21 years in professional boxing. 61 fights and 56 wins including 37 knockouts.
3 times crowned world heavyweight champion, 1 light-heavyweight olympic gold medal.
And a winning streak of 31 fights before ever being defeated once in proffessional boxing.
Muhammad Ali was a living testament to true greatness. When he was ranked as nr. 9 on the list of contenders, he’d turn up to TV shows and interviews and express very clearly, that he was the greatest, he was nr. 1.
His words came true, he predicted his own future, by creating it and already assuming it was real.
1. That takes us to the first step to greatness: Believe it, and you will achieve it.
Remember, everything you see in the world has been accomplished twice.
First, in the mind. Then, in the real world.
Look at the way he carries himself, even when he’s not the world champion.
Notice the body language, the tonality in his voice, the conviction and belief that he is the greatest boxer in the world.
It emanates from him!
2. But success never comes from playing it safe, that is step nr 2.
You cannot become your greatest if you never try, if you cannot risk you cannot grow.
Ali said it himself: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Yes he lost a few fights, yes he wasn’t perfect every time.
But even if you’re not a big fan of boxing, you know who this man is! He is regarded as the greatest boxer of all time!
Always in the media, always committing before there were any real signs or predictions of success to him from the world.
3. Now the third step to greatness is just as essential, you might start your journey off great. But then there’s some obstacles, life gets in the way, and most people inevitably end up quitting or getting sidetracked.
Stay true to you.
Ali refused to step forward when his name was called to fight in the Vietnam war because of his faith.
The World Boxing Association stripped him of his heavyweight title and the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing career.
Muhammad Ali came back with 4 wins in a row as soon as the court case went on appeal.
Integrity and strong values. No distractions, no matter how good someone else’s point is.
He was willing to give up his fame, his crown, but he would not go against his own values.
4. Listen to Muhammad’s view on his age. Always keep growing. Never settle.
This is the final step to true and lasting success.
He knows that it’s all in the state of mind. Always training as if he’s still nr.2 fighting to become nr.1.
This is very important, because although his confidence is clear, Muhammad Ali was not a bloated ego-centered individual.
He believed in himself firmly, but also knew that in order to stay on top, he had to keep striving and growing, constantly.
Because confidence does not come from just convincing yourself, it comes from true mastery of your skill or artform.
To quote Ali himself:
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”