What ACTUALLY Made Muhammad Ali the Greatest…Spoiler: It’s not Boxing - Living Strong Television Network
What ACTUALLY Made Muhammad Ali the Greatest…Spoiler: It’s not Boxing

I watched a documentary on Muhammad Ali last night, and I’m always fascinated by a good story. Of course, we all know that Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer of all time but what captivated me wasn’t his dedication to the ring as much as it was his dedication to the fullest expression of himself.

The Bravery to Change his Name Mid Career

I always knew Muhammad Ali wasn’t his birth name, but I was surprised to find out that he did, in fact start his career as Cassius Clay. It wasn’t until later in his career when he converted to Sunni Islam did he take on the name given to him by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of The Nation of Islam.

When we think of reinvention, we think of celebrities like Madonna or Michael Jackson but the act of reinventing oneself is an unprecedented step towards become more of who we are, especially for a public figure. 

Separate yourself for a moment from anything you might think of Muhammad Ali, or any celebrity for that fact. It’s easy to be on the outside looking in and make all kinds of assumptions about how easy their life is. But to think about what it would be like to decide you’re someone else, change your name and your faith entirely. Imagine.

The average person would experience fear of judgment, worry, fear of rejection among other things. And that’s just based on our perception of what family and friends might say, people who “know us” might say. But who knows you better than yourself?

The willingness to claim a new title, a new name, a new faith and do it as a public figure shows true dedication to the exploration of one’s true self regardless of the opinion of others. 

Committed to His Truth

In 1966 Muhammad Ali was drafted to join the war in Vietnam. It seems impossible to conceive that his decision to abstain would actually be the harder choice. He was dismissed, judged, ridiculed and call all sorts of names, by all accounts what we might call “cancelled” in this day and age. The courage it must have taken for a man to stand so firm in his faith that he was willing to lose everything.

He was convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing. They even tried to strip him of his heavyweight titles which he later argued were earned and lost exclusively within the confines of the ring. 

Similar to having the willingness to change his name, His decision to evade the draft was not made through the lens of what others would say, or how they might treat him but based solely in faith and truth, a quality that resonated with so many, a quality that we all possess when we can have the willingness to strip away the layers that stand between our ego and who we truly are. 

“Live every day as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.” – Muhammad Ali

Master Manifestor

Whether you’re a well versed student of manifestation and the laws of attraction or it is completely unfamiliar to you how things come into existence, anyone who has seen Muhammad Ali walk, talk, box and give a speech can understand the power of speaking things into existence.

Here’s the hook, he didn’t just talk about it, he was it. He embodied it. You can tell by the way he carried himself, the way he spoke with sheer knowing about who he was and what he was capable of. On paper he looks like an arrogant, cocky athlete but somehow it was so genuine and authentic you couldn’t help but be inspired by his confidence and self worth.

Love it or hate it, there is no discrepancy on how deeply and intrinsically he knew his value and ability to be his full self. 

Bigger Than Boxing 

There comes a time in every person’s life when it becomes bigger than you. Maybe it’s the time you become a parent, maybe it’s the time you build a business, maybe you become a public figure and people look to you to find more of themselves.

During what could have been viewed as some of the darkest times of his life while resisting the draft, Muhammed Ali rose up as one of the greatest social activists of all times. He united people beyond color through social justice for all. His mission became more than boxing, less me and more we. ‘

The Greatest

By all accounts, it seems the intention was to strip him of everything that made him “the greatest” but what they didn’t account for was the fact that boxing was his vehicle for greatness but what made him great was something they couldn’t take away. His essence, his truth, his commitment to being his authentic self and inspiring others to do the same.

What a perfect time to stumble upon this documentary in the New Year. A time to reflect on who we want to be in this world and how we want to be remembered. 

“To be a champion is to convert obstacles into stepping stones”

Take a note out of the training manual of Muhammad Ali and decide to be the greatest this year. Be brave enough to constantly reinvent yourself to become the truest version of you, no matter what others might say or think. 

Remain committed to your truth in all times, good and bad, hard and favored, it will be the most intimate season of getting to know oneself on the deepest level. 

Speak things into existence. Worry less about the how, and more about the possibilities and opportunities ahead of you. You are the universe, and the universe is in you. 

Manifest everything you can imagine and be detached from the how. And remember that leaving a legacy means having a lasting impact on others. 

Greatness is within each and every one of us. It is woven into the fabric of our existence in this human experience. Greatness does not require skill or talent but a commitment to being the truest expression of oneself. Master your craft, yes, but master yourself first and just like Muhammad Ali, you too will be the greatest.

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