#1532 The Will Must Be Stronger

Than the Skill

Let’s wrap up our quick tour through some of my favorite Ideas from Muhammad Ali’s great autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly.

We’ve talked about true, everyday greatness, winning a gold medal in 1960 (and not being able to eat in your hometown restaurant!), black superheroes, and fighting the fear.

Today we’re going to talk about how champions are made.

Ali tells us: “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something deep inside—a desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.

He continues by saying: “When I was boxing I would set a goal for myself to demonstrate to other people what could be done, and to prove to myself that anything was possible when I set a goal and then worked to achieve it. We create our own realities according to our thoughts and beliefs. The critics who told me what I couldn’t do didn’t know as well as I what I was capable of.

And: “Everyone wins and everyone loses every now and again. If we don’t experience a loss we would never know what we are capable of. The important thing to remember is: You don’t really lose when you fight for what you believe in. You lose when you fail to fight for what you care about.

That’s from a chapter called “Champions to Come.”

Right after that he tells us: “I’m going to share a little secret with you. Running has always been the source of my stamina. Early in my career I learned to run until I was tired, then run even more after that. But all the running I did before the fatigue and pain was just the introduction to my workout. The real conditioning began when the pain set in. That was when it was time to start pushing. That was when I would count every mile as extra strength and stamina.

What counts in the ring is what you do after you’re exhausted. The same is true of life. Outrun the people who quit when they feel discomfort, outrun the people who stop because of despair, outrun the people who are delayed because of prejudice, outrun the people who surrender to failure, and outrun the opponent who loses sight of the goal. Because if you want to win, the will can never retire, the race can never stop, and faith can never weaken.

To which I say: Amen.

It’s Day 1.


Unlock this Heroic +1 (and over 1,000 more)!

Create your account to get more wisdom in less time. Personal development made simple so you can flourish in energy, work, and love. Today.

Sign Up Today