Know Thyself

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses.

Behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road.

Long before I dance under those lights.

Theory is not mastery. Repetition is.

If its systematic you can improve it, over and over again.

Muscle memory, miling, the neural connections go from forming a little string, to turning it into a cable wire.

But what I’ve learned is you don’t control everything in life.

You don’t control what you look like, or how to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing, and your body from degenerating.

You don’t control who comes into your life and you certainty don’t control all of the lessons that the universe has in store for you.

So you can’t possibly account for how everything will work out, but you know your destiny.

You know what you want and you know why you want it on the deepest level.

And thoughts you can control.

Thoughts contain matter. Thoughts influence actions.

So the self talk is not hubris, or false pride, but its affirmation.

Its an understanding who you really are.

Who else is going to tell you, you are the greatest?

But you always carry your humility with you.

And you carry the same will to act when you are winning or even when you feel like you are dying.

That’s the mind of a psychological warrior.

But at some point the purpose is in a different intensity.

Letting go can be just as beautiful.

The legacy cannot be complete without it.

Everything that has a beginning has an end.

To appreciate life and all its glory, it must come full circle.

But here’s the distinction:

You are gone but never dead. You are away but never forgotten.

The message leaves an imprint forever.

How you lived; be true to yourself and to truth itself.

Its polarizing yet unifying.

Its tough yet gentle.

Bold yet humble.

And now the world needs a new champion.

Not only in the ring, but outside of it.

Who is going to step up and follow what had to be done?

Who is going to perpetuate the legacy?

An authentic life is a full life.

Know thyself and greatness will be yours.

— But if you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize. —


Sometimes You Just Need To Shout, “…

I’m experienced now. Professional.

Jaws been broke, been lost, knocked down a couple times,

I’m Bad!

Been chopping trees, I’ve done something new for this fight.

I done wrastled with an alligator – that’s right.

I have wrastled with an alligator, I done tossled with a whale,

I done handcuffed lighting, thrown thunder in jail.

That’s Bad.

Only last week I murdered a rock. Injured a stone. Hospitalized a brick.

I’m so mean I make medicine sick.

Bad! Fast! Fast! Fast!

Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch,

was in the bed before the room was dark.


And you, George Foreman — All of you chumps are gonna bow when I whoop him,

All of ya! I know you got him, I know you got him picked, but the mans in trouble!

“I’ma show you how great I am!”


Dear Hard Work,


Dear Hard Work, I used to hate you.

When you called my name, I hurried up and ran away from you.

When I knew you were coming, I used to hide from you.

When you influenced others to talk to me, I quickly made excuses to get away from you.

Afraid of the pain, because I didn’t want to get hurt.

Afraid to fail, so I didn’t even try.

And afraid of your name, because of what you’ve done to others.

Who do you think you are, making me so afraid of who you are?

Reflection in the mirror, shadow behind me, I take one step and you’re still ahead of me.

Sweat on my face, tears in my eyes, I keep on going, I heard you tell no lies.

You turn the poor to rich, F to As, is there anything that you can’t do?

Now look at me, you made me who I am today.

And because of you, I have this never losing, never giving up attitude.

Quitting? That’s not in my vocabulary.

When they quit, I keep going.

When they sleep, I work harder.

When they say that I can’t and count me out, I show them that I can.

When I tell them about my dreams and they laugh, I make sure I laugh last.

I’m a dream chaser, that means I chase my dreams – no one else’s.

Only I can defeat me.

It’s me against this work you’ve put on me.

There’s no losing.

I will not lose.

I came this far, and I’m not stopping now.

Oh hard work, my dad was right about you.

You do pay off, because of that I love you.

How can I not?

I am no longer hiding from you, I am waiting for you.

Matter a fact, where are you?

I need you,

Because in hard work I trust.


~ Adam Ali ~

Confidence: Impossible is Nothing


This is kind of old school, I was kind of afraid to put this up there but – my man Muhammad Ali, you all probably don’t really know him like that. But – Muhammad Ali: Impossible is Nothing – I just want to put this in you because I know for some of you, the reason why you’re not at your highest level is because, like me, there was a time in my life where I lacked confidence.  I lacked confidence – I didn’t really know if I could compete with the best, you know what I’m saying. I didn’t go to the schools that they went to, I didn’t have the language that they had, I didn’t have the background that they came from, my parents didn’t go to school, my mother had me when she was a senior in high school, eighteen years old, I kind of lacked confidence.

And the thing I learned from Muhammad Ali is that, you know, he was the youngest heavy weight of his time because he believed. And not only did he believe, the thing I loved about Muhammad Ali is he would not only knock a dude out, but he would tell you when he was going to knock them out. That’s that confidence. He said, ‘Sonny Liston, you’re the champion of the world, I’ma give you five rounds. That’s it; and I’m knocking you out.’ Everybody was like, ‘Not only will you not knock him out, you’re going to get knocked out.’ Muhammad Ali said ‘five, that’s it. And I’m not playing – five.’ Fifth round came, Sonny Liston… on the ground. Muhammad Ali said, ‘I’m the greatest of all time. I shocked the world!’ Then he stopped boxing for a while because he wouldn’t go to the war; he came back, fought one of the greatest, George Forman. I’m talking, had a fist out of this world, and Muhammad Ali came out and said “I’m going to knock him out.’ But you haven’t fought in years! ‘I’m going to knock him out.’

George Forman was hitting my man, you thought Muhammad Ali was going to fall out; he had a strategy called a rope-a-dope, he taking licks, he taking licks… Listen to me, its one thing to be able to give them but if you’re going to be a champion then you got to be able to take them. Mike Tyson gave out a lot of them, nobody had ever hit him – Buster Douglas was the first one to get a good shot on him and knocked him out. And guess what? After Buster Douglas knocked him out, everybody knocked him out because they knew that he could be beat. There was a time that people thought he was a machine and he couldn’t be beat. But when one person knocked him out, it gave everybody else what? Confidence that it could be done. And many of you are not taking your game to that next level because you don’t have that confidence. And I used to be there – but now I got confidence. I know I could do it.


 ~Eric Thomas~

Why I Hate School But Love Education by Suli Breaks

So you want to get a degree. Why? Let me tell you what society will tell you: It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let me tell you what your parents will tell you: Make me proud. It increases your chances of getting a job, provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful. Education is the key.

Now let’s look at that statics. Steve Jobs – net worth, 7 billion. RIP. Richard Branson – net worth, 4.2 billion. Oprah Winfrey – net worth, 2.7 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates, now here comes the coup de grâce. Looking at these individuals, what’s your conclusion? Neither of them, in being successful, ever graduated from a higher learning institution.

Now some of you will protest, like, you know only money is the medium by which one measures worldly success. And some of you will even have the nerve to say, “I don’t do it for the money.” So what are you studying for? To work for a charity? Need more clarity? Let’s look at the statics.

Jesus. Muhammad. Socrates. Malcolm X. Mother Teresa. Spielberg. Shakespeare. Beethoven. Jesse Owens. Muhammad Ali. Sean Carter. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. Michael Joseph Jackson. Were either of these people unsuccessful? Or… uneducated?

All I’m saying is that if there was a family tree, hard work and education would be related; but school would probably be a distant cousin. ‘Cause if education is the key then school is the lock. Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else says stop.

Because as long as you follow the rules and pass the exams, you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist, and if your answer is something outside of the box the automatic response is a cross. And then they claim that school expands your horizons and your visions. Well tell that to Malcolm X who dropped out of school and is world renowned for what he learned in a prison.

Proverbs 17:16. It does a fool no good to spend money on an education. Why? Because he has no common sense. George Bush. Need I say more? Education is about inspiring one’s mind not just filling their head.

And take this from me because I’m an “educated man” myself who only came to this realization after countless nights in the library with a can of red bull keeping me awake ’til dawn and another can in the morn’. Falling asleep in between piles of books which probably equated to the same amount I had spent on my rent.

Memorize equations, facts and dates right down to the letter. Half of which I would never remember, and half of which I would forget straight after the exam and before the start of the next semester. Asking anyone if they had notes for the last lecture.

I often found myself running to class just so I could find a spot on which I could rest my head and fall asleep without making a scene. Ironic, because that’s the only time I ever spent in university chasing my dreams. And then after nights with a dead mind I then find myself in a queue of half-awake student zombies waiting to hand in an assignment. Maybe that’s why they called it a dead-line.

And then after three years of mental suppression and frustration, my “proud mother” didn’t even turn up to my graduation.

Now I’m not saying that school is evil and there’s nothing to gain, all I’m saying is, understand your motives and reassess your aims because if you want a job working for someone else then help yourself. But then that would be a contradiction because you wouldn’t really be helping yourself, you’d be helping somebody else. There’s a saying which says, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

Redefine how you view education, understand its true meaning. Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book on someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam. Look at it. Picasso was educated in creating art. Shakespeare was educated in the art of all that was written. Colonel Harland Sanders was educated in the art of creating Kentucky fried chicken.

I once saw David Beckham take a free kick. I watched as the side of his Adidas sponsored boot hit the painted leather of the ball at an angle which caused it to travel towards the skies as though it was destined for the heavens. And then as it reached the peak of its momentum, as though it changed its mind, it switched directions.

I watched as the goal keeper froze, as though reciting to himself the law of physics and as though his brain was negotiating with his eyes that it was indeed witnessing the spectacle of the leather swan that was swooping towards it, and then reacting. But only a fraction of a millisecond too late. And before the net of the goal embraced the FIFA sponsored ball that was the prodigal son returning home, and the country that I live in erupted into cheers, I looked at the play and thought… Damn.

Looking at David Beckham, there’s more than one way to be an educated man.