Throughout his career, Muhammad Ali–the late heavyweight-boxing champion, Olympic gold medalist, and civil rights activist–garnered a reputation for his positive and motivational outlook on life. While he never went into business himself, quite a business empire was built around his athletic acumen and feats, and he inspired millions of people around the world.
Here, in no particular order, are 11 really inspiring quotes from the Greatest.
- “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Be gentle in your daily actions and being; remain soft to those around you, those you care about. But do not be afraid to whip out ferocious strength when the time calls for it.
- “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”
So often we let life pass by as we struggle to get a good grip on things. Ali reminds us to take the reins into our own hands so that we make the most of every moment, rather than waiting for moments to fall into our laps.
- “Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
If you try hard enough and believe with all your might, anything is possible.
- “If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it–then I can achieve it.”
When there’s a will, there’s a way. Ali’s success was, without a doubt, a concrete indication that our dreams can always come true, so as long as we believe in them ourselves.
- “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”
Imagine where you want to be before you get there, not after.
- “A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
Self-confidence is by far the way to knowing that we will do great things. The problem is that we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we aren’t good enough for them.
- “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
It’s always the little things that we fail to notice, the little things that trip us up. Keep an eye on the details as well as the big picture. Ali did–and look at the amazing results.
- “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
Empty promises are just that–empty.
- “I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”
Despite the seriousness and the high stakes of his chosen profession of boxing, Ali maintained a tremendous sense of humor throughout his career. This sense of humor separated Ali from his contemporaries, while endearing him to the public.
- “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Take a note from Ali’s book and recognize that it is not terrible to fail. The only failure is never having tried.
- “I shook up the world. Me!”
And our world is a better place for it.