Napoleon Hill defines greatness as the ability to recognize the power of your own mind, to embrace and use it. I believe Muhammad Ali is the poster child of greatness. He fully demonstrated the magnificent power of the spoken word and habitual repetition of thought and it’s affect on the human mind to yield incredible results. Ali understood and leveraged the creative force infused by statements proceeded with the phrase “I AM”.
Muhammad Ali proved that he knew the source of his greatness and it empowered him to boldly proclaim over and over again, before being manifested in his physical reality, “I am the greatest” and “I am the greatest champion in the world.” The power, passion, and conviction in his voice could be felt whenever he said it.
But they were not merely empty words. His words were emblazoned with a BURNING desire to win. Muhammad Ali teaches us that to obtain the highest level of achievement that BURNING desire must be backed by a clear and definite plan and courageous action. He had a plan from a very early age in life to become a champion boxer and he possessed a remarkable strong work ethic.
Ali was involved in several historical fights, including three with Joe Frazier and one with George Foreman. In his career he amassed 56 wins and only 5 losses. Ali’s success, fighting style (floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee), “trash talking,” and idioms made him a cultural icon. He remains the only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion. Ali revolutionized the sport of boxing by sheer power and magnetism of his personality.
Like most success conscious legends, Ali leaves clues to a blueprint for success:
- Define Who You Are
“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali
“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.” – Muhammad Ali
“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” – Muhammad Ali
- Have a Vision – Deliberate Purpose
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” – Muhammad Ali
“What keeps me going is goals.” – Muhammad Ali
“If your mind can conceive it; and your heart can believe it – then you can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali
- Dare to be Unrealistic
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali
“Impossible is nothing.” -Muhammad Ali
- Understand There’s A Price to be Paid
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” – Muhammad Ali
“All through my life, I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested.”
- Have a ‘CAN DO’ Attitude
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life” – Muhammad Ali
“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” -Muhammad Ali
“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”- Muhammad Ali
- Seek Harmony with Life and Others
“Service to others is the price that you pay for your place here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali
“When it comes to love, compassion, and other feelings of the heart, I am rich.”- Muhammad Ali
“Truly great people in history never wanted to be great for themselves. All they wanted was the chance to do good for others and be close to God.”- Muhammad Ali