By his own statement, Muhammad Ali was an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent he was given. Known for his passion for boxing, his wit and eloquence, and his involvement in social issues, I remember Ali as a prominent figure as I was growing up. Some ridiculed him, some revered him, but not many would argue that he was not one of the greatest sports figures of all time.
I decided that his passing deserved note on my Executive Resumes Blog, because of the determination, ambition, perseverance, philanthropy, and unmitigated success of his career—things to which most executives would aspire.
Known for a way with words, Ali will long be remembered for the advice and witticisms provided in his numerous quips and pronouncements over the years of his career, just a few of them including:
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
“If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it–then I can achieve it.”
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit, what his eyes can’t see.”
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”
“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”
“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.”
“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”
Rest in Peace to “The Greatest.”