Muhammad Ali was a true champion, known and loved all over the world. He was tenacious, free-spirited, and principled. He mastered his mental and physical power like few before him. He always stepped into the ring ready for victory. When he talked, his words showed motivation, strength, courage, and humour.
Check out Muhammad Ali’s most inspiring quotes to understand the mind of a champion. Learn from him how to be a champion yourself.
1. On Power and Fragility
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.~ Muhammad Ali
A truly powerful person knows to appear gentle and fragile when it is necessary, but always maintains its inner strength intact. Being humble yet always with a step ahead of others is the true measure of power.
2. On Living in the Moment
Don’t count the days, make the days count. ~ Muhammad Ali
The true value of time is not in quantity but in quality. Making each second matter is more important than living many empty years. Time is deceiving but we can gain power over it when we are find meaning and happiness in every moment.
3. On Real Obstacles
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. ~ Muhammad Ali
We are often our own worst enemy. By not believing in ourselves, we think obstacles are something distant and menacing, forgetting that sometimes the obstacles are within us.
4. On Giving Back to Others
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. ~ Muhammad Ali
Every little thing ever made was possible because people communicated, connected, and worked together. By making our own contribution to the world we find meaning and we thank the others for what they give to us.
5. On Believing in Yourself
It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~ Muhammad Ali
Believing in yourself is often the most important motivation in life. When you believe in yourself, you see challenges as something to test your strength, not as something that should stop you.
6. On Confidence
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was. ~ Muhammad Ali
Before achieving great things it is important to believe that we can actually achieve them. Confidence makes the difference between success and mediocrity. When we believe in our greatness, we find in ourselves the power to fight any obstacles.
7. On Courage and Risk
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. ~ Muhammad Ali
Success without risk is hardly possible. Nothing worthwhile can be achieved from the comfort zone. Once we leave behind our fears and accept that risk is necessary we get the chance to prove the amazing things that we can do.
8. On Real Maturity
A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. ~ Muhammad Ali
Life is a journey of discovery, in which each experience should enrich us and help us see further and better. When we don’t learn and grow, we remain fixated in certain views that harm us and stop us from taking part in the diverse and unpredictable nature of life.
9. On the Power of Imagination
A man who has no imagination has no wings. ~ Muhammad Ali
Imagination allows us to search for possibilities, to envision new ways of living, and to carve beautiful dreams. Without imagination, we are chained to our circumstances and we forget the incredible things that lay beyond our small world.
10. On Carpe Diem
Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right. ~ Muhammad Ali
We often feel that time will never fail us, that we will have time to do everything we imagine. We forget to treat each day with the significance it deserves, thinking we have so many days ahead of us. One day, however, we realise the time we lost.
11. On Age
Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are. ~ Muhammad Ali
Age does not say anything about how we feel inside, or about how much energy, enthusiasm, and love for life we carry inside. Youth is just a state of spirit, a vitality that motivates and inspires us to do great things, and it is independent of age.
12. On Being Authentic
I don’t have to be what you want me to be. ~ Muhammad Ali
Authenticity is often underestimated and people often find themselves working to please other people rather than pleasing themselves. Being yourself is a matter of respect and confidence. You owe it to yourself to preserve your identity and not to allow others to tell how or what you should be.
13. On Achievements
If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it. ~ Muhammad Ali
Anything is impossible as long as nobody tries to achieve it. Yet, when our minds and our hearts encourage us to believe that something is attainable, we need to listen to this call and dare to dream of amazing things.
14. On Making Dreams Come True
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. ~ Muhammad Ali
Dreaming big is great, yet the only way to make dreams come true is to stop dreaming and start working for your dream. The greatest challenge for a dreamer is to learn to be in touch with reality, always able to seize opportunities and transform them in achievements.
15. On Being a Champion
To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are. ~ Muhammad Ali
When we don’t believe in ourselves, nobody else will believe either. Great champions know how to act as champions. Their inner strength shines at all times, even when they are not sure of themselves. This is the only way they can remain champions.
16. On Having a Cause
You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about. ~ Muhammad Ali
Fighting for a cause may not always be successful, yet this does not mean it is less worthy. Fighting for something you care about or you love gives you the chance to live a life of purpose and meaning.
17. On Pleasure and Happiness
Others may know pleasure, but pleasure is not happiness. ~ Muhammad Ali
Pleasure and happiness are very different. Pleasure speaks to the senses and it is easy to obtain while happiness speaks to the heart and it comes to us in many unpredictable ways. Pleasure is thus very common, but few can actually say what happiness really is.
18. On Fear
We can’t be brave without fear. ~ Muhammad Ali
Fear is not something that should stop us from our way. It is rather something that should motivate us to strive for greater things. We understand our own power when we encounter our fears. It is in this fight that we can show our braveness.
19. On True Wealth
My wealth is in my knowledge of self, love, and spirituality. ~ Muhammad Ali
Real wealth is not measured in money or properties. It is the measure of the treasures we hold inside. By gaining knowledge of our inner selves we unlock these treasures to find love, meaning and real, authentic happiness.
20. On Power and Respect
If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize. ~ Muhammad Ali
A true champion respects its opponents and demands the same respect from them. He doesn’t make compromises and does not accept to be put down. He teaches his opponents how to admire and fear his power.
21. On Carving Your Own Path
What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming. ~ Muhammad Ali
Our perception of the world is what creates our reality. We change who we are when we learn how to think differently about ourselves, in better and more positive terms.
22. On Having a Purpose
One person with knowledge of his life’s purpose is more powerful than ten thousand working without that knowledge. ~ Muhammad Ali
Having a purpose is the most powerful motivator that can determine a person to act towards a goal and to disregard all obstacles. People are empowered by meaning and only when they find their own, personal meaning they can act fearlessly in the world.
23. On Dreaming Big
If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. ~ Muhammad Ali
Dreams should be frightening because they have to take us out of our comfort zone and make us dare to achieve great things. If our dreams scare us, then we know they will demand us great courage but reward us in amazing ways.
24. On What Makes a Champion
Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something deep inside—a desire, a dream, and a vision. ~ Muhammad Ali
Being a champion is not about skills. It is about having the inner strength to motivate oneself towards a dream or a goal, no matter the costs. Champion have the power to control their minds and their emotions, not just their bodies.
25. On Creating Reality
We create our own realities according to our thoughts and beliefs. ~ Muhammad Ali
Our thoughts and beliefs shape who we are and what we are able to see in the world. When we learn to train our thoughts towards positive thinking and our beliefs towards success, we set ourselves on the path to achievement.
26. On Loss and Strength
If we didn’t experience a loss we would never know what we are capable of. ~ Muhammad Ali
Loss is a devastating experience that shakes up all our beliefs and hopes. However, we only become really powerful when we learn to deal with loss without letting it bring us down.
27. On Doing Your Job
It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up. ~ Muhammad Ali
We all have something to contribute to the world and something that makes us unique and valuable. By making a contribution to the world through our skills and talents , we fulfil our destiny.
28. On Motivation
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ ~ Muhammad Ali
Great dreams require hard work because success is hardly achievable without perseverance and constant motivation. We must be willing to put in the effort if we dream of great rewards.
29. On Being Confident
I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest. ~ Muhammad Ali
Not all of us are naturally confident but we all know that confidence is mandatory to succeed in the world. Until we learnt to be confident we can at least pretend to be so, hoping that one day we will become the confident person we deserve to be.
30. On Possible and Impossible
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. ~ Muhammad Ali
When people say something is impossible, they actually mean that it is difficult. For those who like challenges, impossible is an opportunity to prove their strength and motivation. Impossible becomes possible when a daring person decides to give it a chance.
31. On Knowing Who You Are
It’s not bragging if you can back it up. ~ Muhammad Ali
People with no confidence think that confident people are bragging. The truth is that when confident people are supported by facts and actions, they have nothing to prove to anyone. If they talk about achievements it is because this is their main interests, not because they want to put others down.