The “Round 8” Lessons on Achieving Greatness

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Millions of people sat before their televisions to watch this event live. I was only 10 years old at that time when these two individuals met in one of the greatest fights in history. It happened at Kinshasa, Zaire on the 30th of October 1974. Muhammad Ali and George Foreman battled in what came to be called “The Rumble in the Jungle”!


Muhammad Ali was the “former champion” at this bout. George Foreman was the unstoppable freight train reigning champion. He had relinquished Ali’s two formidable opponents, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, in two rounds. In fact Frazier was knocked down 6 times in 4 minutes and 15 seconds! People favored Foreman, who was seven years younger than the 32-year-old Ali and who had done away with his 8 previous opponents within 2 rounds! His sheer power, size and physical dominance coupled with his knock down statistics gave Ali no chance in hell!


Ali on the other hand knew all these statistics but to him it did not mean fear, intimidation or hopelessness. To him it meant strategic information to win and regain the world heavy weight boxing championship. Almost like a modern day “David and Goliath” battle epic, Ali used this information to formulate his battle plan. Knowing that Foreman never got beyond 2 rounds in his previous fights, he decided to exhaust him physically and mentally in the fight. 


Using the “rope-a-dope” Ali went to the ropes and allowed Foremen to deliver body shots for 7 rounds in the hot and humid weather of Zaire! While this was going on, Ali strategically kept delivering head shot directly to Foreman, tiring and weakening him. At the same time he kept taunting and “trash talking” Foreman all the while, waiting for “the moment”, for that widow of opportunity to appear to deal the killer blow! That came in the now famous Round 8…….and “suddenly the moment came” and Ali took it and dropped Foreman to the canvas!



There are lessons on achieving greatness to take home from this “Round 8”…lessons from the Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Here are 6 lessons that we can use immediately and start to live greatness in our day to day living:


1) Never allow perceived obstacles, statistics, odds stacked against you or even public to stop you from doing what you desire to do. Use them to create your strategy and plan of action! Choose your meanings well, meanings that will empower and propel you towards your goal!


2) In the face of adversity and difficulty, keep your goal right in front of you, BIG, BRIGHT and LOUD! Keep the meanings, values and rewards that your goal would give you in your mind, heart and emotions…the darker the challenge, the brighter should you burn your goal right in front of you at that very moment. This keeps you moving forward. If you loose sight of your goal at these moments you may feel discouraged and “throw in the towel.”  Remember what Ali did during the first 7 rounds…..keep your eyes on the goal when it’s most difficult.

3) Use your personalized “rope-a-dope”, your key strength or advantage and apply it fully as your greatest weapon to succeed. Be fearless in doing this. Ali’s ‘rope-a-dope” became legendary but people forget the strategic lesson and thinking behind it. Use your “rope-a-dope”, that special gift that you have to the fullest!


4) Be “creatively flexible” in implementing your strategies. Muhammad Ali adapted and used his creativity and flexibility in this bout. He was among the few who literally “thought on his feet”, changing and adapting while constantly measuring his current situation to his desired outcome. Yes, do draw out your plan of action but at the same time be strategically and tactically “creatively flexible” to be in the flow! In other words be ready to change and adapt as the seasons change.


5) Believe in yourself, in your destiny to be your best self! Ali was extremely good at this. He stacked up evidence and believed that he was the greatest even before he becomes the greatest! Yes, many found him cocky but he was supremely confident. He was his own best friend, supporter and champion! He never become intimidated by what was outside him, he was the champion of his inner and outer game, his self belief and his skills, talents, discipline of practice and execution! Believe in you and then act out that belief through daily actions. Soon you’ll see your evidence of greatness, evidence of your best self!


6)Be patient, wait for the opportunity to present itself and when it does, strike and hit home run!  Ali waited patiently for 7 rounds. He needed to and soaked up the blows. He trusted his strategy and waited until “suddenly the opportunity came” and BANG…..he floored the reigning champion. Very often we give up even before we really start the journey to our dreams, we get easily distracted, discouraged and expect our plans and action to bear immediate results. Be patient, keep working your plan, adapting, believing in yourself, adding resources and applying your uniqueness everyday until “suddenly the opportunity comes” and bang…….you are living your dreams, living your personal greatness!


There you go, 6 lessons that you can take home from “Round 8” of the “Rumble in the Jungle.” Use them in your daily living, in all you do from your work to your personal relationships and in no time greatness will be yours. You have the “GREATEST” as your greatest example, Muhammad Ali! As a gift to you on these lessons, simply enjoy the clip below of ROUND 8 of the “Rumble in the Jungle” and see all these 6 lessons on greatness in action!                      


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!


Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources. He has more than 14 years experience in Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Talent Development. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, is a Certified & Licensed Trainer of Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.  You can follow Conrad on facebook!