Muhammad Ali once declared “I am the greatest!” and that he was. Decades after the greatest champion in boxing history has retired, you’d be hard pushed to find single person in the world who doesn’t know his name, or hasn’t heard a story about the greatest fighter who ever walked the earth.
We all know who he is, but what set Ali apart from the others?
Sure he could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, sure he made one the greatest comebacks in sporting history sending the mighty George Foreman to the canvas like a fallen tree, and sure he has the gift of words and the charisma to draw attention to himself.
But what made Ali the greatest was the fact that he believed, no, he knew in the deepest depths of his soul, that he WAS the greatest, and he was not afraid to let that greatness shine through. Ali was not content to say “oh, I should probably shut up and consider others first” – he wanted to let the world know he was the man, and he did. Not just with words, but with actions.
Too many men today have been brow beaten and told to zip their mouths by overbearing fathers, leftist teachers and a society that wants to place them under control and take away their right to individual greatness. Too many of us have grown up being told we should be more realistic, that to dream too big is dangerous and people will think we are crazy. Too many of us have been told the same old line of “get a good job, save your money and wait for retirement.”
Too many of us die with the music still locked up inside of us. This is the greatest tragedy of life and it is a disgrace!
I say screw the doubters. Screw the naysayers. Screw the people who want to keep you were they are so they don’t feel insecure beside you. I say let your greatness shine, let it blind haters and doubters around you and inspire the few who are smart enough to learn from you onto greatness too. I say be all you can and if others don’t like you for it, it means you’re doing it right!
Every time you feel like giving up and going back into the darkness, close your eyes and remember the thundering voice of the greatest of them all. Remember how he fought in a world were his race handicapped him, were everything he rightfully earned and fought for was taken away from him, and where he never gave up, came back and knocked the socks off the scariest man alive. Everyone said Foreman would murder him, but by the time the fight was over Foreman could barely lift his arms to block the beat down!
Remember Muhammad Ali’s greatness. Dare to be great yourself. Silence the little voice in the back of your mind that says “you could never do that.” Muhammad Ali was just a man of blood and bones and dreams. Anything he could do, you can too, if you really believe in yourself and want it bad enough.
Ali started as a little black boy from one of the most racist states in the US at the time, with no notable gifts. He was born with nothing you don’t have too. What he did have was unwavering courage, belief in his own greatness and the sheer determination and will to take on the world that would try so hard to hold him back.
Ali took on the world and won. So can you!
Desire. Decide. Persist.