“I AM” is one of the most important words to change your life. One of the daily practices I have cultivated since the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down is writing a gratitude journal daily. One of the five-minute gratitude journal entries is “Today’s Affirmation: I am…” The Daily Affirmation is a simple statement that defines you as you want to be. You prime your brain to build this belief whenever you write the daily affirmation. With consistency, you will begin to create that change from within.
I am is a very powerful word, as what comes after I am shapes the direction of your life. Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Alli repeatedly said, “I am the greatest,” and the universe aligned with his affirmation, and he is now considered one of the greatest boxers that ever lived. Be careful what you say after I am. It could become a self-limiting belief, or it could become your guidepost. The story we tell ourselves determines the course of our life. As American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company Henry Ford once quipped, “Henry Ford — ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can‘t–you‘re right.’ Great affirmations could be: “I am remarkable”, “I am a great friend/husband/wife/teacher”, “I am going places”, “I am going to build a great business/family/foundation”, or “I am goal-getter”. Self-limiting affirmation could be: “I am tardy, lazy, bad, not a goal-getter”.
Brain Priming 2
In a study by Dr. Alia Crum and Dr. Ellen Langer from Harvard University. They performed an experiment to study the effect of brain priming on the staff of seven different hotels. Half of the participants were informed about how much exercise they were getting every day through their work- how many calories they burned, how similar vacuuming is to a workout, etc. The other half were given no such information.
Several weeks later, it was found that the first group who had been primed to think of their work as exercise had actually lost weight. Incredibly, these individuals had not done any more work or exercise any more than the control group (their colleagues who had not been informed about how their work was similar to a workout. These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.
I am the greatest – Muhammed Alli
Sports Illustrated magazine named the first fight between Muhammed Alli and Sonny Liston as the fourth most significant sports moment of the twentieth century. 22-year-old Cassius Clay fought 32-year-old Sonny Liston for boxing’s World Heavyweight Championship on February 25, 1964, in Miami Beach, Florida. Before the Sonny Liston fight, Alli proclaimed himself to be the greatest that ever lived. His affirmation was “I am the Greatest”, Alli understood that what we say after I am is one of the most powerful ways to manifest a goal. He said it loudly for anyone who cared to listen and he backed it up with effort, passion and charisma. Before the fight, he said:
“I’m the greatest thing that ever lived. I don’t have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned twenty-two years old,”
After the fight, he said: “I must be the greatest. I shook up the world!”
In 1974 after defeating George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle fight, he proclaimed: “I told you all, all of my critics, that I was the greatest of all time. … Never make me the underdog until I’m about 50 years old.”
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. Don’t tell me I can’t do something. Don’t tell me it’s impossible. Don’t tell me I’m not the greatest. I’m the double greatest.” Alli continuously primed himself and his brain to believe his wholesomeness and uniqueness. We can all learn from Alli by speaking greatness into our lives and believing in ourselves even though people around us doubt us.
Alli wrote a poem a year before the fight titled “I am the greatest.” Alli wrote:
“This is the legend of Cassius Clay, The most beautiful fighter in the world today. He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y, of a muscular punch that’s incredibly speed-y. The fistic world was dull and weary, But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary.
Then someone with color and someone with dash, Brought fight fans are runnin’ with Cash. This brash young boxer is something to see And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y. This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance, But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.
This kid’s got a left; this kid’s got a right, If he hit you once, you’re asleep for the night. And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten, You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again. For I am the man this poem’s about, The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt. This I predict and I know the score, I’ll be champ of the world in ’64. When I say three, they’ll go in the third, 10 months ago
So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word. He is the greatest! Yes! I am the man this poem’s about, I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment, I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went. When I say two, there’s never a third,
Standin against me is completely absurd. When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse, Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is! I AM THE GREATEST!”
As the above poem stated, Alli was self-assured and confident in his abilities and he followed it with affirmations, speaking it to reality, visualization and consistently believing in himself. As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for because you might get it.
You are your Habits 3
True behavior change is identity change. You might start a habit because of motivation, but the only reason you’ll stick with one is that it becomes part of your identity.
Anyone can convince themselves to visit the gym or eat healthy once or twice, but if you don’t shift the belief behind the behavior, then it is hard to stick with long-term changes. Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.
- The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
- The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
- The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
Your behaviours are usually a reflection of your identity. What you do is an indication of the type of person you believe that you are—either consciously or unconsciously..
New identities require new evidence. It is a simple two-step process:
- Decide the type of person you want to be.
- Prove it to yourself with small wins.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Reinvention
- As we age, life tends to fall into routines and patterns; as life becomes monotonous, we long for change.
Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Be Here Wow.
- Focus on the incredibleness of life and allow yourself to be amazed. When we mindfully direct our attention and curiosity, we can positively influence our mood, cultivate gratitude and maybe push pause on some of our striving and searching.
All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.