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WHAT’S MY NAME? MUHAMMAD ALI
Six Big Lessons I Learned
Part 2

by Nick Holtzmen

Recently I dedicated two evenings to fully immerse myself in the new HBO two-part documentary, “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali” with a notebook and pen. My goal was to take some big life lessons I learned from Ali’s life and career and translate them into my own life in my never-ending attempt to find my own greatness within. I would like to share the 6 lessons I learned with you. Here is Lesson #2.

LESSON 2: IF YOU’RE GONNA TALK, BE PREPARED TO BACK IT UP.

Early and throughout his entire career, Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) self-promoted with his mouth, but he backed it all up with his skills.

  • He was the greatest self-promoting athlete of all time- no one before or after him has ever come close.
  • However, he was also a GREAT boxer- the best. Early on he was the fastest heavyweight ever, and most importantly, always going for the knockout. Later on in his career, he proved to have the greatest heart of all time.

It’s great to talk and hype yourself no matter what you do. Even if we do not go about it in a brash manner as the Greatest did, in order to achieve greatness you must make yourself heard in some way. Ali had a message for the world: so that his people could be respected and respect themselves in a way that all men and women should. He used his mouth, his insane boxing skills and the heart of a lion to get this message across to the masses. And he did it in a way so effective that no one has come close to his greatness since.

TAKE THIS WITH YOU: It’s great to talk and hype yourself, but the only way people will have no choice but to respect you, and the only way you will truly respect yourself is if you walk the walk. Back it up every time.

This goes for everything in life.