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These 4 Things Made Muhammad Ali A Champion

Muhammad Ali was a fighter. He faced down giants, inside and outside of the ring. He was poetry in motion, a Lousiville slugger who floated...

Muhammad Ali was a fighter. He faced down giants, inside and outside of the ring. He was poetry in motion, a Lousiville slugger who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

Muhammad Ali was a world champion.

After an illustrious career that spanned 3 decades, a gold-medal, 61 professional fights and 3 world championships, he spent the next 35 years advocating globally on behalf of human rights.

Muhammad Ali is a transcendent figure in modern history; there will never be another like him.

But let's be clear, the qualities, values and actions we admire in Muhammad Ali are available to us, too. The greatness we recognized in him is born of the same capacities we all possess.

We, too, can live like champions but only if we're up for the challenge.

Are you ready to find the Ali in you?
These 4 Things Made Muhammad Ali A Champion
1. Prepare like a champion. Muhammad Ali had a legendary training regimen.
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion,'" Ali said.

Muhammad Ali developed a range of skills in the ring. He didn't focus on what he did well, he practiced in those areas that needed improvement.

Suffering prepared him for greatness, practice poised him for excellence.

Are you prepared to train for your personal and professional goals? Which sacrifices are you making? Are you improving old, and developing new, skills? Or are you stuck in a rut, sedentary and complacent?

Demonstrate your commitment and increase the likelihood of success by preparing for your fight. If you’re not prepared for the fight, then you’re not equipped for the challenge.

2. Confidence emboldens your fans, neutralizes your critics.
The term confidence stems from the Latin confidere, which means ‘with trust or faith.’

Muhammad Ali embodied a confidence grounded in preparation. From a distance, it was easy to mistake this confidence for arrogance. Up close, his confidence was evidence of excellence.

Muhammad Ali’s confidence emboldened his fans. We laid our hopes on him. He represented us.

His confidence neutralized his critics. They’d wonder if Ali knew something they didn’t. He did. He knew confidence had power.

Self-confidence is contagious. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you, too. There's another side to that coin. Doubt yourself and others will doubt you.

As the G.O.A.T. showed us, our confidence should be grounded in the faith that we've prepared for the task ahead.

For many of us, the language we use demonstrates our level of confidence. Stop using language that reflects uncertainty. At work, avoid phrases like "I guess" and "I'm unsure." Prepare for your responsibilities and eliminate the language of uncertainty. Be confident.

3. Be a person of principle.
Muhammad Ali was a man defined by his principles. He changed his name and faced ridicule. He tossed his gold medal and the public was outraged. He refused the draft and faced 5 years in prison as consequence. If it wasn't was for these defining cultural moments that were grounded in Muhammad Ali's personal principles, I dare say he wouldn't be the icon he is today.
To be principled is to be guided by internal direction rather than public opinion. It means sacrificing the moment in favor of the future. By being principled, you set yourself apart in environemnts, personal and professional, that are guided by passions, instead.

4. Laugh Out Loud.
For a time, Muhammad Ali was our Atlas, he held the weight of the world on his shoulders. But he knew that laughter could lighten the load. He knew laughter could relax a room and charm a critic. He loved to make people laugh, even at himself; his confidence allowed this.

Bring laughter with you wherever you go. It's not medicine as much as it's a refreshing drink. Take some and pass it around, freely.

As we continue to look outwardly in admiration of The Greatest, remember there's a standing challenge to find the Ali within you.

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