At the age of 22, Muhammad Ali beat the odds (7:1) and became the boxing heavyweight champion of the world by beating Sonny Liston. It wasn’t just his skill that helped him achieve this amazing feat, but also his belief in himself.
Before he won the title he proclaimed, “I am the greatest boxer of all time!”
…and after he won the fight he reminded everyone that he was the greatest boxer of all time again.
Ali believed to his very core that he was the greatest boxer of all time.
Ali believed this so deeply…it seeped into the heads and minds of everyone around him.
Ali believed this so deeply…most of us still believe…he is the greatest boxer of all time!
In 1967, Muhammad Ali was scheduled for induction into the Army. He refused induction based on his religious beliefs concerning the war and its relationship to civil rights for African-Americans in the United States.
This time what Ali believed, could potentially separate him from everything he loved dearly.
His belief could take his title, his license to fight, and even separate him from his family.
Shortly after opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, Ali’s championship title status was removed and his boxing license was suspended.
Yet, he still believed that he would not go to jail and that he would be the boxing champ again some day!
Seven long years later, that day came and Ali had to fight one of the fiercest opponents he had ever met in the ring.
Once again the odds were stacked against him…but he believed in himself!
Ali believed he could defeat George Foreman even when those closest to him did not.
He believed in himself!
Ali’s victory over Foreman was monumental and in my opinion proves that the power of belief and self-confidence are the cornerstones of all success!
Howard Cosell summed up Ali’s victory beautifully when he said, “The thing they said was impossible he (Ali) has done…”
In 2006, The Hours recorded a song called, “Ali in the Jungle” (This song is on my morning playlist). This song embodies the will, power and spirit of the world’s greatest boxing champion of all time.
Some of the lyrics of “Ali in the Jungle” are as follows:
“It’s not where you are, it’s where you’re going,
It’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what you’re doing right now.
Everybody gets knocked, everybody gets knocked down,
How quick are you gonna get back up!
Like Ali in the Jungle…”
Muhammad Ali is the epitome of; where there is a will, there is a way!
…and it’s because of this, I recognize Muhammad Ali’s achievements and the lessons he can teach us all concerning belief.
Transcript at the end of the fight:
“This, is the most joyous scene, ever seen in the history of boxing! This is an incredible scene, the place is going wild! Muhammad Ali has won! Muhammad Ali has won by a knockdown! By a knockdown! The thing they said was impossible, he’s done!”
Muhammad Ali, you are indeed the greatest!
Thank you for living life that provides an example of what it means to Murder Mediocrity!
We will miss you, but you will never be forgotten…may you rest in peace!
You taught us to believe in ourselves, no matter the circumstance and to stay inspired; it’s a lifestyle choice!
About the Author:
Global Entrepreneur – Certified Life Coach – Media Personality – Speaker
Linal Harris is a Corporate America graduate, global entrepreneur, certified life coach, and media personality. He has penned over 200 blog posts on his popular website of 5 years, InspirationalPerspective.com and recorded over 200 radio shows on his weekly WVON 1690 AM talk radio program, “Inspirational Perspective”—which he also broadcasts live to his Periscope channel. Harris is a heavily sought-after speaker for conferences and events across the country. He is gifted in custom designing presentations for specific audiences that motivate and inspire. He has been called upon by numerous professional career organizations, universities and Fortune 500 companies to facilitate goal-setting sessions and provide inspirational talks. In 2015, Harris was inducted into Triton College’s Alumni Hall of Fame and he was the recipient of the 2013 Chicago Defender’s Men of Excellence award and the 2012 Chicago Urban Roundtable’s 40 Game Changers Under 40 award.
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