Monday, April 16, 2012

How Great I Am - Maybe Muhammad Ali Was Right

I'll show YOU how great I am.  Leave it to Muhammad Ali to tell us how to be inspired - how to believe in ourselves.  The king of self promotion was a great motivator.  In retrospect, we believe he is talking to us when he talks about being as great as you can be, when at the time, he was trying to motivate himself.  He is the greatest.

Even Tony Robbins has sampled Ali's famous pre-match speech against George Foreman in 1974, which was based on the poem he wrote about the upcoming fight with Foreman.  Essentially, we are told to keep moving forward.  That we are powerful.  It goes something like this:

Rumble in the Jungle
I've done something new for this fight.
I have wrestled with an alligator.
That's right. I have wrestled with an alligator.
I tussled with a whale.
I've handcuffed lightning;
Thrown thunder in jail.
Only last week, I murdered a rock;
injured a stone;
hospitalized a brick;
I'm so mean I made medicine sick.
Last night, I cut the light of in my bedroom hit the switch and was in bed before the room went dark.
Fast...You, George Foreman, all you chumps are gonna bow when I whoop him.
All of you, I know you've gotten...I know you've gotten picked.
But the man's in trouble.
I'll show you how Great I am.

I tried explaining this to the kids the other day when they gathered around me to watch the youtube video of Ali's speech.  I explained to them that if they believe in themselves and they continually reinforce that belief, nothing can stop them.  I'm not a self-help guru, that's for sure.  And I'm not sure I want them to look in the mirror and chant how great they are every morning before school.  But it's important to me to make sure that my children believe in themselves and their abilities.  And it's growing tougher every year to instill this self-belief - this self esteem - in the kids.  School is difficult, after school sports and activities are difficult, constant pressures from the parents are difficult.  They're making movies about the bully for Christ's sake.  It's really difficult to learn self-esteem, but it can be learned.

So now what?

I'm going to keep building them up.  I'm going to keep telling them that they are important and that they are strong.  If my son asks me if he pitched well, the answer is yes.  If my daughter asks me if her picture was well-drawn, I'm going to say yes.  If my other son asks me about his touchdown in flag football, I'm going to say it was one of the best catches I have ever seen.  They need to be inspired to do great things, and it all begins with little things like this.

And maybe then they won't need me to tell them to chant "I'll show you how great I am."

No comments:

Post a Comment