, your network. And number three, something that we call soft skills, right? Which leads us to Les's third and final piece of advice. Develop your communication skills. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are. That's a code line, bro. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:15:15] He said it a lot better than I did. He got the voice for it, too. He should have his own radio show. But anyway. As times goes by, excuse me, as time goes by, I've gotten a lot less interested in teaching language and a lot more interested in teaching communication skills. In my opinion, communication is at the base of everything we do in life, and language is just one of the tools that we use to communicate. Now, of course, I still find language fascinating and I found a way of teaching it that I enjoy. But I've come to understand that it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Your choice of words, the intonation of your voice, the expression on your face, how fast you talk, how loud or quiet you are. There are a bunch of things that influence how your message is sent and received. Now, all of these things fall under the umbrella of communication, not language. And they all tell people something about you when you speak. And whether we like it or not, we're leaving impressions on people and they're making judgments about us simply because of the way we express ourselves. So I really believe that improving your communication skills is one of the most important things you can do to be successful in life, no matter what it is you want to do. I don't recommend being fake or manipulative with your words in any way, but I do recommend that you learn more about how to use your words to move people.

[00:16:34] And when I say move people, I mean, influence people. Right? Learning how to express yourself in a clear and engaging way so that people better understand you and feel more connected to you. Learning about the art of storytelling and understanding the power of being able to deliver a message through an entertaining story. Studying the art of communication and learning how to have more of the positive interactions that you want to have instead of the awkward and unpleasant ones that most of us have when we don't know how to talk to somebody. I could talk for hours about communication itself, because it's just so fascinating, and I really think it's the key to everything that we want in life. You want money, you've got to communicate. You want a girlfriend or boyfriend, you've got to communicate. You want to get a job, you have to communicate. You want to travel, you've got to communicate. You want peace, you've got to communicate. You want food, water, shelter, you've got to communicate. The list just goes on and on and on. So do not underestimate the importance of communication. And I know you're focused on improving your English and speaking fluently right now. But what good is being fluent in a language if you don't know how to use the language effectively? If you don't remember anything else from this episode, remember this.

[00:17:51] There are a lot of things that can contribute to your success. But mastering the art of communication is at the very top of the list. Without communication, we have nothing. Absolutely nothing. So in my mind, it only makes sense to invest some time into learning how to communicate effectively so we can properly share our true selves with the world around us and also get what we truly want out of life. Whatever that may be. So, my friend, I really hope this episode gave you something interesting to think about, and I hope that you and I can continue to learn and grow together in this coming year. Now let me know if you guys enjoy episodes like this one, and I'll definitely record some more soon. I've got a lot of good stuff coming for you in 2022. More podcast episodes. Also, YouTube videos. So if you're not already subscribed to the YouTube channel, I suggest you check it out for more lessons about English and American culture. So you can check that out at youtube.com/lifeinenglish. Also, check me out on Instagram and Tik Tok at @englishwithkaizen for some short videos and quick English tips. All right? But that's it for now, my friend. I hope you enjoy the episode. This is life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I will talk to you soon. Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • Which of the 3 lessons stood out to you? (Which one impacted you the most?)
  • Who do you admire most?
  • How can you improve your communication skills?
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Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, you are going to receive three pieces of advice that will undoubtedly change your life for the better. All right. Roll the intro. The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the life and English community. You'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip. So the man speaking in this clip today is Les Brown, a motivational speaker from Miami, Florida. Now, I came across Les a couple of months ago on TikTok, and even though I'm not really into, like, the motivational speaker type thing, when I hear Les speak, he does it, like in a more captivating and unique way. It doesn't feel like a motivational speech when I listen to him talk, you know. It sounds a lot more like somebody who's just passionately, yet humbly passing life's lessons on to his listeners, you know? Like, there's no fluff, there's no rah rah go conquer the world type shit. It's just real talk. You know what I'm saying? So I'll definitely be sharing more of Les's speeches in the future on the podcast. But today I'm going to play the clip, explain the words and phrases that I think might be difficult to understand or that you've never heard before. Then I'll leave you with a few things to think about and we'll get out of here. As always, my friend. So let's not waste any more time. Let's get into this episode. Let me play the clip.

[00:01:45] Taught me three things, he said, if you want to become successful in life, young man, he said, number one, you’ve got to change your mindset. He said, you don't get in life what you want, you get in life, what you are. Number two, practice OQP, only quality people. You earn within 2 to $3,000 dollars of your closest friends. Used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm. You know? And the third thing, he said, develop your communication skills because once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:02:20] All right y'all, so let's dig into these life lessons that Les Brown was gracious enough to share with us, but actually before we do that I want to share some definitions and explanations of a couple of words and phrases that I think or I imagine might not be so easy to understand or that you haven't been exposed to yet. So starting with number one, mindset. He said, "You need to change your mindset if you want to change your life" right? That's the idea. And a mindset is a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermined a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. That's a very wordy definition that basically describes a way of thinking. That's another definition of mindset, it's just the way you think about things, you know. And the way you think about things predetermines the way you respond to or interpret situations, right? So it's all kind of the same. Now, the next word is get. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? So in this context, the word 'get' means to receive or to obtain, right. So you don't obtain in life what you want. You don't receive in life what you want. You obtain or receive who you are. Now the next thing I wanted to bring to your attention is actually the same sentence. He said, "You don't get in life what you want. You get in life who you are" right? Or what you are, I think is what he said. So if you notice words that end with a T, that are also followed by words that start with a Y, we end up connecting those words by making a TCHU sound. So instead of saying "You don't get in life what you want" you say "You don't get in life what you want". 'What' ends with a T, 'you' starts with a Y and we connect those words and say what you want. Now, this isn't something you have to do. It's just something that I wanted to bring to your attention because many times when we speak fast, we connect all kinds of words and this is a pattern that you'll notice all the time when we speak is if it ends, if a word ends with the Y is followed by word... Excuse me, if the word ends with a T and is followed by a word that starts with the Y, almost every time we connect those words and make a TCHU sound right there in the middle. All right? But let's move on. The next word I wanted to explain was 'earn'. In lesson number two he said, "You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends". So the word 'earn' in this case E A R N, earn. It's a formal word for make or receive money. So if you earn money, you are making money or receiving money, it's all the same.

[00:04:52] Earn, I think is just a formal word for that. You see what I'm saying? A much more common word at least here in the U.S is make money. Like, I make $80,000 a year. I make $20 an hour. I make or I made $500 last week. You see, we use the verb 'make'. But you can use receive or earn, they're just more formal options. All right, cool. Now, the next word is in the same sentence 'within' W I T H I N, within. You earn within 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. So in this context, the word 'within' means not exceeding the fixed limits of, or not beyond, or no more than. So you are going to earn or make or receive no more than 2 to $3,000 of your closest friends. That's the idea. Ok? Now, the next phrase or the joke that he told "I used to be so broke, I passed the bank and tripped the alarm". So the word broke, it's just like, I guess you could say it's slang for having absolutely no money. So somebody says, like "Yo man, I'm broke" it means I have no money. Zero dollars. Or at least that's what they want you to think, right? Now, trip the alarm, to trip the alarm means to set off the alarm or unintentionally activate the alarm. That's what it means.

[00:06:08] So I used to be so broke just by walking or passing by the bank, I tripped the alarm or set off the alarm. Ok? Now, the last thing I wanted to explain is when he said "once you open your mouth" and that's just another way of saying once you start talking, because obviously when you talk you open your mouth. Now, you probably already knew that. But just in case, if you didn't, now you know. Alright y'all, let's get into the actual lessons from this clip, starting with number one. Change your mindset. You don't get in life what you want, you get in life who you are or what you are. Now you probably heard this one said in one of a few different ways. Right? Whatever you put out, you get back. Your thoughts produce your reality. Whether you think you can or can't, you're right. Think positive thoughts, the way you see the world is a reflection of your beliefs. If you go looking for something, you're going to find it. Right? All of these phrases point to the idea that your mind is an incredibly powerful tool, and it's literally creating what you've come to know as your life experience. Your thoughts determine the actions you take and your actions determine the life you live. Now, unfortunately for most people, the lives they live only reinforce the thoughts that they have habitually, which further reinforces the actions they take habitually, which only continues to create the same life experience.

[00:07:31] And this is what we call a negative feedback loop. One negative thing influences the next in this endless cycle, you know? And what I believe Les is saying is that if you want to escape that negative feedback loop, you have to change what created the loop in the first place. You have to change the way you think if you want to change the way you behave and you've got to change the way you behave if you want to have a better or even just different life experience. So how about a practical example, so you can really understand? I used to be a very negative person because I was unhappy with myself and because I was unhappy with myself. I was unhappy with the world and everyone in it, everything in it. I just was not a fulfilled, happy, positive person. You know what I'm saying? And because of that, I saw and thought about everything in life in a negative way. You see what I'm saying? I would, like, just naturally look for the worst in people. I could find a problem in any situation. I could find the negative in any situation. I was quick to criticize. I was very, like skeptical and all these things. It was just nothing positive about the way I thought, the way I talked, the way I behaved. It was all negative. So what that did was create a negative life experience, like if I'm always just thinking on a negative frequency, if I'm always looking for the negative in a situation or always looking for the negative in the person I'm talking to or the people around me.

[00:08:57] That's what I'm going to find. It's just more negativity. You see what I'm saying? If I'm always looking for negativity. If I'm always putting out negativity into the world? That's exactly what's going to come back to me. And then when that comes back to me, it obviously doesn't feel good to, like, have a negative life experience. So all that negativity coming back just makes me feel even more negative and unhappy. And then I put more of that out into the universe, which creates that negative feedback loop I was talking about. So it's like, just the mindset alone, just the way I chose to look at the world that created the world that I saw. Right, you're going to see what you're looking for. So it was only, I think it was maybe like 2000... What year was this? I don't know, like 2017, 2018 something like that. A few years ago that I came across Dr. Jordan B Peterson and his teachings and his lessons and things like that, the videos he was putting on YouTube and eventually his books and everything. I think that was really like the catalyst for me in switching my mindset from negative to positive, really coming to understand that the only difference between a fucking miserable human being and one that's happy is choices.

[00:10:14] You know what I'm saying? Like, and it's much deeper than that, obviously, like you have to get to know yourself and you have to learn to understand yourself and things like that to understand, like, why you even think the way you do today. What influenced your way of thinking and being, you know? Basically, why you are the person that you are. You have to kind of start to understand those things and analyze those things if you want to make positive changes. Not just now, but ones that last and have a lasting impact on your future. Hopefully, I'm making sense here. I didn't write this down. I'm kind of just speaking off the cuff. But that's what it is man, it's all about your mindset. If you look for the positivity, you're going to find it. If you look for the negativity, you're going to find it. If you choose to focus on someone's positive attributes, you'll see them in a positive light, and then hopefully you can build something with that person, or at least just keep it friendly and cordial. You know what I mean? But if you only see the negative, if you only criticize, if you're always judging, if you're always skeptical about everything. Never have anything positive to say or contribute to your own life or somebody else's, you know, just going to be a miserable human being.

[00:11:22] And I know for a fact, you know somebody like that. You know somebody who's just a fucking miserable person. And for that reason, they have to make everybody around them fucking miserable. Just like you probably come into contact with somebody who was just so happy, so fulfilled, so at peace that that also had an effect on you. Like, you feel good when they're in your presence, they make you smile, they engage with you. You know what I'm saying? They don't feel the need to gossip or start problems or criticize other people or talk shit. Nothing like that. And if that type of person makes you feel uncomfortable and irritated, unhappy, it's probably because you're a miserable motherfucker. You know, I'm not trying to call you out. I'm just saying. It's something to think about. It's really something to think about. Your mindset is one of the most important things to develop, regardless of your age. It doesn't matter if you're 16 or 76, bro. So, anyway, let me summarize by saying you're going to get what you're looking for. Whatever you go looking for, you're going to find it, bro. So you can choose to look for positivity opportunities, you know, peace, friendship, happiness, money, prosperity. You can choose to focus on and look for those things as opposed to negativity, skepticism, criticism, gossip, fucking toxicity, all that other shit you can choose to focus on one or the other.

[00:12:46] Whichever one you focus on is what you're going to start to create and manifest in life. Which then in turn, influences how you think and feel, which in turn influences what you experience, it just never ends. All right? I'm gonna leave it at that. I'm sure I've got my point across. So let's move on to lesson number two, which is only quality people or OQP. I like that. And this one is more important than you might think. A lot of people are hanging around friends or staying in relationships that don't serve them or their life's purpose in any way. I'm not saying that you should only be friends with people that can do things for you. But I am saying that the people you keep in your social circle will have an influence on you, whether you believe it or not. If you hang around with five bum ass niggas every day, eventually you're going to be bum ass nigga number six. It's just the way it is. If you hang around soccer players, eventually you're going to play soccer. If you hang around drug dealers, eventually you're going to do or sell drugs. If you hang around millionaires, eventually you're going to learn about their mindset, their daily habits and the things that they had to do in order to become rich.

[00:13:52] It's just the way it is. The type of conversations you have with people tends to change depending on the type of group it is, right? Or whatever you're talking about is what you're thinking about. Whatever you're thinking about is what you're focused on, and whatever you're focused on is what you begin to manifest in life. So if you're always talking about and thinking about nonsense that doesn't serve your life's purpose in any way or improve or enrich your life in any way. What type of life experience would you expect to have? One full of nonsense. Instead of one full of achievement. By hanging out with and listening to people that have done the things you want to do, you'll learn how to do those things too. By hanging out with and listening to millionaires talk about their money, investments and businesses, you'll come to understand how to become a millionaire. You'll notice that the behavior and daily habits of millionaires are quite different from those of most of the people around you. You'll understand that it's mainly a question of, number one, mindset. Number two, your network. And number three, something that we call soft skills, right? Which leads us to Les's third and final piece of advice. Develop your communication skills. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are. That's a code line, bro. Once you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.

[00:15:15] He said it a lot better than I did. He got the voice for it, too. He should have his own radio show. But anyway. As times goes by, excuse me, as time goes by, I've gotten a lot less interested in teaching language and a lot more interested in teaching communication skills. In my opinion, communication is at the base of everything we do in life, and language is just one of the tools that we use to communicate. Now, of course, I still find language fascinating and I found a way of teaching it that I enjoy. But I've come to understand that it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Your choice of words, the intonation of your voice, the expression on your face, how fast you talk, how loud or quiet you are. There are a bunch of things that influence how your message is sent and received. Now, all of these things fall under the umbrella of communication, not language. And they all tell people something about you when you speak. And whether we like it or not, we're leaving impressions on people and they're making judgments about us simply because of the way we express ourselves. So I really believe that improving your communication skills is one of the most important things you can do to be successful in life, no matter what it is you want to do. I don't recommend being fake or manipulative with your words in any way, but I do recommend that you learn more about how to use your words to move people.

[00:16:34] And when I say move people, I mean, influence people. Right? Learning how to express yourself in a clear and engaging way so that people better understand you and feel more connected to you. Learning about the art of storytelling and understanding the power of being able to deliver a message through an entertaining story. Studying the art of communication and learning how to have more of the positive interactions that you want to have instead of the awkward and unpleasant ones that most of us have when we don't know how to talk to somebody. I could talk for hours about communication itself, because it's just so fascinating, and I really think it's the key to everything that we want in life. You want money, you've got to communicate. You want a girlfriend or boyfriend, you've got to communicate. You want to get a job, you have to communicate. You want to travel, you've got to communicate. You want peace, you've got to communicate. You want food, water, shelter, you've got to communicate. The list just goes on and on and on. So do not underestimate the importance of communication. And I know you're focused on improving your English and speaking fluently right now. But what good is being fluent in a language if you don't know how to use the language effectively? If you don't remember anything else from this episode, remember this.

[00:17:51] There are a lot of things that can contribute to your success. But mastering the art of communication is at the very top of the list. Without communication, we have nothing. Absolutely nothing. So in my mind, it only makes sense to invest some time into learning how to communicate effectively so we can properly share our true selves with the world around us and also get what we truly want out of life. Whatever that may be. So, my friend, I really hope this episode gave you something interesting to think about, and I hope that you and I can continue to learn and grow together in this coming year. Now let me know if you guys enjoy episodes like this one, and I'll definitely record some more soon. I've got a lot of good stuff coming for you in 2022. More podcast episodes. Also, YouTube videos. So if you're not already subscribed to the YouTube channel, I suggest you check it out for more lessons about English and American culture. So you can check that out at youtube.com/lifeinenglish. Also, check me out on Instagram and Tik Tok at @englishwithkaizen for some short videos and quick English tips. All right? But that's it for now, my friend. I hope you enjoy the episode. This is life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I will talk to you soon. Peace.

[END OF EPISODE]

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