Muhammad Ali influenced many people through his words and boxing.
Aside from being one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali was also well-known for being witty, rebellious, and independent. At the age of 21, Ali became a world champion in boxing. He had many fights, but the most celebrated are the ones he fought against George Foreman and Joe Frazier. Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74, after battling with Parkinson’s Disease for 30 years. Each one of us can learn a lot from Muhammad Ali quotes. They are inspiring and have been a part of his legacy. Whenever you are feeling down, reading these Ali quotes can uplift your spirit. Here, we will share with you some of our favorite Ali lines.
A Bit About Muhammad Ali Quotes:
Muhammad Ali was not only well-loved in the boxing ring, but also for his quotes. A lot of people admire him for his positive outlook in life. Ali has always inspired us with his words, and thus we feel compelled to share these great Muhammad Ali quotes with you.
Who is Muhammad Ali?
Muhammad Ali’s birth name is Cassius Clay. He was born on January 17, 1942. In 1964, his name was changed to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam. It was during the same year when he rose to stardom after winning several titles including WBA, WBC and a lot more! He retired from boxing in 1981. Then, he passed away at a hospital on June 3, 2016. Luckily he left us a wealth of wisdom as evident in these great Muhammad Ali quotes.
What is Muhammad Ali known for?
Muhammad Ali was one of the world’s most celebrated boxer. Throughout his life, he was recognized as an activist for Black Americans’ civil rights. He also expressed his strong opposition to the U.S. government’s mediation in Vietnam. Ali was also a philanthropist and a great inspiration to everyone, both inside and outside of the ring.
What can we glean from Muhammad Ali quotes?
Muhammad Ali quotes teach us to believe in ourselves and proclaim our greatness. He wants us to stand for something. Ali explained that everything has a purpose and we must understand our purpose.
The most inspiring Muhammad Ali quotes will continue to live on.
We will always remember Muhammad Ali as a great boxer and humanitarian. His attitude and his words will continue to inspire us. Ali always shared his thoughts on everything from boxing to social issues. Just like his sports legacy, Ali’s lines will continue to inspire a lot of people. It can motivate you to feel confident and always fight for what you believe in.
1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
We’ll start right away with one of the most famous Muhammad Ali quotes. These are the exact words that Ali told the reporters when they ask him about his way of fighting. Once he is in the ring, he will float around gracefully, however, when it’s time to blow a punch, it will sting like a bee. During those years when he was a champion boxer, he was also considered as the most balanced fighter. Nobody could ever move gracefully like the way he did. At the same time, Ali can think fast and punch so hard. That is why, most boxers that came after Ali admire him for these qualities.
In 1964, Ali was still using his birth name Cassius Clay, Jr. At 22 years old, he had a fight against Sonny Liston, who had been a consistent heavyweight champion since 1962. Most people presume that Liston would defeat Clay. On the contrary, Clay was never frightened. Instead, he was very optimistic and he keeps telling reporters that he would win. Just before he entered the ring, he uttered these words, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.” Later on, it became one of the most inspiring Muhammad Ali quotes. This particular phrase describes exactly his fighting style. Ali became triumphant in this match. He defeated Sonny Liston by technical knockout.
After one year, Clay, who is then known as Mohammad Ali, had won another fight against Sonny Liston. This time, Ali defeated him by a knockout, making him one of the greatest boxers in the world.
2. “Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”
Everyone have worries and concerns in their lives. We worry so much about the things that have not yet happened. It seems that all our time have been spent in worrying. However, at the end of the day, does worrying do any good for us? Absolutely not! That is why, we should stop worrying about the things that have not yet occurred. This can only make us stressed out! In this beautiful quote, “Don’t count the days, make the days count,” Ali reminds us that we should stop worrying about the things that’s going to happen. Instead, we should focus more on making the most of each day.
Keep in mind that no matter what you do, you have to give your best. Once you have done this, then you will stop worrying. Just hold your head up high and always hope for the better. Don’t waste your time worrying for the things that you cannot change. Instead, focus more on the positive things. Concentrate on the things that you can control and avoid the things that you cannot control. In everything that you do always pray and trust God.
Sometimes life may not be exactly what you want it to be. However, you should also understand that things are happening for your good. The most important thing is you are doing your best in everything that you do. These Muhammad Ali quotes are a great reminder to everyone to stop spending their life worrying. Rather, they must do their best and leave the rest to God. Be happy and make the most of this day! Be thankful and embrace it. Most of all, never forget to smile!
3. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
If you cannot imagine yourself holding a trophy, a title belt or whatever it should be, then there’s no way that you can get there. If there is something that you want to accomplish, then you have to see yourself achieving it. For instance, it could be a business that you really want to start, a dream house that you want to build, or a brand new car that you want to own. You have to imagine these things in your mind in order to materialize them.
Mohammad Ali is so confident in declaring that he was the greatest. If you have self-confidence, then you know that you can do great things. But there are times when you think that you are not good enough. Mohammad Ali used his imagination in attracting crowds. It is considered as self-promotion and immediately he began creating his own self-marketing! Imagination is the best method for marketing. Ali proves to us that he is always ahead of time because of his imagination.
In today’s world, where technology is constantly evolving, the competition is tough. So, how can you set yourself apart? Use your imagination! This can make you original, wise, and creative. Hence, this gives you the chance to set apart from the competition. Be unique from the others. This Mohammad Ali quote is a great motivator for everyone.
Muhammad Ali is considered as one of the greatest boxers in the world. He is most remembered for his unique moves and rapid dancing inside the ring. But most of all, he inspired a lot of people outside the ring through his memorable Muhammad Ali quotes.
4. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
It’s very important that you should not disregard those little things. Ali always makes it a point to keep an eye on the details. If you are pursuing your dreams, then you must examine yourself closely. Most often, your worst enemy is yourself. Be sure to look for the pebble in your shoe and throw it away. If you won’t get rid of it, then it might bring you failure.
In these Muhammad Ali quotes, he tells us that there will always be some distractions in our everyday lives. Sometimes these complications can take us away from our path and prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. The mountain refers to our goals in life. But sometimes there are pebbles along the way. The pebbles refer to our weaknesses and our worries. We must get rid of the pebbles, so we can focus more on the mountain.
So, what can you do? You must fix those small things that prevent your progress. For instance, you have been dreaming of opening your own business, however, you have not done anything about it. You should maintain your focus on your goal. Be committed in achieving your dreams. You should get rid of the emotional pebbles. Sometimes that things that pull us down are stress, anxiety, and discouragement. Be easy on yourself and do not strive for perfection. This is a good start for creating positiveness in your life. Once you have eliminated these pressures, then you can find some relief. Consequently, you will have a successful journey ahead of you.
5. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Failure is not such a bad thing. The only failure is to never attempt to try harder. If you don’t have enough courage in your heart, then it will be very impossible for you to accomplish anything. If there is something that you want so badly, then you should look for ways in order to achieve it. Are you looking for a promotion? Do you want to win a gold medal in the Olympics? If so, then you should look for ways in order to turn that dream into a reality.
This is one of the best Muhammad Ali quotes. It is considered as a prevalent reality. One of the best examples of this quote is Lance Armstrong. If he had not taken the chance to land in the moon, even if there is a greater risk that he might die, then he wouldn’t be recognized as a hero. On the part of Muhammad Ali, if he had not taken the chance to fight, even if it means losing all his titles, then he would not be commemorated as one of the best boxers in the world. If you are not willing to take some risks, then it would be very impossible for you to accomplish your goals. Ali understood clearly that the only way that he can become great is to be a risk-taker.
Muhammad Ali is truly a great fighter, both inside and outside the ring. He inspired a lot of people when he fought against Parkinson’s Disease. You should not let anything else take control of your life. Instead of saying, you can’t, just say, you’ll try.
6. “I shook up the world.”
Muhammad Ali quickly took the world by storm. This phrase, ‘I shook up the world,’ were the words that he uttered after winning a fight against Sonny Liston. The champ wasn’t actually bragging about it, he was merely stating the fact. Ali, who was known as Cassius Clay during that time, was overjoyed by his victory and it can be seen in his eyes, voice, and his message. He kept on screaming “I shook up the world.” After this, he decided to change his name and became one of the most highly recognized boxers of all time.
While Sonny Liston was down on the floor, Cassius Clay was dancing around celebrating his win. He kept on saying, “I shook up the world!” Ali became famous because he excel in his sports. He managed to execute his moves effectively.
Most athletes would treat victory with modesty. But Ali is different. He has his own rules. He is not agreeable to modesty and for him defeat is impossible. The heavyweight champion is very optimistic. According to Ali, anything can be possible, as long as the person has the courage and talent. Undoubtedly, Ali possessed these important qualities.
Mohammad Ali was not just an ordinary boxer. In fact, even when he first started, he quickly recognized that ability was not sufficient. He must stand out from the crowd. People started noticing him since he was a great fighter. Ali himself knew that he was exceptional and significant. Muhammad Ali played a significant part in everyone’s lives. When you think of him, you will be reminded by his small smile on his brilliant face. This smile is quite deceiving, yet it captivates everyone’s hearts, just as these Muhammad Ali quotes do.
7. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. ‘”
The hardest part of every athlete’s life is training. It is pretty much the same with Muhammad Ali. “No pain, no gain.” The fact is if you are a human being then it is only natural that you will hate training. But on Ali’s part, he clearly understood that training can make him a champion.
What does this Mohammad Ali quote mean? This means that you must be willing to do some sacrifice right now so you can achieve something better afterwards. In other words, you can have great accomplishments if you are willing to pay the price. They have what it takes. In Ali’s case, he was willing to do a lot of training. This includes jumping rope, doing push-ups and a lot more. He is willing to do all of these that is why he was known as “The Greatest.”
Why is it important that you should be exceptional? Being exceptional is what you are striving for, it’s what you are meant for, and it is what you are born for. Nobody is born to be nothing and to do nothing. Some people will live up to their own potential. However, there are some who has inadequate motivation in getting there. Ever since Ali started, he already envisioned himself that he would become a champion. He always kept this goal in his mind. With sufficient motivation, courage, and guts, Ali got what he wanted.
Not everyone is meant to be a heavy weight boxing champion. However, anyone can be exceptional. You can be an exceptional dancer, exceptional singer, or exceptional entrepreneur. You definitely have that in you, as these Muhammad Ali quotes seek to show you.
8. “Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
Sometimes the most important lessons in life are not taught at school. Muhammad Ali’s life is filled with lots of adventures. Even from his early years, he always give importance to the people who have stayed by his side through thick and thin. It is very important that you should value the people in your life. Show how grateful you are in having them in your life. Your friends are the people who are willing to do anything for you. Always remember that friends are for life.
Be sure to let your friends know how important they are to you. Perhaps the best time to do that is today. Maybe your teachers did not include friendship in their lessons. However, the best place to learn friendship is at school. In order to gain friends, you should associate yourself with other people. As the days go by, you will be able to gain a lot of friends. Sometimes you can discover your best friends at school.
People who have no friends feel lonely forever. But this is not actually true. You still have a chance to make new friends, even if you can’t find anyone on sight. This usually happens when you recently transferred to a new location. Or have broken up with a friend or a lover.
What do you value most in your friends? Maybe it’s the time that they spend with you. You can always assure that they are always there whenever you need a shoulder to cry on. True friends will love you unconditionally. They are willing to accept you for who you are. Having genuine friends are the best gifts that you can ever have.
9. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”
Muhammad Ali is an optimistic person. He can always find great things in everything. When we see molds, most of us thinks that they look ugly. But for Ali, he saw something beautiful in them. This quote tells us that there is something valuable in each one of us. Most people would throw away moldy bread. This is because they do not realize that it can turn into one of the greatest medicines ever. There is a gem within us even if we cannot see it, it will always be there. You just need to find a way to reveal that gem.
Ali’s boxing career actually started when his bike was stolen. He was not able to recover his bike, however, he met Joe Martin, a police officer and at the same time a boxing coach. Martin trained Ali at the Columbia Gym, which is just below the Columbia Auditorium. Now, it is known as the Spalding University Center. It seems like fate has brought him to this gym in order to become the greatest boxer. Today, the gym where Ali made his first practice, is still being used by the Spalding athletes.
When you reach out to someone who needed some help, you are actually following the footsteps of the late Mohammad Ali. The champ has touched a lot of lives just the way that Spalding University touched Muhammad Ali’s life. Hopefully these Muhammad Ali quotes will touch your own life.
Ali will always be known as the three-time heavyweight boxing champion as well as the man with bold boasting. However, outside the ring, Ali is still champion but in a different way. His charitable works will always be an important part of his life.
10. “Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”
Your mind will dictate your body on what you would do. Muhammad Ali always managed to push himself despite his age. He even defeated boxers who are younger than him including Frazier and Foreman. Despite his doctor’s warning, Ali still insisted that he made a comeback in the ring. Age should not be considered as a major factor in determining the things that you want to do in life. Sometimes if you don’t know a person’s age, you will quickly assume that they look younger or older.
Keep in mind that “Age is just a number.” It is a fact that your body will age and your appearance will change. There are even some people who look older at a very young age. This is because they already feel contented even if they have not accomplished anything. Although there are also some older people who are always setting goals for themselves. They realize that life is short and time flies so fast. It is very important that we should have a purpose in life. In this way, we have a reason to get up, no matter if you are young or old.
Never use your age as an excuse. Some people will say that they are already too old and it’s late for them to start something new. However, there are some people who became successful during their older days. One of the best example is Colonel Harland Sanders who began KFC when he was already 65 years old. He never let age stand in his way! Clearly there is much to be learned from these Muhammad Ali quotes.
Which Muhammad Ali quotes were more inspiring to you?
There are a lot of lessons that we can learn from Muhammad Ali quotes. Ali is truly a champion not only inside the ring but also outside. He left us an incredible legacy that will always be remembered. We hope that there inspiring words from the greatest boxer will motivate you to gain confidence. Regardless what the circumstance is, you should believe in yourself. Believe that you can do anything!
Did you enjoy these Muhammad Ali quotes? If you do, then please share it to inspire others. What is your favorite Ali line, please tell us in the comments below.
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Anna works as a full-time writer and editor and has devoted the last ten years of her career to assisting readers in improving their perspective on life. She is a Cultural Studies graduate and now contributes to Good Morning Quotes by sharing her traveling experiences and social knowledge with our readers. When she is not typing up her next article, Anna enjoys spending time with friends, visiting new places, and supporting a healthy lifestyle.