Muhammad Ali was nicknamed, “The Greatest.”
He is considered the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, but that’s not the only reason he earned the title.
And, in fact, he was using the title even before he earned it, as he famously said, “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”
Ali was a great fighter, winning 56 out of 61 fights, 37 by knock-out, but he also greatly used his mind.
By seeing himself as the greatest, he built himself to be that way. He was masterful at building himself up, and, by getting in the heads of his opponents, first mentally, beating them down.
Like his phrase, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” while fighting, Ali would imagine himself floating outside of his body, circling the ring, watching himself demolish his opponent from every angle.
Ali knew that being the greatest wasn’t just about being strong in the ring, but first in your mind.
As he put it, “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
In his heyday Ali was an unstoppable force, but in 1984, at age 42, after some three decades of being punched in the head, Ali’s body and mind began to give way to Parkinson’s disease.
Since, we have all known him as a slower, older, less agile version of himself, yet he has remained a hero to many, and an icon to all.
Heroes fall. The strong get weak. The great pass on.
There’s a natural evolution to each of our lives, and when we reach the end, all that matters is the years we have lived.
There are many points in time, but you only have one life, and at each point in time, one choice: How do you choose to live?
Who do you choose to be?
How are you being your greatest? Living your greatest life?