ali“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

One of the world’s greatest sporting figures, Muhammad Ali passed away on Friday.  He was the world’s  only 3x heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic Gold Medalist.  He had a record 56 wins – 5 losses and became a tireless advocate for social justice, including those with dyslexia.

Ali was dyslexic himself and had difficulty graduate high school because of his problems reading. Ali and his wife Lonnie were involved in charitable activities and helped create a literacy program that would inspire more African American Children to read.

Many of Ali’s most memorable quotes have an extra meaning if you know where he came from and that he was dyslexic.

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

“I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail.”

“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.”

“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Condolences to Ali’s family and friends.