“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 Ali

Neither Ali nor this quotation need any introduction. But just in case you don’t know who he was, just google “I am the greatest” and see what comes back.

This is one of my favourite all time inspirational quotations. I first came across it many years ago and it really struck a chord with me.  I have spoken about it many times in assemblies, often reference it when talking to students and for me, it epitomises what it often takes to be successful in whatever field one may choose. Perseverance, resilience, mental strength, self-belief, drive, determination and a clear goal can all sum up this quote.

I reference it so often with students because the need for perseverance and resilience are so important. We are not going to enjoy every minute of every subject, but that’s not the point. The point is that there is a larger goal in sight, be it GCSEs, A Levels, University or something else. Losing sight of the bigger picture is a dangerous thing to do. Practising lots of different conjugations in French is not always particularly exciting, doing example after example after example of quadratic equations in maths might sometimes be quite dull. As a means to an end, however, they are essential. As a way of getting to a goal, they need to be done. They need to be suffered. They need to be accepted.

Training the mind or learning the knowledge and practising those all-important skills is obviously not as physically demanding as spending hour after hour in the gym or on the field or in the pool, but in some ways can often require even more dedication because it can be so dry. I have known many people who start to study law at university but then by the time they get to second year realise that it is not for them! Most of them stick it out nevertheless, as employers will always be impressed with a degree.

And that’s the whole point. See the drudgery as a temporary state. A road, if you will, that leads to wherever it is one it trying to reach, and then enjoy the benefits. Reap the rewards. But don’t forget to be like Ali-I don’t mean float like a butterfly or indeed sting like a bee-but spend time working for others, give of your gifts, talents, money and time.

Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area

Best Wishes

Chris Randell