No doubt, the world held its breath when two nights ago another legend, icon and inspiration passed on from our realm into another.

Muhammad Ali was more than a Sports legend or a boxing champion, he was the soul and heart of what determination and hard work can bring.

As tributes poured in following the news of his passing, it is crystal clear that Ali’s impact greatly surpassed the kind of influence a celebrity has on his fans.

Beyond the fandom, Ali stood as a symbol of what a man can achieve when his mind is set on it.

To achieve what he did as a Black man in America at a time when Blacks were seen as nothing more than criminals and delinquents, set a path for all Blacks to follow.

Boxing manager, Frank Warren speaking to British news network, Sky News, said of Ali, “he changed the whole concept of being black in America”,

He added further, “Muhammad Ali probably paved the way for Barack Obama becoming President of the United States”.

There are many things to glean from Muhammad Ali’s life. The global outpouring of love and affection for the legend should be enough to motivate us to lead meaningful lives.

Even if we deem it not enough, many things about what he did while he was alive can inspire us to live better daily.

Muhammad Ali might be gone, what he taught us lives on:

– Hard work: Ali exemplified what you can achieve if you work hard. He famously said about training; “I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”. And he did. Ali knew he had to work hard to get the dream he had envisioned, and so must we.

– Positive declarations: We hear a lot about how our tongues have power and how we should be careful to only say positive things about ourselves. You may never appreciate how true this is until you look at Ali’s life and realise that his declaration of being “the greatest”, eventually came true. He declared himself “the greatest that ever lived”, and now he is.

– How to hold steadfast to one’s beliefs: Beliefs are all that make up a man. Once, Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.  converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali, he became a different man. He held on to his beliefs to the letter, even up to being convicted for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War because of his beliefs. Ali taught us to find what we believe in, hold tightly to it, live studiously by it, and never compromise on it for anything.

Up till the end, according to his daughter’s statement about his final moments, Ali finished strong, with his heart still beating thirty minutes after his organs failed: He died just the way he lived.

Ali meant more to the world than can be expressed or described, and the world will always remember him for his hard work, determination and drive to be better and leave this world better than he met it; this must be the greatest thing we could ever learn from him.


Author: Aderonke Adeleke

Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.