Who better to quote than the man whose words could indeed sting…
While we recognized him originally for his brawn, his brashness, his butterfly precision and his bee-like speed, we grew to honour him for his commitment, his authenticity, his wisdom and his poignant way with words.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.)
January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men
who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given
than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.
Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is nothing.”
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
“I never thought of losing.
But now that it’s happened,
the only thing is to do it right.
That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me.
We all have to take defeats in life.”
I know where I’m going and I know the truth,
and I don’t have to be what you want me to be.
I’m free to be what I want.
“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.”
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out;
it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
It’s always the little things that we fail to notice, the little things that trip us up.
Keep an eye on the details as well as the big picture.
“People say I talk so slow today. That’s no surprise. I calculated I’ve taken 29,000 punches. But I earned $57m and I saved half of it. So I took a few hard knocks. Do you know how many black men are killed every year by guns and knives without a penny to their names? I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.”
– Ali, January 20, 1984.
“What I suffered physically was worth what I’ve accomplished in life. A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything in life.”
– Ali at a news conference on October 28, 1984.
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
“They did what they thought was right, and I did what I thought was right.” – Ali, February, 17, 1966.
One of his last publicized quotes…
“I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion.” – Ali, 2015.
And my personal fave:
The Roomate: “Basically, you’re not alone in there. There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. The first is you, the awareness, the witness, the center of your willful intention; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you ever had.” ~ Michael Singer from The Untethered Soul
People often think of the soul as something that’s added to a person at conception and leaves them at death. Then there’s the belief called “Frisbeetarianism” where the soul leaves the body at death and gets stuck on the roof.
Locating the soul has proven a challenge, like getting a frisbee off the roof.
Maybe we don’t HAVE souls. Maybe we ARE souls. Paulo Coelho said,”I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body.”
I think the soul is all that’s left when you strip away everything that is non essential. I see soul as another word for the essence of who you are. Waking up to this essence is when we really come alive.
We spend so much energy in life being something we aren’t, things we think we’re supposed to be. Often, the essence of who we are gets buried under layers of pretense and protection. Death is the final stripping away of this pretense. I think the soul is all that’s left once you strip away all that is changing, temporal and finite. – Ian Lawton
“In our culture, we trade off mystery for mastery, but in doing so, we choose deadness over aliveness. What stops the world is our quest for certainty. To the cognitive mind, everything has to be complete. What you’re looking for is something that is not growing, something that is not changing, we swap certainty for aliveness. These are bad trades. These trades don’t make us happy. When we make these tradeoffs for certainty or mastery, we disconnect from the soul.”
-Rachel Naomi Remen
The ego is never ready to do the soul’s work… but that’s okay, because it does not have to do the soul’s work- and the soul is always ready. The ego can sit back and enjoy! – Robert Holden
So often I hear people say ‘do something that feeds your soul’.
But I see it the other way. We need to get still enough present enough – even just for a few minutes a day, for our soul to feed us. – Hollie Holden
“If all you desired is what your soul desired, everything would be very simple. If you listened to the part of you which is pure spirit, all your decisions would be easy, and all the outcomes joyous. That is because the choices of the spirit are always the highest choices.”
~Neale Donald Walsch
Next it might be questioned why do the wise not lament for the living or the dead? …the soul is eternal and not the physical body – [which is] never able to ever be equated with the soul…. All souls are immortal being eternal and hence should never be grieved for.
paraphrased, Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya