Over the weekend we lost a legendary soul, truly one of the greatest human beings in recent history and one of my heroes, Muhammad Ali. This is a post I published right after Maya Angelou passed away, but the sentiment could not be more fitting for The Champ as well.

If a human being dreams a great dream, or dares to love someone…If a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which he or she was born, it means so can you… I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me. ~Maya Angelou

And what a human she was! Dr. Maya Angelou possessed and cultivated a creative and brilliant mind, a powerful and compassionate heart, a flair for the dramatic, a serious sense of humor, and a thorough appetite for all aspects of life. She was a phenomenal woman who spent every breath of her 86 years consciously striving to express the fullest embodiment of what it means to exist as a spiritual being in this physical world.

To me, this is her greatest legacy. Like my other six foot tall heroine Eleanor Roosevelt, she walked her talk, and therefore we all benefited. She served as an example for all she stood for and knew to be Universally true; she espoused the unity and dignity of people of every race and creed, recognizing that “we are more alike than we are unalike.”

And she was very aware that she was indeed human, and knew how dangerous it is to make people, like a Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Mother Teresa larger than life – they were all human beings and when we idolize or put them on a pedestal they become inaccessible and we think we can never be like them. Instead they should inspire us to be extraordinary in our own way.

In our youth-obsessed and advertising-driven culture, it is unfortunate that we give so little airtime to our elders like Dr. Angelou, Nelson Mandela or Grace Lee Boggs, because when we listen to the wisdom that nearly nine decades of being a person who has chosen to love, forgive, learn and grow, who allowed themselves to reflect, observe and evolve, they teach us how to live. They are lighthouses that remind us who we really are and where we should be going – and these days especially when one is extinguished it feels like an even bigger loss because they are rare gems and we wonder who is coming up the rear to replace them.

In my work I have the honor and privilege of helping you discover that no matter how old you are or where you are from, you have a unique way of leaving our planet a little better off than when you arrived even if it is simply by virtue of your own healed life.

Some of my clients, as a result of our meeting, have already gone on as a result of our meeting to win Tonys and Fulbrights, or are on their way to becoming a media moguls, best-selling authors, cutting edge inventors, or warriors for justice; whether they have an Ivy League background, were formerly incarcerated or are a ninth-grade NYC public school student, every one of them has something to offer, an opportunity to improve their own world, a way to be the most human they can be.

Not quite convinced that you, too, can be a giant among us? Give me a buzz and I’ll show you how like those Redwoods of California, you are one of hundreds of special trees that make up a forest of awe-inspiring majesty and beauty, living in harmony with one another and Earth, and the very Nature of Life itself.

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on June 4, 2014)

Click here for the core reason why Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest”:

If you haven’t see these documentaries, I highly recommend watching to learn more about this giant of a human being:

When We Were Kings
The Trials of Muhammad Ali

and check out his work and legacy through:

The Ali Center


If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

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Last November I was one of the career experts featured in a panel discussion hosted by The Muse.  Here is the full length video where you can hear my thoughts on career transition, working with a coach, building confidence and handling emotions in the workplace.