"Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee. His Hands Can't Hit What His Eyes Can't See". - Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was a former three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and considered the greatest heavyweight of all time. With some help from his daughter, Hana Yasmeen Ali, he wrote this book himself. It was intended to be a reflection on his life, but for many of us that lived through these times, it is an important touchstone to look back and confirm our own thoughts.
Ali states in the introduction: “During my boxing career, you did not see the real Muhammad Ali. You just saw a little boxing and a little showmanship. It was after I retired from boxing that my true work began, I had more time then to develop my spiritual being the way that I once developed my muscles and agility.”
For many of us it seems wrong to think that we didn’t see the real Ali during his boxing years. We didn’t just measure his early life, and his boxing history, with only those amazing bouts with Joe Frazier and George Foreman. His big decisions, made on principle, were made during that time. In his later life when he went as a “Messenger of Peace” for the United Nations and it was those decisions, made on principle, that gave him credibility.
His faith in God, expressed through his faith in Islam, was a response to where those principles took him. Ali sees his later life’s battles with illness as his true test of faith, where his real work began in using his faith in God to win the battle.
Ali said: “I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him… who stood for his beliefs… who tried to unite humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and champion of his people. And I wouldn’t mid if folks forgot how pretty I was.” - Muhammad Ali
A journey well worth reflecting on.
Muhammad Ali Quotes
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.".
"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."
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
"Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong."
"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."
"What you're thinking is what you're becoming.”