We sat around the old black and white television. My father ran into the room. “Has it started yet” he said with the greatest excitement. It was the big fight. Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) came into the ring. You knew he was going to win. He had that look of unshakeable belief in his eyes. He knew too. He had seen this fight in his head so many times, heard the cheer of the crowd and felt the feeling of being a champion long before he had even placed a foot in the ring. As he danced his way around that ring he did truly “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”.
“I am the greatest” he said. His belief was embedded in every cell of his body. That’s what champions are made of. He told the world he was the greatest. He believed he was the greatest and he acted and boxed like he was the greatest. He became the greatest. Over and over in his mind he told himself this. It wasn’t just in the gym that he practised. He went right into his deeper mind and developed a belief so powerful that he became champion of the world.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”