Last week the world lost a man who defied the ideology that leadership stems from the fortunes of status, money and titles. Muhammad Ali was not only one of the nation’s greatest athletes, but more importantly one of the nation’s greatest leaders. His death sparked a sense of nostalgia for every one that has met him, watched him, and known him. Everyone can think back to one of his most famous quotes, “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee…” As we reflect and celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali, it is important to acknowledge the lessons he taught the world, as his words will continue to have a lasting imprint and influence on society.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Fight for what you want. Both inside and outside of the ring, Muhammad Ali fought for what he believed in, even if it was risky. He exerted an enormous amount of strength, not only physically, but mentally as he stood up for what he believed in even if it meant losing a great deal of money and sponsorships. Take risks in life and stand by your decisions. Have pride in your actions and be confident in every move you make. If you give yourself time to hesitate, you will give others time to knock you down.
“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.”
Be authentic. Muhammad Ali was the living testament that leadership is not just something that needs to be learned in school. It does not matter what level of education you have, as long as you have purpose and are willing to be open with topic you are addressing. Muhammad Ali refused to be silenced as he became the figure of explicit words and topics that others would never dare to bring up. He taught the world that passion and conviction can convince a crowd more than any other forms of persuasion, especially when the crowd may not be in your favor.
“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.”
Success does not come without the initial failure. Muhammad Ali never let his defeats in the ring put a damper on his causes outside of it. Rather, he turned his failures into motivations. These motivations allowed him to take more chances and gain the knowledge into what changes he needed to make and how much harder he needed to push himself. Be open to making changes for yourself, because if you don’t change then what will? The only way you can become stronger to see knew results for yourself is to set up new courses of action.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
Don’t take the easy way out. Muhammad Ali taught us that nothing worth having and keeping comes easy. His long-term goals were what pushed him to be the cause of his own greatness. There is no time for excuses on any road to success. Trust yourself and know that you are going to do whatever it takes to get you to where you said you would be. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
Thank you Muhammad Ali for you sharing your wisdom and love with the world. You will forever remain a role model, leader and legend both in the ring and in our hearts. R.I.P.