When I was 13 years of age, I saw a movie on the life of Muhammad Ali called The Greatest.
In this movie, Ali played himself, which wasn’t hard to do because most of the movie contained LIVE clips from his weigh-ins, press conferences and fights, inside and outside of the ring.
At the time, Muhammad Ali was both loved and hated by the masses.
Why was he hated?
It wasn’t due to his boxing ability or lack thereof. It was mostly due to his incessant bragging and non-stop belittling of his opponents: calling them names and mocking them to sell tickets and get free publicity for his fights.
Nevertheless, Ali was my hero and every time he proclaimed with unabashed enthusiasm, “I’M THE GREATEST OF ALL TIIIMES,” I smiled and laughed out loud. In fact, I loved this line so very much that I began uttering it out loud myself, in public, at my hometown’s outdoor swimming pool.
During practice for our swimming team, when I’d finish a race ahead of all my teammates, I would proceed to brag in Ali-esque fashion. I’d point my unknowingly pompous finger in the air, proclaiming myself to be numero uno, while saying for all to hear, “I’M THE GREATEST OF ALL…” – well, I believe you can finish the sentence.
There were three results that came to light after making my boastful proclamations. The first was I won all my races that summer. Every single one. I finished the season undefeated in butterfly, freestyle and individual medley. Second, I broke records at nearly every pool we competed in. And third, I was absolutely, hands-down, the most loved and the most hated member of my team.
Not only did I have much younger, easily impressionable athletes on the team coming up to me and asking for autographs – but I also had others, typically a fews years my senior, who wanted to smash my mouth with their fists.
I can honestly say I had no idea this one superlative sentence, uttered aloud, with enthusiasm, in front of others, would change the course of my life so much.
If I could go back in time and re-live as well as edit this mental movie, I would cut out the section wherein I publicly boasted. Instead, I would be humble in public but a confident, courageous and arrogant S.O.B. as I stood before a mirror in my own home, in private, and uttered the same line with vim, vigor, snap and ginger.
On deeper reflection, I would also advise every single person on the face of this earth to do the same. The reason is simple. Everyone one of us IS the GREATEST OF ALL TIMES. There is never going to be another YOU, EVER.
When you were created the mold got tossed away. You are unique in a way that can never be duplicated. Imitated, yes – but never copied or modeled to exact perfection.
Realistically speaking, YOU are the GREATEST because you swam and won the first and most important race that can ever be swum; when you defeated hundreds of millions of others on the way to being conceived.
Ah, yes, – I’m referring to the “sperm and the egg race.” It’s a true story about YOU and it’s much more relevant and important than the race involving the “tortoise and the hare.”
Don’t believe me? Then get thee before thy mirror – look yourself in the eyes and proclaim yourself the GREATEST of ALL TIMES – with enthusiasm. Do it several times – then stand back and behold the rush and the flow of positive neurotransmitters circumnavigating your noggin.
Is this positive thinking?
It’s more along the lines of positive emoting – positive primal screaming and positive positioning of yourself in your own mind so that you’re well equipped to fight and win the greatest battle ever fought. That, my friend, is the battle for control over your own thoughts, your own brain and your own destiny.
Live your life with gusto and enthusiasm. It’s far better than the alternatives.
Control and monitor the images and pictures you play in your private mental movie theater – then stand back and behold your circumstances shifting to make way for YOU – the GREATEST who has ever lived inside your very own skin.