"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."
"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."
"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"
Muhammad Ali - The Greatest
This week I lost a Hero, I wanted to say something about it many times but was and still am in the process of grieving.
I don't have many hero's and the ones I do have mean a lot to me.
All three quotes above are by Muhammad Ali but it's the last one I want to draw your attention to. This statement and the actions that affirmed it is the main reason he was a hero to me.
Let me explain it this way Muhammad Ali was unapologetically himself. Many despised him for it and considered him egotistical and arrogant because of it, but he didn't care.
He didn't need other people's "permission" to be himself or whatever he wanted. He was banned from what he loved doing, stripped of his title and risked imprisonment for standing for values.
Coincidentally** last week i had a few conversations with friends and clients who were struggling with the notion that they didn't have permission to do or be what they wanted.
** those of you that know me know I don't believe in coincidences
Now in each conversation it was established they only needed their own permission and in fact were worried about the disapproval or disappointment of others (even though there was no impact to anyone else).
This is quite common that people are seeking permission to be themselves and really start living.
If nothing else what Muhammad Ali's legacy should teach us that we don't need anybody else's permission to be ourselves, or to be what ever we want to be.
No one remembers mediocrity or cowardice, fortune favours the bold!
Our greatness shines through not by trying to conform and to fit in but when we Re-Member we are unique, courageous and authentically ourselves whatever the risk.
Muhammad Ali's legacy is a call to action to be the greatest we can be and stand for the injustices against those who are oppressed for who they are.