Who is Les Brown?

As a renowned professional speaker, author and television personality, Les Brown has risen to national prominence by delivering a high energy message which tells people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness. It is a message Les Brown has learned from his own life and one he is helping others apply to their lives.

Les Brown

Les Brown

Born a twin in low-income Liberty City in Miami, Florida, Les and his twin brother, Wes, were adopted when they were six weeks old by Mrs. Mamie Brown. Mrs. Brown was a single woman who had very little education or financial means, but a very big heart.

As a child Les’ inattention to school work, his restless energy, and the failure of his teachers to recognize his true potential resulted in him being mislabeled as a slow learner. The label and the stigma stayed with him, damaging self-esteem to such an extent that it took several years to overcome.

Les has had no formal education beyond high school, but with persistence and determination he has initiated and continued a process of unending self-education which has distinguished him as an authority on harnessing human potential. Les Brown’s passion to learn and his hunger to realize greatness in himself and others helped him to achieve greatness. He rose from a hip-talkin morning DJ to broadcast manager; from community activist to community leader; from political commentator to three-term legislator; and from a banquet and nightclub emcee to premier keynote speaker.

Today, as one of the world’s most sought-after motivational speakers, Les Brown presents to Fortune 500 companies and organizations all over the world. His “heart-felt” style and tremendous passion for speaking leaves his audiences with a larger vision for their lives and the motivation to take the next step.

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Who is Mahatma Gandhi : Success and failure of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi

Born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, India, Mohandas Gandhi studied law and came to aggravate for Indian rights both at home and in South Africa. He became a leader of India’s independence movement, organizing boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience. He was given the holy name Mahatmas and oversaw a diverse ashram. He was killed by a fanatic in 1948.

QUOTES

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Profile

Indian nationalist leader. Born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar, West India. He studied law in London, but in 1893 went to South Africa, where he spent 20 years opposing discriminatory legislation against Indians. As a pioneer of Satyagraha, or resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Satyagraha remains one of the most potent philosophies in freedom struggles throughout the world today.

In 1914, Gandhi returned to India, where he supported the Home Rule movement, and became leader of the Indian National Congress, advocating a policy of non-violent non-co-operation to achieve independence. His goal was to help poor farmers and laborers protest oppressive taxation and discrimination. He struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women and put an end to caste discrimination, with the ultimate objective being self-rule for India.

Following his civil disobedience campaign (1919-22), he was jailed for conspiracy (1922-4). In 1930, he led a landmark 320 km/200 mi march to the sea to collect salt in symbolic defiance of the government monopoly. On his release from prison (1931), he attended the London Round Table Conference on Indian constitutional reform. In 1946, he negotiated with the Cabinet Mission which recommended the new constitutional structure. After independence (1947), he tried to stop the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Bengal, a policy which led to his assassination in Delhi by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic.

Even after his death, Gandhi’s commitment to non-violence and his belief in simple living–making his own clothes, eating a vegetarian diet, and using fasts for self-purification as well as a means of protest–have been a beacon of hope for oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.

Who is Martin Luther King Jr : Success and failure of Martin Luther King Jr

martin luther king

martin luther king

Martin Luther King, Jr. remains arguably the most recognizable African American figure in world history. First thrust into the international spotlight courtesy of his leadership of a boycott of the public bus system in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was pastor of a local church, King became the lightning rod for the civil rights movement that emerged in the wake of the successful boycott. During the 1960s he gave innumerable speeches characterized by oratorical genius, led a succession of mass marches in the heart of segregated America and helped to reconstruct American race relations before his assassination in 1968. Ever since Montgomery he has attracted the attention of biographers and historians keen to understand what made him such a magnetic and inspirational leader and what made the story of the civil rights movement so compelling. John A. Kirk’s succinct biography of King confirms that these two stories remain thoroughly entwined, and suggests that a traditional biographical approach is inadequate if we are to understand King’s importance to black America and his significance in American history.

Studies of King and the civil rights movement have passed through three distinct phases. The initial surge of civil rights scholarship depicted King as the leader of the movement, suggesting that the movement took its cue from King’s leadership of mass protest throughout the South. These works often directly relate the legislative successes of the mid-1960s – the 1964 Civil Rights and the 1965 Voting Rights Acts – to campaigns in Birmingham, Alabama during 1963, St. Augustine, Florida in 1964 and Selma, Alabama in 1965, all of which were coordinated by King’s organisation, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The early studies note that the movement stuttered after these events, not least because of King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and his failure to define a new direction for the movement now that its initial aims – desegregation of public facilities and voting rights for African Americans – had been achieved. In doing so, the early civil rights studies established a ‘Montgomery to Memphis’ teleology, from King’s first appearance on a national stage during the Montgomery Bus Boycott to his final curtain at the Lorraine Motel, suggesting that the civil rights movement effectively ended at this point.

A second wave of scholarship took issue with the King-centred periodontics of the movement, deepening and broadening our understanding of the roots of the civil rights movement. State studies of Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, alongside studies of cities such as St. Augustine, Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery itself revealed the effects of the complex weave of long-term organizing and intergenerational links in individual black communities, and the impact of municipal politics on the development of black protest. These rich studies suggested that local leaders in the South were perhaps as important to the dismantling of segregation as King. Local activists spent years slowly and quietly building up a grassroots movement that King almost inevitably took advantage of in his quest to redeem the soul of America. The local studies were complemented by a raft of biographical and autobiographical works devoted to other figures in the movement, which confirmed that King’s leadership relied on a vast network of local leaders, and in some cases undercut King’s claims to greatness. We are now in a third period, where studies are focused more on interactivity, between national and local, politics and culture and – importantly for Kirk’s study – leaders and the led. This third phase has also seen a subtle transformation in the biographical approaches to King. Recent works, most notably Michael Eric Dyson’s pugnacious interpretive biography and Peter J. Ling’s more traditional yet highly nuanced study, have offered us a King steeped in the traditions of the African American church, a man whose own temporal fallibilities did not detract from his greatness as a human being, a deep thinker heavily burdened by his role within the movement and by his understanding of history, and an instinctive social democrat who became so radicalised by his experience of the 1960s that he was moving towards a thorough critique of America’s moral, social and political rectitude.

Kirk’s biography arrives at an opportune moment for a concise reconsideration of King’s importance. Its inclusion in Longman’s Profiles in Power series, however, strikes a curious note. As King himself noted, his opposition to Vietnam might have made him a suitable candidate for a ‘Profile in Courage’ but he did not consider himself powerful in the traditional sense. In fact, much of his life was devoted to undercutting traditional American notions of power, to challenging the tyranny of white powermongers, and in his later years, to moderating the Black Power message of radicals such as Stokely Carmichael. Kirk addresses this paradox in his opening paragraphs, noting that King’s leadership was largely interactive and heavily reliant upon the work of friends, colleagues and a vast network of African American and white activists – in a sense more reflective of Hegelian dialectic than of traditional conceptions of leadership. Thus King’s power was more indicative of the cohesion of the black community than of his own charisma. This placing of King within the wider tapestry of local movements, national organisations and scores of individuals results in the book being more than a simple biography; it is also a potted history of the civil rights movement during King’s life.

Kirk offers a subtle depiction of the interaction between various movement factions, and especially between the complex and often conflicting goals of the national and local movements. He is also sensitive to the resentments that King’s position as the nominal leader of the civil rights movement provoked with the local leaders on whose work he relied. He points out that many of the strategic decisions that led to King’s greatest successes were made by others: the decision to campaign in Birmingham was taken at the behest of local leader Fred Shuttlesworth; the decision to start marches during lunch hours so as to maximise involvement was by committee; King’s associate, James Bevel, made the potentially fateful yet ultimately triumphant decision to enlist schoolchildren to march in the city. Thus we understand that King relied upon a network of co-workers and that one of his major sources of power was his ability to build on the decisions of others – and in his sensitivity to their egos. In particular, Kirk is keen to point out that the SCLC’s major campaigns were rarely successful in achieving concrete achievements for the local black community. While they often succeeded in revealing the brutality of segregation and the feral nature of white supremacy, they rarely transformed the local social structure. That King brought the media with him certainly aided local efforts to challenge white supremacy, yet his departure presaged the departure of the media, leaving local leaders to deal with the backlash from resentful white communities and exhausted black communities.

Kirk’s King, then, is at heart a leader-by-committee who spends much of his time deliberating on the strategy of his campaigns with his team of advisers and fellow preachers. Yet one major aspect of King’s leadership is missing: his oratory. Kirk frequently offers the voices of King’s friends, enemies and colleagues but not enough of King’s itself. Kirk acknowledges the problems inherent in documenting the words of a speaker so noted for his oratorical skill but his interpretation of King would have enriched by deeper engagement with these words. Certainly, a study addressed to the exploration of the sources of King’s power must examine this aspect of King’s public persona. This is not to state that Kirk ignores the significance of King’s speeches but that the focus of his inquiry into King’s oratory is the response of King’s audiences. There is, for example, a long discussion of the acclamation for King’s speech at the 1963 March on Washington but no systematic investigation into what made this speech (or, indeed, many of King’s other speeches) so momentous. This was the point at which King’s powers were at their peak and when, according to many observers, he held thousands, perhaps millions, of white and black Americans in the palm of his hand, but Kirk offers a short exegesis of this moment, quoting only the most famous phrases: ‘I have a dream’ and ‘let freedom ring.’ In overlooking how the speech explores the American relationship with democracy, race, honesty and good government, how it weaves the Exodus narrative with the African American quest for equal citizenship, and how the repetition in King’s words transported the crowd into a future without racial discrimination, Kirk underestimates the power of one of the great American speeches of the twentieth century. Nor is there a sustained examination of key tropes in King’s rhetoric such as his use of metaphor and frequent citing of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, both of which were particularly important to his popularity and success as a public speaker. Kirk also skirts around King’s sermons, which were a hugely significant weapon in his armoury. Without a systematic inquiry into the relationship between King, the pulpit and Christianity, we read of King without one of the major sources of his power. In reducing the impact of Christianity to its political and organisational effects, Kirk loses a sense of King as a spiritual leader, instead offering a secular political leader. Thus we lose a sense of what made King special, why people responded to him in such numbers and with such passion. Shorn of his voice, this King is a rather uncharismatic presence, and certainly one at odds with the mellifluous preacher and spiritual leader of Dyson’s biography. In fact, Kirk suggests that King’s famously nettlesome critic, Ella Baker, was correct to suggest that the ‘prophetic leader [sometimes] turns out to have heavy feet of clay’.This is perhaps the heart of the book’s strengths and weaknesses. Kirk’s perspective offers an excellent understanding of King’s leadership and organisational role within the civil rights movement and the SCLC and his sensitive mediation between the SCLC and various power brokers. Yet readers receive little evaluation of why King was such a compelling individual; they get little sense of why so many reacted so emotionally, politically and physically to King, and might conclude that King’s leadership was more prosaic than prophetic. A greater appreciation of King the speaker would have given readers a greater sense of his power.

One further problem is due in part to the tight word limits on the ‘Profiles in Power’ series. Given the need to detail the genesis and day-to-day micromanagement of the SCLC’s major campaigns, there is little room for King’s intellectual history. Since the discovery of King’s plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation, scholars have become increasingly interested in King’s intellectual development and in his relationship with black and white cultural and intellectual traditions. While scholars agree that King offered very little original philosophical thought, there has been considerable investigation into the roots of King’s philosophy. His published writings were at pains to demonstrate the influence that King took from his academic training. Consequently, some scholars have stressed the importance of white liberal intellectuals including Reinhold Niebuhr on King’s thought. Others challenge this interpretation, pointing to the fact that King’s books were written with a white liberal audience in mind, one which would respond more favourably to an African American who could demonstrate his erudition. These scholars emphasise the African American influences on King, who had a long apprenticeship in the ways of the black church: his father, after all, was a preacher of some renown, and he had grown up in a segregated community in the South. These influences offer great insight into the development of King’s thought in the late 1960s and into the righteousness of the mature King. Similarly, King’s first meeting with the legendary civil rights activist and pacifist Bayard Rustin is dismissed too readily. Rustin was an indefatigable foe of oppression, and an important figure in transplanting the nonviolent philosophy that had been so successful for Gandhi to the United States. He and King first met during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, soon after King had experienced a long night of the soul when he heard God’s voice tell him to continue his (and His) work. Kirk acknowledges the importance of this moment, but offers little comment on the transformative effect that the meeting had on the young leader. Rustin convinced King to do away with his bodyguards and to embrace a lifestyle that rejected violence as a solution to any problem. This meeting arguably represents the moment at which King began to understand the power and the true meaning of nonviolence; when he recognised that nonviolence was more than a mere tactic calculated to prove the humanity of the practitioner but was a way of life designed for higher purposes. King’s commitment to nonviolence only grew after this point, reaching its apogee in his 1967 attack on US involvement in Vietnam. An inquiry into the power of King’s message for the world must emphasise the importance of this moment; without a sustained discussion of King’s intellectual development we get little sense of what made King tick.

Yet the final chapter offers a deeper and richer appreciation of King’s internal life. Where the King of the first third of the book is a slightly bewildered figure, buffeted by the winds of change that were swirling around him, and the King of the second at the eye of the storm, the King of the third act rages against the tempest, attempting to summon the power with which to neutralise the maelstrom. During the last three years of his life, King became an uncompromising critic of the Johnson administration, particularly over the impact of the Vietnam War on the administration’s domestic policy. He spent less time organising and conducting demonstrations, and more pondering the question of an all-out attack on discrimination. His rhetoric broadened to encompass a critique of western militarism and capitalism as well as racism. This allows Kirk greater room to discuss King’s words and deeds as well as his deliberations. While Kirk is sceptical of Peter Ling’s assertion that during these years King was a heroic figure whose failings on an organisational and practical level were compensated for by the moral force of his convictions, he tacitly accepts that the King of these years was a more complex, and perhaps more interesting, figure than the man who led the most successful American social movement of the twentieth century between 1956 and 1965. This section is the first in which Kirk truly grapples with the dilemmas that King faced as a public figure in the midst of the 1960s and is the most successful and wide-ranging of the book.

Kirk’s Martin Luther King Jr – like its subject – is flawed, but it has many strengths. While the demands of British academic life prevented Kirk exercising his considerable talents as an archival researcher, he demonstrates a mastery of the secondary sources. He is a little overreliant on King’s autobiography, which was patched together from numerous sources in 1998 by Clayborne Carson, the senior editor of the Martin Luther King Papers, but he adeptly forges conclusions from occasionally contradictory evidence. Kirk offers considerable insight into King’s successes and failures as a civil rights leader. While greater use of the available archival sources would have given a more authoritative hue to his portrait, it still serves as a very fine introduction to the major themes of the civil rights movement and will certainly find its way onto a number of undergraduate course bibliographies. Kirk’s main intention was ‘to demonstrate how King translated [his] ideas, influences and abilities into action, by formulating a strategy to pursue social, political and economic change for blacks’ (p. 184). In this, he succeeds. General readers wishing to understand King’s role within the movement will certainly achieve a sound understanding of King as a social and political activist and will definitely be led away from lionising the man. Kirk’s work will certainly compel readers to investigate King and his times in greater depth. Indeed, Kirk demonstrates that to understand the civil rights movement is to understand King rather than vice versa; that King’s leadership was as much dependent upon his followers as they were on him.

Who is Bill Gates : Bill Gates Biography

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in a family having rich business, political and community service background. His great-grandfather was a state legislator and a mayor, his grandfather was vice president of national bank and his father was a lawyer.

Personal Attributes

Bill Gates Early Age

Young Bill Gates

Bill strongly believes in hard work. He believes that if you are intelligent and know how to apply your intelligence, you can achieve anything. From childhood Bill was ambitious, intelligent and competitive. These qualities helped him to attain top position in the profession he chose. In school, he had an excellent record in mathematics and science. He used to be really bored in school and his parents knew it, so they always tried to feed him with more information to keep him busy. Bill’s parents came to know about their son’s intelligence and decided to enroll him in a private school, known for its intense academic environment. It was a very important decision in Bill’s life, and it was there that he was introduced to a computer. Bill Gates and his friends were very much interested in the world of programming and formed “Programmers Group” in late 1968. Being in this group, they found a new way to apply their skills in university of Washington. In the next year, they got their first opportunity in Information Sciences Inc. in which they were selected as programmers. ISI (Information Sciences Inc.) agreed to give them royalties whenever it made money from any of the group’s program. As a result of the business deal signed with Information Sciences Inc., the group also became a legal business.

Bill and his close friend Allen started new company of their own, Traf-O-Data. They developed a small computer to measure traffic flow. From this project they earned around $20,000. The era of Traf-O-Data came to an end when Bill left the college. In 1973, he left home for Harvard University. He didn’t know what to do, so he enrolled his name for pre-law. He took the standard freshman courses with the exception of signing up for one of Harvard’s toughest mathematics courses. He did well there, but he couldn’t find it interesting. He spent many long nights in front of the school’s computer and the next day asleep in class. After leaving school, he almost lost himself from the world of computers. Bill and his friend Paul Allen remained in close contact even though they were away from school. They would often discuss new ideas for future projects and the possibility of starting a business one day. At the end of Bill’s first year, Allen came close to him so that they could follow some of their ideas. That summer they got job in Honeywell. Allen kept on pushing Bill for opening a new software company.

The Successful Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Within a year, Bill dropped out from Harvard. Then he formed Microsoft. Bill is a visionary person and works very hard to achieve his vision. His belief in high intelligence and hard work has put him where he is today. He does not believe in mere luck or God’s grace, but just hard work and competitiveness. Microsoft is good competition for other software companies and he will continue to stomp out the competition until he dies. He likes to play the game of risk and world domination. His beliefs are so powerful, which have helped him increase his wealth and his monopoly in the industry.

Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill married Melinda French in 1994 and they have three children. It was with Melinda’s constant support that Bill accomplished his long-cherished dream of starting a foundation aimed at helping the poor and the needy. Together they started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it has been endowed with more than $35 billion. Some years ago, he visited Chicago’s Einstein Elementary School and announced grants benefiting Chicago’s schools and museums and donated a total of $110,000, a bunch of computers, and provided Internet connectivity to number of schools. Secondly, Bill Gates donated 38 million dollars for the building of a computer institute at Stanford University. Gates plans to give away 95% of all his earnings when he is old and gray.

The Success Story of Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey was born Orpah Gail on Jan. 19, 1954 in Kosciusko, MS, and named after the Biblical character, Orpah. When people could not pronounce her name correctly, it was eventually changed to Oprah. Her birth parents were unmarried and her conception was the result of a one-night fling between teenaged mother Vernita Lee, a housemaid, and Vernon Winfrey, who was in the armed forces at the time. Winfrey spent her early years raised by her paternal grandparents on a Mississippi farm with no indoor plumbing, but while the living was hard, Winfrey credited her strict but fair grandmother Hattie Mae for giving her a positive image of herself and ultimately being the strongest influence in her life. Winfrey first began to dream big when she learned to read at age three, discovering a whole world outside the farm. She was reciting sermons in church by age three and a half, and throughout her youth, remained active as an orator at local churches wherever she lived. At age six, Winfrey’s mother called for her daughter to join her in a poor inner city neighborhood in Milwaukee, WI, where from age nine onwards, Winfrey endured molestation and rape from a cousin, an uncle and a family friend. The abuse would inform her life; not only in her personal relationships and behavior, but also in her later quest to channel her empathy to help the have-nots, the abused and the forgotten.

Her home life was extraordinarily difficult, but the avid reader excelled in school, though her mother was not encouraging and was, in fact, threatened by her daughter’s constant reading. Winfrey skipped several early grades and through the help of a teacher who recognized the budding orator’s potential, she landed a scholarship to a better suburban school in Glendale, WI at the age of 13. But her restless, rebellious side threatened to squelch her chances of success. The child of a single mother who desperately craved a “normal” family life ran away from home and became pregnant; her premature baby dying only weeks after birth. Unable to control or provide for her daughter, mother Lee sent Winfrey to live in Nashville with her father, who owned a barbershop and grocery store and was a respected member of the city council. The new environment proved life-changing for Winfrey, and under the strict guidance of Vernon and his wife, Winfrey was earning academic honors, competing in oratory competitions, speaking at local churches, and working part time reading the news on-air at local radio station WVOL. When she graduated from East Nashville High in 1971, she was named “Most Popular,” and won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University.
Winfrey further gained confidence for a promising future when she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at age 18. Meanwhile, she studied speech and performing arts at TSU and began working at WTVF-TV, where at age 19, Winfrey found herself Nashville’s first female black evening news anchor, in addition to being its youngest. Having beaten the considerable odds of growing up as a black, Southern female in abject poverty, the former teenage delinquent was unmistakably on the path to success. In 1976 she was offered a job in Baltimore, MD, as co-anchor of the evening news at WJZ-TV. Smart, charming and personable, Winfrey was a natural onscreen, and the network leveraged her particular talent by making her the host of their morning magazine show, “People are Talking.” After years spent gaining valuable experience in Baltimore, Winfrey made the jump to the Chicago market in 1984, where she was hired to host the half-hour morning show, “A.M. Chicago” on WLS-TV. Within a year, the show’s positive response led to its expansion to a one-hour format, and it was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Among the Chicago audience of the enormously popular program that eclipsed talk show veteran Phil Donahue in the ratings was music producer Quincy Jones, who was serving as the executive producer on an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning historical epic, “The Color Purple” (1985).
The untrained screen actress caught Jones’ attention and went on to fulfill a lifelong dream when she was cast in one of her favorite stories as Sofia, a gutsy, outspoken survivor of abuse in the turn-of-the-century South who struggles with lifelong humiliation at the hands of her white employers. The Steven Spielberg-directed success starring seasoned fellow film newcomer Whoopi Goldberg and screen veteran Danny Glover was a box office success, jettisoning the local Chicago television figure into the national spotlight with her Oscar-nominated performance. In September of 1986, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was syndicated nationally and quickly became the highest-rated talk show in television history. As in the local Chicago market, Winfrey offered an appealing alternative to daytime dominator Phil Donahue with her woman-to-woman empathy and flair for self-revelation. Unlike any television figure that had come before her, Winfrey examined social issues with intelligence and candor, engaging the heart. In 1987, Winfrey earned her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host, while her show was named Outstanding Talk Show. That same year, Winfrey created the Oprah Winfrey Foundation to support, empower and educate women, children and their families all over the world. Over the next decades, the Foundation donated millions of dollars to everything from academic scholarships, to university endowments, to Boys and Girls Clubs, to the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
In 1988, the rising media mogul took control of the show from WLS, established Harpo Productions, Inc., and built her own production facility, making her only the third woman in American history to own a studio, after Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball. In recognition of her accomplishments, the International Television and Radio Society named her Broadcaster of the Year. The same year, the host, who was open with audiences about her ongoing struggle to control her weight, went on a diet and worked with a personal trainer to lose 60 pounds. In keeping with the sensationalist tone of the era’s growing glut of competitive “tell-all” talk shows, Winfrey memorably brought a wheelbarrow filled with 60 pounds of animal fat onstage to illustrate her achievement. While Winfrey continued to dominate daytime ratings she also ventured into primetime, executive producing and starring in the highly acclaimed TV miniseries, “The Women of Brewster Place” (ABC, 1989), based on the novel by Gloria Naylor. A subsequent weekly TV series spin-off, “Brewster Place” (ABC, 1990), starring Winfrey was cancelled after only a handful of episodes. In 1990, during an interview with an abuse survivor on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Winfrey made the startling on-air revelation that she had been sexually abused as a child. Proving that her candid admissions were about more than just getting ratings, Winfrey became an outspoken advocate of children’s issues, initiating the National Child Protection Act and testifying before Congress. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993, and established a national database of convicted child abusers.

For Winfrey’s next television production, she starred in “There Are No Children Here” (ABC, 1993) as a Chicago housing project resident determined for her children to receive an education and a chance at a better life. The film rated well, but nothing could compete with a primetime special that year in which Winfrey was granted access to a live interview with Michael Jackson at home at his Neverland Ranch. The television landmark reached an audience of 100 million, and showcased Jackson, still in fine form, but only months before child molestation charges began tarnishing the image of the beloved performer. Two years later, Winfrey became the first woman to head the Forbes Top 40 Entertainers list, making her the only entertainer and the only African-American person on Forbes’ list of 400 richest Americans. But despite her runaway success, Winfrey decided to reconstruct the format and focus of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which had occasionally strayed into the trashier realms of her dubious competitors, like Geraldo Rivera and Jenny Jones. “I won’t have people yelling and screaming and trying to humiliate one another,” Winfrey confirmed. Her new commitment was to focus on the positive – lifting the spirit, stimulating the mind, and exhorting viewers to improve their lives and the world around them. Among those goals was to get America reading again – a surprising move from someone whose career was largely owed to the TV medium, until she explained how reading had changed her life. Winfrey championed literacy via “Oprah’s Book Club,” a once-a-month segment that was an unexpected success, guaranteeing any Winfrey-endorsed title increased sales of up to a million copies.

The Success Story of Napoleon Hill

What ever your mind can conceive and believe your mind can achieve

What ever your mind can conceive and believe your mind can achieve

The greatest achievers say that in a lifetime of setbacks and comebacks, the truest sense of accomplishment is not found in the realization of the goal, but rather in the will to continue when failure breeds doubt.

And so it was in 1927 when 44-year-old Napoleon Hill tried challenging himself to action. He struggled to shake off the “living death” that had enveloped him for more than a year and left him wondering whether to fall quietly into the abyss or rise again.

An assassination attempt in July 1926 had failed, but the fear it had instilled in him had been all encompassing, paralyzing him both physically and mentally. He had met disappointment and failure before and brushed them aside, racing furiously after the rainbow that he was certain would lead him to untold success. But this time, the man who had been in constant motion all his life found himself at a complete standstill.

Appalachian Childhood
Oliver Napoleon Hill was born in Wise County, Va., on Oct. 26, 1883. For young Napoleon, the wealthy industrialists he came to admire in later years were far removed from this primitive land where poverty, illiteracy and superstition reigned.

Nap, as he was called, was 10 when his mother passed away, leaving his father to care for him and his brother. James Hill was ill-equipped as a single parent and had difficulty in taming his son’s increasingly wild nature. Napoleon was enamored with the outlaw Jesse James, carried a six-shooter on his hip and went about the county terrorizing its citizens.

But James Hill soon remarried, and his new wife Martha quickly established herself as a force in the two-room log cabin. Napoleon, still pained from the loss of his mother, found a guiding light. Martha saw the boy’s potential and encouraged him. She told him he wasn’t a bad boy, and that he just needed to direct his energy toward accomplishing something worthwhile.

She suggested he use his overactive imagination to become a writer. When he welcomed the idea, the well-educated Martha spent the next year tutoring him. She promised to buy him a typewriter if he gave up his six-shooter. “If you become as good with a typewriter as you are with that gun,” she said, “you may become rich and famous and known throughout the world.” Napoleon agreed to the deal.

The Hand of Destiny
At 15, he landed a position as a freelance reporter for a group of rural newspapers, followed a few years later by a job with Bob Taylor’s Magazine, a popular periodical that offered advice on achieving power and wealth. His first major interview was with the then richest man in America—73-year-old Pittsburgh steel magnate Andrew Carnegie—and that interview changed his life.

Hill intently listened as Carnegie recounted his extraordinary accomplishments and proffered his theories on personal achievement. “It’s a shame that each new generation must fi nd the way to success by trial and error when the principles are really clear-cut,” Carnegie told him.

What the world needed, Carnegie suggested, was a philosophy of achievement, a compilation of success principles from the country’s greatest businessmen and leaders to show the commonality of their stories, and serve as inspiration and enlightenment to those wanting more in life.

He issued a challenge to Hill: Commit the next 20 years, without compensation, to documenting and recording such a philosophy of success, and he would introduce him to the wealthiest and most successful men of the time. Hill jumped at the opportunity.

And so, for the next two decades, between numerous business ventures and starting a family, Hill went about fulfi lling the pledge. He met with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, King Gillette and other contemporary giants.

Carnegie believed that “defi niteness of purpose” was the starting point for all success—that “the man who knows exactly what he wants… has no diffi culty in believing in his own ability to succeed.” The concept became the foundation for Hill’s later writing and professional focus.

A Fortuitous Meeting
In 1908, then living in Washington, D.C., Hill placed a personal ad in the paper seeking a young lady “for mutual friendship with the possibility of leading to matrimony.” A woman answered the ad and they arranged a meeting, but when he went to her house, it was this woman’s cousin who caught his eye. And he caught hers. Upon meeting Hill, Florence Elizabeth Hornor decided she wanted to marry him and, in June 1910, she did. Thirteen months later, the couple welcomed a son, James. Another son, Napoleon Blair, was born in 1912. A third son, David, was born in 1918.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

By all accounts, Hill loved his wife and enjoyed being a father. Yet, by late 1912, the growing belief that his fame and fortune still lay out there led Hill to move to Chicago, leaving his family behind. For the next 17 years, he spent little time with Florence or his sons.

In Chicago, he worked as an advertising writer, candy store owner and teacher of a correspondence course in salesmanship. When the United States entered World War I, he wrote to President Woodrow Wilson offering his services. Hill had interviewed him years earlier as part of his Carnegie research project when Wilson was president of Princeton University. Wilson took him up on the offer, putting Hill to work on a series of propaganda materials.

By the end of the war Hill was certain of his calling as a writer. He went to Chicago printer George Williams and pitched the idea for a magazine dedicated to a philosophy of success: Hill’s Golden Rulewould be a blend of biblical psalms, gospel teachings and the lessons he had learned from his research. The magazine, written and edited by Hill, was an instant hit, and he began to receive the fame he had long sought.

Deadly Ambitions
In 1920, he embarked on a nationwide lecture tour. However, rifts in his business relationships led Williams to seize control of the magazine. As would become the hallmark of his career, Hill picked up the pieces and moved to New York. By April 1921 he found financial backing for Napoleon Hill’s Magazine, which became a bigger success than the previous magazine and firmly established Hill as “America’s resident philosopher-laureate of success and ethics.”

Unfortunately, his colleagues became embroiled in a bad business venture, which led to repercussions for the magazine. Advertisers pulled out, and Hill fell behind in payments. A few months later, the magazine folded.

Once again, Hill dusted himself off and started over. He moved to Ohio and purchased and operated a business college offering courses in journalism, advertising and public speaking. Then he met Don Mellet, publisher of the Canton Daily News, who persuaded him to write a book on the principles of success he had been compiling over the years.

About this time, however, Mellet learned that local police were turning a blind eye to Prohibition gangsters distributing narcotics and bootleg liquor to area schoolchildren. Mellet exposed the goings-on in his paper; Hill went to the governor of Ohio and asked for an investigation.

In July 1926, Mellet was gunned down outside his home. Assassins were also lying in wait for Hill. By sheer luck, his car broke down and he never went home that night. After hearing of Mellet’s murder and receiving an anonymous warning to get out of town, Hill fled to West Virginia.

A Pivotal Juncture
Hill fell headlong into the depths of despair. Although he had come back from failure throughout his life, this time he struggled for more than a year to find his way. His thoughts wandered back to that promise made to Carnegie and the book he had started with Mellet’s encouragement.

Finally, Hill committed himself to finishing the work he had started. Re-energized, he set off for Philadelphia in search of a publisher for the book he had long hoped to write. After numerous rejections, Connecticut publisher Andrew Pelton agreed to print the book. Hill’s eight-volume Law of Success debuted on March 26, 1928, offering the collective wisdom of the greatest achievers of the previous 50 years. His work became a sensation.

By early 1929, Hill was earning $2,500 a month. Florence and the boys finally joined him in a Catskill Mountains mansion he had purchased along with 600 acres where he planned to build a success school.

Before the end of that year, however, the Great Depression brought Hill’s glory days to a crashing end; the fat royalty checks dried up, the home in Catskills was gone and so was the dream of a success school. Napoleon Hill was destitute.

Yet the evangelistic spirit still burned inside. He was passionate about spreading a “gospel of hope.” When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Hill to join the staff of his National Recovery Administration to help inspire public confidence, he accepted. But this meant leaving Florence and the boys again. This departure, however, closed the door on the marriage. In 1935, they were divorced.

In the next two years, Napoleon eked out a living in Washington as he fulfi lled his obligation to FDR’s administration. Among his contributions is said to be one of the president’s most famous lines: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

Think and Grow Rich
When his duties ended, Hill returned to the lecture circuit. In early 1937, while in Atlanta, he met 29-year-old Rosa Lee Beeland. They married a few months later and she labored with him on his next manuscript, a work he tentatively called The Thirteen Steps to Riches. After months of editing and rewriting, he showed the completed manuscript to his publisher, Andrew Pelton, who initially balked, saying it too closely resembled Law of Success.

“Every failure carries with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.”

At Rosa’s insistence, Pelton gave the manuscript a more thorough reading. He finally agreed to publish it, with one condition—that the title be changed toUse Your Noodle to Win More Boodle. How that title came to be changed again is not known, but apparently wisdom prevailed and the new book went to press as Think and Grow Rich!, which became Hill’s greatest work.

Think and Grow Rich! sold out its first print run in three weeks. By the time the Depression was over, more than 1 million copies were sold. Today, it is considered the greatest self-improvement book of all time, with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide.

The true impact of the book was in the immediate call to action it offered millions of Americans devastated by the economic and agricultural disasters of the early ’30s. Here was the American Dream—their American Dream—elegantly wrapped in ribbons of wisdom and circulated as a currency of hope.

“If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.” In that one short statement, Hill laid down his philosophy for personal achievement and set in motion a success movement that inspired millions for generations to come. The man who had spent the better part of his life chasing an elusive rainbow had finally found his pot of gold.

In 1940 Hill was reportedly worth more than $1 million. He and Rosa spent lavishly on homes, cars and the trappings of wealth. In a short time, though, a chasm developed between the couple and a divorce followed. A prenuptial agreement gave Rosa virtually all royalties for Think and Grow Rich!. After a lifetime of work, Hill was left with nothing.

Trying again to start over, Hill went to South Carolina at the request of college president and publisher William Plumer Jacobs, who asked him to create a self-improvement course. The work would be a printed 16-volume set called Mental Dynamite. But with the onset of World War II and the rationing of paper, production was halted.

Positive Mental Attitude
For most of his life, Hill had lived with the conviction that every failure carried with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. That belief developed after the death of his mother, when his stepmother entered his life; it was sustained throughout his business career by the opportunities that opened up after his failures. Now, on the heels of his latest disappointment, he met a woman who would help him in business matters and be a companion through the end of his days.

Hill developed a friendship with a highly educated woman who worked for Jacobs Press. Annie Lou Norman, 47, lived with her sister and nephew in the house where Hill was staying. The friendship blossomed, and in 1943 they married. The couple moved to California, and Hill took to the lecture circuit again.

One lecture took him back to Chicago, where the president of Combined Insurance Company of America was anxious to meet Hill. W. Clement Stone had been struggling through the Depression when he had picked up a copy of Think and Grow Rich! Stone was so inspired that he bought books for each of his salesmen. In a short time, his company and coffers grew exponentially, and Stone went on to amass a fortune.

After their serendipitous meeting in Chicago, Stone thanked Hill for his work and the pair developed a friendship. In 1952, at 69, Hill entered into a partnership with Stone. Together, they produced a host of books, courses, lectures and radio and television programs. In 1954 they published Success Unlimited, the predecessor to SUCCESS magazine, offering inspirational messages similar to those Hill had distributed through Hill’s Golden Rule and Napoleon Hill’s Magazine.

Stone and Hill also co-authored Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, which in 1960 became an instant best seller.

As his life neared its end, Hill’s greatest desire was in perpetuating his life’s work. Upon his death in 1970 at the age of 87, Annie Lou Hill appointed W. Clement Stone the executive director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Stone had lived by Hill’s principles and stood as a shining example of his success philosophy. Now he would be charged to lead the effort of ensuring that Hill’s writings would continue to be shared with future generations around the world.

A Challenge Fulfilled
Some six decades earlier, Carnegie had issued this challenge to Hill: “I want you to write very slowly and take down this formula,” Carnegie had said. “Here it comes: ‘Andrew Carnegie, I’m not only going to equal your achievements in life, but I’m going to challenge you at the post and pass you at the grandstand.’ ” Napoleon had thrown down his pencil and protested that it was not remotely possible. Carnegie nodded and locked eyes with the young man. “Of course I know you’re not going to be able to do that… unless or until you believe it. But if you believe it, you will.”

Napoleon Hill never accumulated Carnegie’s vast fortune. But if the effects of his messages of inspiration were tallied in gold, he did indeed pass him at the grandstand. His enormous wealth lay in the millions of people he helped find themselves, believe in themselves and live the lives they never thought possible.

Steve Jobs inspirational story

Search your Success here

Success is not a thing, it is feeling

When Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California , his unwed mother decided to put him for adoption because she wanted a girl. So in the middle of the night, his mother called a lawyer named Paul Jobs and said, “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?”

 

His mother felt very strongly that he should be adopted by college graduates and when she found out that both his future parents had never graduated from colleges, she refused to sign the adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when his future parents promised that they would send Jobs to college.

He went to college but decided to drop out because it was too expensive. Recalling his time there he said,

 

I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.

Jobs and Apple
At 20, he and a friend (Steve Wozniak) started a company in a garage on April 1, 1976. Later that year, the duo debuted the Apple I at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. A local store offered to buy 50 machines and to finance the production, the duo had to sell their most expensive possesions. Jobs sold his Volkswagen van while Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator.

Jobs named their company – Apple in memory of a happy summer he had spent as an orchard worker in Oregon.

By 1982 however, his company sales sagged in the face of competition from IBM’s new PC. Jobs and Wozniak unveiled their new creation, Lisa to increase the company’s bottom line, only to be another expensive failure.

Not wanting to dwell on these successive failures, they worked on a new machine called the Macintosh. Jobs was reported to commandeered the project, ruthlessly pushing its computer engineers and flying a pirate flag above the building where the team worked.

By 1986 the Mac, which Jobs promised to be ‘insanely great’ was a huge success. After 10 years, starting from 2 kids working in a garage, Apple computer had grown into a $2 billion dollar company with over 4000 employees.

At 30 Jobs, however, was fired from the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak. He left the company after losing a bitter battle over control with Apple’s CEO John Sculley (whom Jobs had recruited from Pepsi Cola).

After Apple 
Apparently both have different views of how the company should be handled and in one meeting Sculley had told security analysts in a meeting that Jobs would have no role in the operations of the company “now or in the future.” When Jobs heard of the message he said, “You’ve probably had somebody punch you in the stomach and it knocks the wind out you and you cannot breathe. The harder you try to breathe, the more you cannot breathe. And you know that the only thing you can do is just relax so you can start breathing again.”

Jobs sold over $20 million of his Apple stock, spent days bicycling along the beach, feeling sad and lost, toured Paris, and journeyed on to Italy.

Recalling this publicly heartbreaking episode Jobs said,

‘I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.’

During the next five years he started two companies – NeXTStep and Pixar.

NeXTStep which produces NeXT, $9,995 cube-shaped workstation which aimed to create a workstation for research and higher, didn’t do as well as Jobs had dreamed for. It did poorly and Jobs pulled the plug in 1993.

Pixar, however was a success story. The company started the first computer-animated film, the Toy Story and when Pixar’s stock went public, Jobs became an instant billionaire.

Jobs, back with a vengence
Meanwhile, his old company, Apple was under immense pressure from rival Microsoft and in 1996 posted billions of dollars in losses.

ipod introduced by apple computerIn December 1996 Jobs convinced Apple to buy NeXT and make its software the foundation of the next-generation Mac OS. The technology he developed at NeXT became the catalyst of Apple’s comeback. Initially appointed as Apple’s adviser, Steve Jobs was named Apple’s interim CEO in 1997.

In 2004 he was diagnosed with cancer on his pancreas. Jobs was told that the cancer was incurable and he would only live for another three to six months. Later, a biopsy showed that he actually had a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. He had the surgery and survives.

Under his leadership, Apple returned to profitability and introduced innovations such as the iPod.

Steve Jobs advice
steve job’s quoteSometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.