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7 Success lessons from Muhammad Ali – “The Greatest” for entrepreneurs

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Muhammad Ali, who declared “I am the greatest” and proved it many times over, infuriating some and captivating countless more as he floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee on his way to winning the world heavyweight championship a record three times, becoming perhaps the most widely recognized person on the planet.

He is an inspiration to many of us not only as a great fighter but also as a hero. The hero who defied all odds and defeated the greatest champions in the boxing ring.

In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.

Here are the 7 success lessons from “The Greatest” – Muhammed Ali for the entrepreneurs,

1. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

Muhammad Ali was a man who spoke what he wanted to be much before he became one. He believed in the power of spoken words, what you speak become seeds of thought, your thoughts create a vision and a dream. Speak what you want to see, not what you see.

2. It’s not the action that makes a thing right or wrong, but the purpose behind the action

We must take ‘right’ action motivated by a purpose greater than ourselves. It must be a purpose designed to help others and to make for a better world.

If our purpose is selfish, its longevity will be unsustainable, but if it is given as an act of generosity, then who knows what power is emitted by such action?

3. I don’t have to be what anyone else wants me to be. I am free to be who I want to be

To be Muhammad Ali is to be free. Break all chains that seek to entangle you – whether it be parental expectations, organizational demands or societies conformities. You are unique, and in order to operate in that uniqueness you must resist conformity if you are to truly embrace your destiny.

4. It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe

Take time to pause a moment in order to remove any pebbles you may have picked up along the way. These can take the form of small bad habits, seeds of unforgiveness, lack of discipline, secret fears, or even devious doubts.

Pull aside, even for a moment. Address them. Deal with them. Destroy them. For many a mountaineer has fallen to their death because of an unaddressed pebble. Deal with the pebbles in your life decisively, and you will conquer many more mountaintops.

5. Pay now, Play later

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Everyone has to pay the price of success or failure. You decide when you want to pay it – early in your life or later on. People who pay the price early in life are generally successful in what they want to achieve. There is no substitute to hard work. Even The Greatest Muhammad Ali went through the pain and grind of everyday training.

6. Self belief is the greatest belief

“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

Have faith and self belief in yourself and in what you want to achieve. You can’t be successful if you don’t have self belief or lack of faith. Be a firm believer of yourself, Be a firm believer of your dreams.

7. Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.

What does your record look like thus far? Every day you and I breathe we are writing the next page that will be included in the volume called, ‘My life’.

Within its record will be scribbles, mistakes, smudges, scratchings, all mixed up with moments of great joy, eloquence, sadness, wisdom and folly.

And as his final words,

But by the time we reach the last page – may it end with the words, ‘I have lived a full and fulfilled life – read and learn from my mistakes – and for the rest of the success story contained – there went I, but by the grace of God.’

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