One summer’s afternoon when I was 16, I wondered along Hill Street in Birmingham, England, with my friend Alston Augustus. At the bottom of the hill we spied a host of people entering a hotel lobby. There were a fleet of large black limousines outside. At once we began to run.
When we got to the hotel entrance we saw a large crowd of people, many in smart suits, also press photographers, all scrambling to get into the lifts. We overheard that the destination was the 2nd floor. We ran for the stairs and like gazelles, leapt them three and four at a time until we reached the 2nd floor. As we arrived it was obvious which room everyone was heading in to, so we strode in that direction.
Then magic happened. We became invisible to the crowd of officials and bodyguards. Hence Alston and I were able to walk in, and slip round behind the core group to which everyone else was facing. There was a huge scrum of people, but we just kept moving in the direction of that energy centre. Then as things became clearer, I saw a mountain of a man in a dark grey suit stand up and speak. The man with his back to me, standing just 2 feet away, was Muhammad Ali.
Even back then I had been an Ali fan for as long as I could remember. My father was a huge fan and allowed my siblings and I to watch every fight Ali had, no matter what time of night it was. Now here, in this moment, in touching distance, was my hero. I don’t recall the words and discussion in the room but I do recall that no one bothered, pestered or yanked us out of the room.
WITNESSING THE MAGIC OF ALI
I recall that at the end of this gathering, Ali performed a magic trick in which he made a red silk handkerchief disappear in front of everyone’s eyes. Everyone including the press gasped, laughed and cheered. I myself, having the bird’s eye view, got a glimpse of the magic, speed and the sleight-of-hand dexterity of this great man. I won’t reveal what I saw, but know this, even from that small entertaining trick, I learned that every great achievement has daring, genius, belief, confidence, and a process!
PROUD & HONOURED
Well, that was Once Upon a Time… Today the circle begins to complete.
Sometimes superlatives are just not enough! But I’m going to use a couple: I am most PROUD and most HONOURED to have been invited into discussions at the genesis of the worldwide initiative to share the works and principles of one of history’s greatest humanitarians and icons, Muhammad Ali.
Yesterday the universe and my intention collaborated. I sat in my boardroom with Donald Lassere, CEO & President of the Muhammad Ali Center, along with Geoff Thompson MBE, Executive Chair of Youth Charter, discussing how I can support the Muhammad Ali Center here in the UK and as a result, internationally. More shall be revealed when it is right to do so.
Watch this space and spread the word: We in the UK are privileged to soon become the first international home of the Muhammad Ali Center for Youth. The Center will focus on ‘Youth’ and helping them to discover their ‘GREATNESS’. I will reveal where this first UK location will be and share more of this initiative soon, because the next steps are set and are timelined.
Those of you who have read my first book ‘The 10-Second Philosophy’: A practical guide to releasing your inner genius (Amazon.co.uk), will know that I expound a philosophy related to helping each fellow human access their inner genius or greatness. Those who know Ali’s full story will know that there are few greater examples in the last 100 years of greatness/genius being revealed out of so many adversities.
Most importantly Muhammad Ali has proven that one person can change the world, when they release their inner genius.
Your genius is within you. Your greatness is within you.
The Muhammad Ali Centers are run and teach, based upon Ali’s core principles:
SIX CORE PRINCIPLES
-Confidence: Belief in oneself, one’s abilities, and one’s future.
-Conviction: A firm belief that gives one the courage to stand behind that belief, despite pressure to do otherwise.
-Dedication: The act of devoting all of one’s energy, effort, and abilities to a certain task.
-Giving: To present voluntarily without expecting something in return.
-Respect: Esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, oneself and others.
-Spirituality: A sense of awe, reverence, and inner peace inspired by a connection to all of creation and/or that which is greater than oneself.
Those who have read ‘The 10-Second Philosophy’ will know how close these principles align with my own. There are a few key dates that I will advise you of in the coming weeks so that you may, if you wish, support these here endeavours.
Release your inner genius
Release your inner greatness