MAWMonday Motivators 06/05/2016

aliI am not a fanboy. Yet, there are some people who inspire me like they were family. If you know me, you know my top 5, my dream team of icons to emulate. Muhammad Ali is on my list. From his athletics to his politics, from his family to his public life he taught me just by being himself. Unlike many of my college friends from Berrien Springs, Michigan, I didn’t get the chance to get to know him personally. But, the pattern I gathered from his public face to sitting in restaurants he co-owned to driving up to his estate were instrumental in my musings about the man, the father, the professional that I wanted to be.

This week’s motivators provide tribute to the legacy of Muhammad Ali through his quotes. My hope is that you take time this week to ask yourself the tough questions. I hope you float them like butterflies, and sting answers like bees.

1. Believe in You
Every clip I have ever heard from Muhammad Ali was positive when referring to himself. I admired him for that. But, what I had to mature into was the knowledge that his belief was not blind. He fed his intellect. He reflected on his purpose. He listened to wisdom from those around him. When he states that he believes, it is not just in himself as a individual. It is a belief in himself as the collection of all that he has been blessed to witness and integrate. Is your belief in YOU multifaceted?

2. Get the Suffering Out of the Way
Exercise in the morning. Write first thing in the day. Get the tough things done as soon as the sun peeks over the horizon. Get them out of the way. They only seem harder when you put them off. Once you put in the time, the rest of the day is yours. Twenty minutes, an hour, two hours–whatever you commit is valuable for your development and for the development of your project. Your discipline and consistency will pay off. How much time are you putting into YOURS each day?

3. Realize what Freedom Makes Possible
Most people are interested in being free, but they are most likely imprisoned in their own jails. Bars of conformity, pop culture mimicry, this style, that fad. I have no problem with your attempts to look good and attractive. My problem is that you end up looking the same as some large group of everyone else. I just want you to know that freedom means that you can create your own. It doesn’t have to be what I want. I just wish to be able to tell you apart from all the others. What makes you visually different from the others?

4. Pay Your Rent
Find a way to give. I really don’t care how, what, how often, or when. Just cultivate a generous spirit. It could be as simple as please and thank you when you don’t have to. It could be as grand as donating a car to a person in need. Do it as a routine. Just like rent, pay it forward each month. I promise you that your life will change. Your vision will expand. The next challenge is to base the size of your monthly contribution on the blessings you have been given. How much back rent do you owe?

5. Accomplish Something
I get so excited about the risks I have taken and where they have landed me. I meet people daily who cannot fathom the poverty and want of my life story, the struggles of my early adulthood, or the denials of advancement. But, I have experienced them all. Yet, I always figured that nothing ventured would return nothing gained. It was up to me to risk whatever embarrassment for the chance at a reward. I didn’t think of it as courage. It was my only option if I wanted more out of life. What more can you make out of your life?