Why Muhammad Ali is a Huge Inspiration for Millennials

Why Muhammad Ali is a Huge Inspiration for Millennials


It’s no secret that Muhammad Ali is a legend. He was a living legend, and in his departure from this world, the impact he has made will only continue to grow.

People spoke often about his indomitable will, huge heart, and true dedication to inspiring others to live the lives they wanted for themselves. He was regarded as someone who helped as many people as he could, never looked down on others, was an incredible leader, and was a shining example of what it means to be both a giant and a peaceful warrior.

One of the most challenging things we face when we embark on creative a life and freedom of our own design is to stay grounded in our respect and admiration for other people. As success grows, many people get tripped up by ego and a competitive mindset that has them seeing other people as obstacles rather than allies. While Ali wasn’t perfect, and did plenty of things that other people didn’t admire, overall his heart and mind were in the right place, and it’s something to applaud.

Outside of this, Ali made a living and an impact by being himself and doing what he loved. The Millennial generation lives by this same credo — we are a generation of people who can’t be put in boxes, desire autonomy, and are dismantling the structures everyday that tell us we have to do things a certain way. What we crave the most is freedom and independence.

Ali’s philosophy has left many notable quotes behind, and here are five that really resonate with the Millennial approach to life, and more specifically, the entrepreneurial mindset and focus that many of us have.

1) Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Arguably his most famous quotation, and one that originally made direct reference to boxing, this has had many interpretations. In respect to the lifestyle of creating your dreams — take action when it’s merited, and do it with full and direct intention. It’s also about the balance between grinding, and stepping back to simply appreciate what you’ve built. Know when to get after it, and when to just enjoy the ride.

2) He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in his life.

It gets said all of the time, but if you have a dream, a desire, a passion — and you don’t follow it — it may be one of the biggest things you will look back on and never have a great answer for. Fear is the greatest obstacle we have to overcome, particularly when we impose limitations on ourselves based on being scared of outcomes that haven’t happened. We can never be sure of everything. Life is full of surprises. If we don’t take risks to follow our passions, we aren’t living at all.

3) Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

It’s so important that we have a passionate focus in our lives, something that we want to create. But what’s even more important than this, is that that focus will somehow also have a positive impact on other people. Whatever you’re building, creating, or being — will it also inspire others to do the same? What message are you sharing? What product are you offering that will make life, business, or adversity easier for others to manage? Being focused on yourself and your legacy isn’t selfish, but building a legacy focused on yourself is.

4) I am the greatest, I said that before I even knew I was.

The old adage “fake it ’til you make it” isn’t a joke. Self-confidence is a non-negotiable on the path of life, because if you don’t believe in yourself, it’s going to be nearly impossible for other people to. There will be plenty of people who question what you’re doing if you’re doing something revolutionary, and that’s a good sign, you’re challenging the way things are. Still, it’s part of the journey, and the way you move through it is by trusting your vision. Of course there’s a difference between cockiness and confidence, but self-awareness gives us the gift to know when we’re crossing the line. Listen to what other people have to say, take what resonates, leave the rest, and follow your own internal guidance. That’s the way revolutionary things get done.

5) The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

Flexibility is one of the most important qualities we can have as human beings. The only constant we can count on in our lives is change, and that’s important. Our own personal evolution is part of a larger evolution of society — one that we directly participate in. If we never changed our ideas about things, and the world around us, everything would remain stagnant. As millennials — we have a massive distaste for stagnancy. We like the adventure of change, we welcome it, and we love to grow. We’re on a constant quest for learning. The important thing is to never become so complacent that we stop asking questions or dreaming up big ideas. Being comfortable is great but stepping outside of your comfort zone is even greater.

Now, take a cue from Ali and go do things!

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