• I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Muhammad Ai

Another example of embracing the failure to engage in battle cited by Robert Greene is Muhammed Ali who celebrates his 70th birthday today.

  • “Even as a child, Muhammad Ali got perverse please out of being different.  He liked the attention is got him, but most of all he just liked being himself:  odd and independent.  When he began to train as a boxer, at the age of twelve, he was already refusing to fight in the usual way, flouting the rules.” 

Convention said to keep hands up to guard against blows, but Ali liked to keep his arms down to tempt opponents close where his speed would prevail.  Convention said to build the power of one’s punch, but Ali spent lots of time working on developing his legs and footwork.  Convention said to move in and then retreat, but Ali shuffled and danced on his toes.

  • “Ali’s style ran counter to conventional boxing wisdom in almost every way, yet its unorthodoxy was exactly what made it so difficult to combat.”