Turning Something Negative Into Something Great
We’ve lost quite a few iconic figures in the last few months, but I chose to quote Muhammad Ali this week for a few reasons. Up until a month ago, everything I heard about him confused me. A braggart, a great fighter, a historical figure, stood up for what he believed in. For the longest time, thoughts floated around in the back of my head as to how all this would add up. After finding out he’d passed away, I finally decided to pick up his autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story. I’m finally finishing it up, and I’m glad to say that I have not been disappointed. While I am still taking some time for myself to process it, I’d like to talk about one quote in here that turned on a light bulb.
“It’s funny, but those who hate me inspire me the most. As long as I know they’re out there.”
– Muhammad Ali
Now, if there’s anything I know after reading his book, it’s that he loved to talk, especially to the people who wanted to write him off. It was perhaps his greatest motivation, especially having grown up knowing the oppression of people of colour. Having gone through that, he never shied away from proving the haters wrong. He wasn’t afraid. He stood up, and not just for himself, but for the masses who knew oppression.
While I can’t say I can relate, I know what it’s like being hated. Unlike Ali, my first instinct was to retreat. But I knew better than that. I decided to stop letting people call me lazy or incompetent, so I did what I could and made something. All starting with nothing.