Maya Angelou’s Top 10 Rules For Success

– If your name is
mentioned and people say, “Oh, hell. Oh, damn.” (laughs) I think you’re doing something wrong. Courage is the most
important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue. There’s an African saying which is, “Be careful when a naked
person offers you a shirt.” I thought that I had
caused the man’s death because I had spoken his name. – She was an American poet
and civil rights activist. She’s best known for her for
series of seven autobiographies which focuses on her childhood
and early adult experiences. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women and her works were considered
as a defense of black culture. She’s Maya Angelou and here’s my take on her top 10 rules for success. Rule number one is my personal favorite and make sure to stick
around all the way to the end for some special bonus clips. Also, as she’s talking, if
there’s something she says that really resonates with you, please write it down in the comments and put quotes around it so that other people
can be inspired as well. (soaring sound) – I have a painting by Phoebe (classical music) of a group that she calls
Sister Sookie’s Funeral and they all the women
there about, nine women, and they all look like women in my grandmother’s prayer meeting group. So, whenever I’m obliged to do something, I take that painting and
I look at that painting. There’s an empty chair and I think, now what would Grandma do? What would she say? I can almost hear her voice saying, “Now sister, you know what’s right. Just do right. You don’t really have to ask anybody. The truth is, right may not be expedient, it may not profitable, but it will satisfy your soul.” (gentle guitar music) It brings you the kind of protection that bodyguards can’t give you. Try to be all you can be to be the best human being you can be. Try to be that in your
church, in your temple. Try to be that in your classroom. Do it because it is right to do. You see, people will know you and they will add their
prayers to your life. They’ll wish you well. I think, if your name is
mentioned and people say, “Oh, hell. Oh, damn.” (laughs) I think you’re doing something wrong. But if you’re name is
mentioned and people say, “Oh, she’s so sweet.” “He’s so nice.” “Oh, God bless her.” There you are. So try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and
inertia and timidity. Take up the battle, take it up. It’s yours. This is your
life. This your world. I’ll be leaving it long before you under the ordinary set of circumstances. You make your own choices. You can decide life isn’t worth living and that would be the
worst thing you can do. How do you know so far? Try it. See. So, pick it up. Pick the battle
and make it a better world. Just where you are. Yes. And it can be better
and it must be better, but it is up to us. I mentioned courage and I would like to say
something else about that. Finding courage in the leaders and in you who will become leaders. Courage is the most
important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any
other virtue consistently. You see? You can’t be
consistently kind or fair or humane or generous, not without courage because
if you don’t have it, sooner or later, you’ll stop and say, “Eh, the threat is too much. The difficulty is too high. The challenge is too great.” You know, I believe that
self love is very important. If you read my work, you know I’m always talking
about loving oneself. I never trust anybody who
tells me he or she loves me if the person doesn’t
love herself or himself. There’s an African saying which is, “Be careful when a naked
person offers you a shirt.” (audience laughs) I mean if he had something,
he’d cover himself first, right? So I like to look at self love. It is very important that
it comes from within, that you have a sense of yourself so that when you walk into an office, you don’t go alone, bring
your people with you. Bring everybody has loved you with you. Say, “Grandma, come on. Let’s go.” Great-Grandpa, you’ve
been dead all this time. Come on. Let’s go. I have to in here and have an interview. Come on Auntie. Come on my friends. Come. Let’s go.” And when you walk in, people don’t know what it is about you, that can’t take their eyes off you. You may not be cute in the given sense. You may not be high-fashion model size in that particular sense. You may not be any of those things, but they can’t take their eyes off you. And they say of you,
in this incredible way, which I don’t understand, they say, “I don’t know, but she has charisma.” No. What you have is all
those people around you. (audience laughs) So think of that any time
you have anything to do. Bring everybody with you
that you can remember who has loved you and then you have that sense of having been paid for and when you walk in people will say now, “I think you’re overqualified.” If you don’t laugh, you will die. You know, you really must laugh. And if every human being in
the world would admit it, he or she is the funniest
person you’ve every met. (laughs) And the truth is, I mean, some people just rather be
a little stodgy and boring and you know, but the truth is, they themselves know
that they are very funny. The sense of humor isn’t in self defense against those who pretend not
to have any sense of humor and against the cruelties
of life. One must laugh. There’s an African-American
song, 19th century, which is so great. It says, ♫ When it look like the sun ♫ Wasn’t going to shine anymore ♫ God put a rainbow in the clouds Imagine. And I’ve had so
many rainbows in my clouds. I had a lot of clouds. But I have had so many rainbows. And one of the things I do
when I step up on a stage, when I stand up to translate, when I go to teach my classes, when I go to direct a movie, I bring everyone who has
ever been kind to me with me. Black, white, Asian,
Spanish-speaking, Native American, gay, straight, everybody. I say, “Come with me.
I’m going on the stage. Come with me, I need you now.” Long dead. You see? So I don’t ever feel I have no help. I’ve had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do it seems to me, is to be prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow
in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you, may not call God the
same name you call God, if they call God at all. (laughs) You see? I may not eat the same dishes
prepared the way you do, may not dance your dances
or speak your language, but be a blessing to somebody. When I was seven and a half, I was raped. I won’t say severely
raped, all rape is severe. The rapist was a person very
well known to my family. I was hospitalized. The rapist was let out of jail and was found dead that night and the police suggested that the rapist had been kicked to death. I was seven and a half. I thought that I had
caused the man’s death because I had spoken his name. That was my seven and
a half year old logic. So I stopped talking for five years. Now, to show you again how out of evil there can come good, in those five years, I read every book in the
black school library. I read all the books I could get from the white school library. I memorized James Weldon
Johnson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes. I’m memorized Shakespeare. Whole plays. 50 sonnets. I memorized Edgar Allen Poe. All the poetry. Never having heard it, I memorized it. I had Longfellow. I had Guy de Maupassant. I had Balzac. (sigh) Rudyard Kipling. I mean it was Catholic kind of reading and Catholic kind of storing. When I decided to speak, I had a lot to say and many ways in which
to say what I had to say. I listened to the black minister, I listened to the melody of the preachers, and I could tell when
they would start up on that kind of thing when we know they mean to take our souls straight to heaven or whether they meant to
dash us straight to hell. I understood it. So out of this evil, which
was a dire kind of evil, because rape on the body of a young person more often than not introduces cynicism and there’s nothing quite
so tragic as a young cynic because it means the person
has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. In my case, I was saved in that muteness. You see, in the sordida, I was saved and I was able to draw from human thought, human disappointments and
triumphs enough to triumph myself. We don’t understand talent. We don’t understand electricity. We probably use one billion
of one billionth percentage a degree so infinitesimal that we couldn’t even
say how little it is. You can plug into two holes in the wall, you can light up a cathedral, you can light up a synagogue, you can light up a temple,
– [Interviewer] Right. – You can light up a surgery or you can electrocute a
person strapped in a chair. Electricity makes no demands. It says, “I’m here.” – [Interviewer] That’s right. – If you are stupid, you will ill use me. If you are intelligent, you will use me for the
furtherance of your kind. Well I think talent is like that. We don’t know what it is, but a painter maybe he or she is born with eyesight to see
depth and, you understand, – [Interviewer] Sure, sure. – That’s physical. Maybe she is born with a
throat that makes a sound like a bird, a coloratura, lyric soprano, baritone. But singing has very
little to do with voice, it is okay but if it
was really about voice, Ray Charles and Willie
Nelson wouldn’t be mentioned. – (laughs) It’s true. I just did a story on autism and it was the people who couldn’t write, couldn’t express themselves,
but sang in pitch. – In pitch. – [Interviewer] And beautifully. – And can compute 40 columns
of three numbers each. – [Interviewer] That’s right. Right. – They got it. (snaps fingers)
– How do they do that? That’s talent. – That’s talent.
– [Interviewer] (laughs) – I don’t know it. I mean, I thank God I have it, but I think every person
born is born with talent. There’s a place in you that
you must keep in inviolate. You must keep it pristine, clean so that nobody has the right to curse you, treat you badly, nobody. No mother, father, no
wife, no husband, nobody because that may be the place
you go to when you meet God. You have to have a place
where they just say, “Stop it. Back up.” – [Oprah] Not here you want.
– You must. Not. No. – [Oprah] No. – Absolutely. And that’s one I told you 25 years ago. – [Oprah] Yes. – Say no when it’s no. – [Oprah] Yeah. – Say so. Back it up because that place
has to remain clean and clear. – And that has to be a
place within yourself. – [Maya] Yes, ma’am.
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] When
you’re writing poetry, are you writing to
express your experiences or do you write to inspire other people? – No, I write to try to say what I see, what I’ve seen. And of course, I hope
that it’s inspirational. – [Interviewer] When you were
writing Phenomenal Woman, did you realize how many millions of women would be inspired by that? – No. I didn’t realize any of that. I just do the best I can. You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? Just cause I (snaps fingers) walk as if I have got oil (snaps fingers) wells pumping in my living room.
(audience laughs) Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing
high, still I rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, weakened by my soulful cries? Does my sassiness upset you? (laughs) (audience laughs)
Don’t you take it so hard just cause I laugh as if I have gold mines diggin’ in my own backyard. You can shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your lies, you can kill me with your hatefulness, but just like life, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness offend you? Awww. (audience laughs) Does it come as a surprise
that I dance (snaps fingers) as if I have diamonds at
the meeting of my thighs? (audience laughs) Out of the huts of
history’s shame, I rise. Up from a past rooted in pain, I rise. A black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling
and bearing in the tide. Leaving behind nights of
terror and fear, I rise. Into a daybreak
miraculously clear, I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the hope and the dream of the slave. And so, (claps hands) (soaring sound)
(audience laughs) There I go. (audience applause) (soaring sound) – Thank you guys so much for watching. I am this video because
Kayla Maroon asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it in the comments below
and I’ll see what I can do. I’d also love to know what
you thought of the video. What clips resonated the most with you? What did you learn that’s
going to change your business or your life? Leave it in the comments and
I will join in the discussion. Finally, I want to give a quick
shout out to Philip Norton. Philip, thank you so much
for buying a copy of my book. It really means a lot to me. Those of you guys watching, if you want your chance at a
shout out in a future video, make sure to pick up a copy of the book and email in your receipt
so we can keep track. Thank you guys so much for watching. Continue to believe, or
whatever your one word is. And I’ll see you soon. (soaring sound) – If we’ve been able to stay alive at all, alive and future thinking. Alive and having enough
courage to care for each other. enough courage to love, and know that we’re probably 1% free, 1% of 60 million free, of complaints. Imagine who would we be? Who would we be if we
were 1% of 600 million? 6 billion? What would happen? I’ll tell you one thing, I think war would be
laughed out of the room. I think the very word, if somebody said, “War.” Another person would say, “You mean, am I supposed to kill somebody because he doesn’t agree with me? (laughs) I don’t think so.” Just imagine. People would speak kinder. More kindly to each other. Courtesy would be invited
back into the living room and into the bedroom and into the children’s room, into the kitchen. If 1% of our world was complaint free, we would care more about the children and realize that every child is our child. The black one and the white one. The pretty one and the plain one. The Asian and the Muslim. The Japanese and the Jewish. Everyone is our child. If we were just 1% free of complaint, imagine that we would
start blaming other people for our mistakes. (laughs) And hating them because they caused the
mistake in our minds. Just imagine if we
laughed more frequently. If we had unmitigated courage to touch each other. It would just the beginning
of paradise in now. Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Maya Angelou’s Top 10 Rules For Success

  1. Oh my God and was having the worse day rejected by all 3 of the children the last child is 22 and i am hurting but after listening to this brilliant intelligent woman I rise . Oil wells pumping in my living room is one for the record books and diamonds on the thighs. Hell to the Yes I RISE

  2. I have always loved her, And respected her, Enjoyed her and her work, 1-10.

  3. She is, and for ever well be a inspiration to all Women, She'll be with me forever the most Amazing person, The most important and wonderful
    Teacher ever, I'll never stop admiring you my Angel.

  4. Mayou is one of the greatest inspirations of extraodinary courageous people that have lived. I thank God for her and may she rest in his heavenly peace. She touched so many lives, including mine.

  5. Every single point is biblical!!! Every single one!!!!!!!!! Halleluyer!!πŸ˜πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜‚β˜ΊπŸ€—

  6. I'm going to get Phenomenal Woman and the poem I Rise I'm going to read it to my granddaughters thank you ,thank you, thank you. πŸ™‚ Keep it coming !

  7. Thank you so much. I'm sitting in my living room and looking at Mama's book in my book stack…I now will read and resume rising. Having a place that reamains CLEAN resonates so much. Will share… Simply wonderful πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  8. Courage comes first over the other virtues. Thank God for the wonderful and great soul of Maya Angeleou.

  9. Many clouds along the way overcome by many rainbows. Given many talents used to comfort others love sharing through LOVE put in me not to keep to myself pouring out to others in need. Love Shared Because Caring is believing to do the right thing. Because the rainbow covers me in everything.

  10. We need so many send more people like this in the world.
    Maya Angelou, rest in peace you beautiful angel.

  11. Thank you Evan for an inspirational video, you are a blessing for keeping her legacy alive

  12. Wherever you go you must take with you all the people who ever loved you.That was profound to me.

  13. I know who I will take with me every time I need some support. I will take and ask her to hold me my hand. This, most loved and beautiful woman, a woman who’s words bring me to my most happiness tears and most thoughtful quite times Miss Maya Angelou. Because then I will know without a doubt I’ve got this!!!!

  14. Okay I cried when she talked about her being raped 😭
    I cried like a baby bcs I love this respected woman so much. She draws and tucked at my heart strings with every word she preached πŸ™πŸ½

  15. You changed my life with this short clip of Mia Angelo. I can relate with her in so many ways! Thank you for sharing❀️God Bless πŸ™πŸΏ

  16. Sometimes people judge you without knowing you and some people like being naked, like my daughter since she was a child. So, I don't agree with the first two. I know these are metaphors but I still don't agree

  17. Thank you for your loving words, may you continue to inspire the Heavens!β™₯️

  18. Meaning and connecting with Maya Angelou years ago.. Watching this clip just brought back the knowledge and the gems that she passed on to me..πŸ™πŸŒΉπŸ’–πŸŒˆ

  19. Thank you for sharing this video of Maya Angelou's insights! Wonderful, wonderful. What a wise soul she was!!! God bless her soul!

  20. Catholic kind of reading and storing… HmmmmmmπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  21. What a wonderful brave and intelligent woman. She is magical and inspiring. She makes me want to rise. Thankyou Maya Angelou

  22. Number 4, laugh helped me and still do in the most defficul moments in my lifeπŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

  23. I had the pleasure of meeting Maya when she was on a book tour and stayed at the hotel I was working at. She took a moment to visit with me and sign my copy of Clinton’s inauguration poem. As we shook hands and she looked in my eyes and said. β€œ Just be here with me and share this moment” I’ll never forget the wave of energy and love I felt as we held hands.

  24. I grew up with a village of other moms, watching over others kids, and teaching them life lessons, which you rarely see nowadays. Since I'm grown now, and my mama is in heaven, as I listened to Maya Angelou with her words of wisdom,and always in a motherly love way, and I silently said to my mama,in case she can hear me"Mama, other mama's are still teaching me". What I liked best was her quote, "Courage is the most important virtues, because without it you can't achieve the others. "✌🌷❀

  25. β€œWhen someone shows you who they are, believe them – the first time.” I’ve begun to live by this quote!

  26. 1. Just do right.
    2. Be courageous.
    3. Love.
    4. Laugh.
    5. Be a blessing to Somebody.
    6. Turn a struggle into Triumph.
    7. You are talented.
    8. Learn to say No.
    9. Always do your best.
    Maya Angelou's points in life that are most important.

  27. Say No wen its No. Totally . The Bible talks about thant too. Blessings for sharing..😊 she was a Beauty . 😍

  28. I'm going to say" if you have something big to do. Then bring all the love in you life with you to that big event ."

  29. Thank you the Video inspired me so much! I want to go out and just do good! I feel alive!

  30. Simply, yet greatly……..THANK YOU!πŸ’•πŸ’πŸ’•πŸ’πŸ’•πŸ’πŸ’•πŸ’

  31. I wish she could have brought back love black peoples souls are black full of past disappointment and bitterness what the world needs now is love sweet love.

  32. Thank you so very much for this video of Maya Angelou. I absolutely loved every second of the production. Your choice of performance and interview excerpts were excellently blended and told such a perfect "story" of how to be successful. There was an intellectual build up to "Keep Rising." Please do more of these.

  33. "Love"….I am in this place in my life really spending time with Me!…I can recognize the Love of Self….but someone who doesn't Love themselves…."Loving You"πŸ˜‰

  34. "Be a Blessing to Someone", I understood this Morning how I am an unknowing Blessing to many. I met J. Walker….1st visit at a church in Texas. An elder I never met before this morning, told me later "God put her foot steps and my foot steps in her way." J.Walker 91518 I realize how i have had this ability without trying.

  35. Turn Struggle into Triumphs…7 time Rape Survivor…you would Not have a Clue if you Met MeπŸ˜ŠπŸ€— I have continuedTriumphs!!!

  36. I stop being a leader because I don't like Attention this video made see I have to get back out there and be the leader I was born to be

  37. Well at the moment I can't really type what I feel about this, it hurts a lot but maybe rulers have misused this so much that even speaking about it is futile.

  38. What a beautiful soul Maya! We have been lucky to have her with us on Earth for a short while! So many lessons, so many blessings! Thank you so much for sharing πŸ’– … and what a voice she had! She could have been singing blues!!

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