On the 3rd of June the world stopped when one of the most recognizable men of the 20th century, and one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali, passed away.
Ali was widely known for his boxing ability, particularly fast and flashy for a heavyweight, but was also celebrated for his charisma and courage.
In 1966 at the age of 24, just two years after he had won his heavyweight title Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S military, which resulted in his arrest and stripping of all boxing titles. Unable to fight for four years, he lost a large time that would have been at his athletic peak.
As a conscientious objector Ali became a public icon for the civil rights movement and the antiestablishment counterculture of the time.
However, what may be most memorable about the champion were his words. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, always slick, they revealed a deep personal philosophy and showed the world exactly why he was such a successful human being.
So without further ado, here are 18 Muhammad Ali Quotes to help you bring out your inner champion.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”
“You lose nothing when fighting for a cause…In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”
“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.”
“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t noting wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”
Do you want to take control of your mornings like a true champion?
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Ben is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to lead a more free and fulfilling life.