Best Productivity Tips From The Life Of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. He was known best as a legendary boxer, but he was also an extraordinarily productive and inspirational person. He achieved a lot in his lifetime, and here we will take a peek at some of the best tips for getting things done and cherishing life by Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali is regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer in the history, but he also  publicly supported religious freedom and racial justice. He was a conscientious opposer during the Vietnam War. Beyond that, Ali was a great speaker, and would often voice his general rules to live life. Although they are not the kind of tips you could take and apply directly to your life, these ideas are very practical in defining how to get things done.

Your Time is Limited, Make the Most Out of It

No one can dispute the fact that we are all living on a limited time, and although “make the most of the time you have” sounds cliché, Ali had a spin on this idea. Throughout his countless interviews, he would talk often about doing the best you can with what you got. In an 1975 interview with the Playboy magazine, he breaks it down like;

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

It is not simply about boxing or any sports though. He strived to be the very best in everything he did. In the book, The Soul of the Butterfly, he reminded us that having a great work ethic will usually be all that matters:

“If I had been a garbageman, I would have picked up more trash quicker and neater than anyone else ever had. If I’d been a reporter who got the chance to spend the day with Muhammed Ali, before I came to the interview, I would have thought long and hard about Ali the other reporters who had interviewed him before me. I would have reviewed all of their stories so that I could get a different perspective.”

Point here is that your time is very limited. It does not matter what you do, just give it your best, and after that when you will look back and reflect on that time you had, you will be a lot more contented for it.

Be Your Belief In Yourself (Even If It is Overblown)

Poise and confidence are two of those difficult to master things that we are all reminded constantly to feel. No one wished to be weak, but then at the same time, we wouldn’t dare to boast about ourselves at the same level Ali could. Ali utilized that boasting to help him get through tough fights and that confidence, even in his losses, was evident.

Confidence can come from a number of sources, but for Muhammad Ali, it was all about taking risks. In his interview with the Ebony, he famously said:

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

You miss all the chances you don’t take so the more risks you are willing to take, better off you will be.

Training Sucks, No Matter Who You Are

People think that folks who exercise love and enjoy it. Anyone who does not accept that exercising doesn’t suck usually is telling a lie. The reality is, it doesn’t matter who you’re—whether you are Muhammad Ali or an ordinary guy from New York —training is diffcult. Sooner you accept this fact, the better.

During his 1978 interview with the Newsweek, he told about his training:

“I hated every minute of it. But I said to myself, ‘Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

Living life as a champion won’t be in the fate of most of us just because we either don’t go to the gym or don’t train hard. Idea of “suffer now so you can kick ass later” is valid for all walks of life. If you are learning a new skill, it is going to suck a lot before it is any awesome. Same thing goes for exercise, starting at a new job, university, or about every little thing in your life.

Sometimes You Do Lose

Ali had an incredible professional record of 56 wins and 5 losses. This is an unbelievable stat, but when you are as good as him, these five defeats can look like ultimate failures to you. Despite the boastfulness in his victories, Ali was navel-gazing surprisingly when he lost these matches. Before his1973 fight with George Foreman, he told the media:

“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.”

Getting over and past failures is not easy at all for anyone, but it could be done. Ali’s idea may be very simplistic for the majority of people, but his point stays true at any rate: if you meet failure, only thing left to do is to try again and again till you get it right.

Keeping Your Friends Close

Normally speaking, when you take a look back at history, it seems as many famous sportsmen and public figures throughout history disregarded their friends, but Muhammad Ali was of the belief that friends are the real force that can help you get things done. Ali laid it out in his interview with Harold Bell:

“Friendship is a priceless gift that cannot be bought nor sold, but its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold; for gold is cold and lifeless – it can neither see nor hear, in time of trouble its powerless to cheer – it has no ears to listen, no heart to understand, it cannot bring you comfort or reach out a helping hand. So when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if sends not diamonds, pearls or riches but the love of real true friends.”

Now of course, every now and then, it is not easy to find good friends and making good friends is an art in itself. This is precisely why it is worth it to hold onto the supporting friends.