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Everything You Need To Know About Parenting In 14 Muhammad Ali Quotes

Muhammad Ali wasn’t just a peerless boxer with historic fights against Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman. He also wasn’t just the first world famous athlete who forced a nation to reckon with his political and spiritual beliefs. Ali was a father to 9, and he was as loving outside the ring as he was vicious in it.

Recently, his oldest daughter Laila remembered her father, saying, “He treated kids that he didn’t know the same as he treated us when it came to how much love he showed. He was a loving father. He pretty much gave us everything we wanted, which, now that I’m a parent, that isn’t always good. He was a spoiler. That’s what I always remember, just being kissed and hugged, and him just being that person, just giving you anything you want because he wants to see a smile on your face.”

So … basically exactly what you hope your own kid says about you after you’re gone. Here are a few of the Greatest’s choice cuts for anyone raising a kid.

On Living In His Shadow
“I tried to be the greatest boxer in the world and a good parent, too. I had instant feedback on my success as a boxer. Often, parents don’t really know if what they are doing is right or wrong until their child is grown and it is too late to change any of the decisions. Whatever my failings as a parent, I am very proud of all my children. It wasn’t easy for them to make their own way with such a controversial and public father.”

On Inspiring Them To Dream Big
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

On The Effect Of Kids
“Children make you want to start life over.”

On What Maturity Means
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

On Carpe Diem
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

On Perseverance
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wears you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

On Their Hidden Potential
“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”

On Hubris
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

On When To Shut Up
“Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

On Being Charitable
“Service to other is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

On The Power Of Conviction
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

On The Price Of Being Right
“When you’re right, nobody remembers. When you’re wrong, nobody forgets.”

On Getting Back Up
“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”

On Carpe Diem (Part II)
“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”