“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon — if I can. I seek opportunity — not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done.”

Dean Alfange professor

Live Life
Pass It On®
Pass It On®

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Your Comments
John from South Mississippi NOVEMBER 10, 2021
I just heard this on a Les Brown youtube. Amazing quote. Came here to print out for my 14 yr old daughter who just finished As a man thinketh.

Denaya from Atlanta OCTOBER 27, 2021
Just heard this recited in a speach by Les Brown and had to rewind the audio so I could look up the text. Very Inspiring, I will have my 12 year old son learn this and commit to his memory

tommy from sf AUGUST 8, 2021
very true i think. live for life with passion!

Mark Boland from Baton Rouge  APRIL 26, 2021
I found a copy of this folded in my fathers wallet when he died. In hand writing it was followed by “with God’s help”

Matthew Anzagra from Ghana - WA MARCH 22, 2021
I first heard this from Less Brown and I was so inspired. It challenged me and imbues fresh fire and zest in me to take responsibility for my personal growth and development. We need more of this in this our generation. Thank you so much for sharing

Tim from Lansing il FEBRUARY 24, 2020
Love it

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
Awesome read. I read every day.

Keisha  JULY 4, 2019
Gives me goose bumps every time I listen to this quote in a speech by les brown or reading it alone. Very powerful words and affirmations.

Jim from North Carolina JUNE 13, 2019
When young, 10-11, I made a white poster board of this quote and hung it in my bedroom. We traveled a lot (Dad was Air Force Colonel) and the poster went everywhere I did, hung in every bedroom. I still have it along with three granddaughters.

BigBen from Lusaka Zambia  JUNE 11, 2019
this is amazing

Anonymous MARCH 27, 2019
Thank you for sharing, love this the quote. I get goose bumps every time I played this part of his speech. Mind changing and life changing.

Gina Smith from TX OCTOBER 5, 2018
This has been my mantra for many years. Thank you for sharing

Jason from United Kingdom SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
Thank you thank you. Yes Les has quoted this but recites it differently. He still manages however to capture the essence of the original. This is on it way to printed and very large, framed and hung in my office

Anonymous JULY 3, 2018
Thank you. Love this

Amos from Nrb APRIL 27, 2018
very inspiring quote

K. Turner from NC FEBRUARY 12, 2018
I completely agree with the anonymous person dated 1.30.18. This quote is powerful and life changing.

Anonymous JANUARY 30, 2018
I heard a recording of Les Brown say this and I had to look it up. Thank you for having it. It saves my life every time I hear or read it. I will now commit to memorizing it.

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