Muhammad Ali's passing was such a great shock to me - the moment I heard the news. Even though I knew he has been sick for some time. Still when someone as special as Ali passes on, the world mourns its loss - a great loss. I have been wanting to write a blog post about my recent 'discovery' that all the people who are great in their respective endeavours are actually (or more appropriately, must be) also great outside their endeavours. For example, in order for a body builder to be great in the gym (training) or on the stage (competing), he has to be great in time management, dieting, living a disciplined lifestyle and everything else in life that matters to his body building success - which is basically everything, really.
Want to be great in the ring? You have to be great outside it as well.
Want to be a great actor or director? You'd better be great with people - treat people right and win their respect by respecting them, be well-read on books about acting or film directing.
Personal development is no different from professional development. We cannot go very far in our profession when our personal life is a mess. Occasionally there are some who may seem to have been able to winged it, but not for long. Sooner or later, the consequences of their actions will catch up with them.
George Best at his best was one of the best footballers, best-looking sportsmen, most charismatic men, the most bad-ass playboys, the most hard-drinking and yet fittest footballers in the world. But when he died, he died a broken and lonely man.
Diego Maradona is yet another one of the many examples. I know you got the point.
Heaps of media now are echoing the fact that Ali was not only the greatest in the ring but also the greatest outside the ring. But if you go by the logic suggested by the title of this blog post, the tag line should be this, "Muhammad Ali is greatest in the ring. That is only because he is the greatest outside it." So, it is no surprise that he is great inside as well as outside the ring!
Muhammad Ali, to borrow a quote from one of the tributes found on the internet, was "a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him" and yet was not afraid of those people 'above' him because he knew that before the Creator/Universe, all human beings are equal.