Muhammad Ali’s Top 7 Foundations for Life and Training (R.I.P)


Ali's top seven foundations of success


It is a sad time for boxing, as you probably know one of the greatest boxers of all time passed away yesterday at the age of 74. Although our world has lost such a great mind and soul, Muhammad Ali’s memory and teachings have left a dent in our world forever. This memory will always live on.


Born as a Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali catapulted to fame by winning the gold medal in 1960 at the Rome Olympics. Ali then went on to stun the world when he beat Sony Liston to capture the world heavyweight boxing title in 1964 at the age of 22 (something which he publically predicted).


He fought a total of 61 times as a professional, losing five times and winning 37 bouts by knockout. Ali was the first man to ever capture the heavyweight title 3 times.


What made Ali one of the greatest of all time was not just his boxing skill but, his mark he left on the world. Ali was a very wise man that had a lot to teach through his words for people who were willing to contemplate and understand what was being said. Below are the Muhammad Ali’s Top 7 Foundations for life and training;


1) ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life’



Trying new things is taking risks. Sometimes we tend to do the same thing over and over because we are fearful of taking risks. Our lives should not be led by fear and fear should not determine what we do. Some people never go after their dreams, or they stay in the same job that they hate.


They lack the courage to take risks. Risks are what make us grow and learn. When we grow and learn we are moving forward in life. If you want to be a professional boxer, footballer or want to change your job then don’t be fearful. We should be courageous enough to learn what is needed and go after what we want.


 2) ‘A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did when he was twenty has wasted 30 years of his life’



If we have the same views of the world at fifty as we did at the age of twenty what have we learned? The answer is nothing. How can anyone get anywhere in life if they have learnt nothing? We should constantly be learning.


Learning and growing from our experiences is a part of life and it will never stop even in old age. Learning new training techniques, new skills or new ways of thinking are all a part of our self-development. What Ali is saying is that we should continue to grow and change as the world around us is constantly growing and changing.


3) ‘It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe’



When we have dreams or aspirations whether it’s a new job, or to be a professional in any sport; we see the mountain of work ahead of us. It’s not the mountain that wears us out but the belief systems we hold. Most people give in mentally and come to the conclusion that it is impossible. This is why they never make it or finish what they started.


I believe the ‘pebble in your shoe’ is the negative voice in the mind. This is what makes us wear thin and quit. The greatest sportsmen learned to silence this voice and push on. Whatever aspirations we have we will always have a negative voice in your mind telling us we can’t do it; especially when things get tough this voice can cause you to quit.


We should silence this voice or turn it into a positive voice. Remember we have the choice of what we think about and only we can control what goes on in our minds.


 4) ‘Don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’



When we are trying to achieve something worthwhile, we can come across hard times. Learning new skills to be a professional at sports, or to get the job we always wanted can feel very stressful at the time. If we learn to accept this and push through we will find ourselves on the succesful end. As the saying goes, ‘There can be no sunshine without the rain’.


We should never give up. Defeat is only a reality when it is accepted by our own mind. Some of the most successful sportsmen and achievers have seen defeat, but they never quit. Ali lost the heavyweight title more than once. A defeat was not an option for him like many successful people.


Ali came back and winning the title back THREE times. This is because he had courage, determination and the will to take risks. He constantly grew mentally and physically to better himself.


I heard this saying once that always stuck in my mind, ‘We can pay now and play later or play now and pay later’.


5) ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’



We always tend to count the days especially as we get older. This can cause us to stress and get anxious about our lives. We shouldn’t waste the energy on counting what we haven’t done in our lives. Instead, we should put energy into every single day to make them count. This will give us self-satisfaction knowing that we are giving our life 100%. All the greatest and most successful people from Ali to Albert Einstein had 24 hours in their day. Just like us.


One of the reasons they were so successful was because they learnt to use their time effectively. A lot of people say they don’t have enough time. If you really want something whether it’s better health, physique or even a better job; you will find the time to make it happen.


Doing something as small as getting up a couple of hours earlier will give you more time to complete things that you need to do. You can use that time to train or learn.


6) ‘Inside the ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down, it’s staying down that’s wrong’



We will always slip up. No one is perfect. Whether it’s overeating when on a diet, missing days at the gym or being unsuccessful at an interview. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s when we give up that is the problem. Life has up’s and downs.


We shouldn’t stay down. We need to re-evaluate, re-plan and pick ourselves back up and push on. That’s how the greatest sportsmen and achievers climbed to great levels of success.


7) ‘When a man says I cannot he has made a suggestion to himself, he has weakened his power of accomplishing that which otherwise would have been accomplished’



When we have little or no belief in what you are doing it will not work. For example, If you’re trying to lose weight and believe that you cannot; then you have defeated yourself. Your mind has accepted that it cannot and will not happen. The mind can be influenced by suggestions (good or bad) whether it’s suggested by ourselves or others.


If you want to be a bodybuilder, but say to yourself that you will not be able to, your mind will not attempt to push forward, learn how to get there, what to eat and how to train to make it happen.


Whatever we believe should be sacred to us, and should be held with a vice-like grip in our minds, not letting anybody or ourselves sabotage that belief. Suggesting things of a negative nature to our mind will only deepen that feeling and cause the mind to quit.


We should constantly keep a positive frame of mind and always believe in ourselves, or we have no chance of doing what we set out to do. Whatever your aspirations are, make a habit of suggesting to yourself that you CAN do it and you WILL do it. Sooner or later this suggestion will dominate the negative suggestions the mind can place on us.


Muhammad Ali was a great example of a true leader. He understood the powers of his own mind and achieved great things. If we take the time to understand what Ali was saying there are many great lessons we can learn from him that will improve our lives.


What’s your thoughts? do you have anything to add? leave a comment below 🙂


Have a good weekend



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