Muhammad Ali Has Great Recovery Recommendations
When you think about Muhammad Ali, several things probably come to mind.
You will think about boxing, of course. After all, Ali’s nickname was “The Greatest,” and many people believe he was the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
You may think about his amazing way with words. He claimed to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” and he once said of himself, “I should be a postage stamp, because that’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”
You might remember him as a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam. Or his name might call to mind the touching and powerful moment when he, a man in the midst of the toughest fight of his life against Parkinson’s disease, lit the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
What might not immediately come to mind is how Ali’s philosophy of life might apply to your recovery journey. But “The Greatest” had a great list of Six Core Principles he felt should underpin a person’s life, six principles that can also apply to the recovery journey.
Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles & Recovery
The heavyweight champ’s Six Core Principles were as follows:
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each principle.
- Confidence: Belief in oneself, one’s abilities, and one’s future. When you are starting your recovery journey, it can be hard to feel confident. After all, a substance use disorder can’t be cured, and it may seem inevitable that you will relapse and find yourself struggling in all the ways you were before you got sober. Ali would encourage you to have more faith in yourself and your ability to maintain your sobriety.
- Conviction: A firm belief that gives one the courage to stand behind the belief despite pressure to do otherwise. Ongoing sobriety requires you to constantly remind yourself that sobriety is the best option for your life—and for the lives of those around you. When it seems easier to slip back into old habits, your firm conviction that staying sober—even when it is hard to do so—is the best path will serve you well.
- Dedication: The act of devoting all of one’s energy, effort, and abilities to a certain task. People in recovery know the importance of staying dedicated to sobriety. You stay sober one day at a time and must constantly renew your dedication to doing so.
- Giving: To present voluntarily without expecting something in return. A spirit of giving—which helps you take the focus off of yourself—is known to support sobriety. While giving to others is best done without expectation of reward, the fact is that you do get something back—a sense of happiness and self-worth that supports your sobriety.
- Respect: Esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, oneself and others. It is all too easy to get down on yourself when you are in recovery. You might spend too much time thinking about past mistakes or worrying about future missteps. Or you might be disappointed in yourself for experiencing cravings—even though that is a very common aspect of recovery. Ali would remind you to respect yourself and what you have accomplished. He might also remind you that maintaining your sobriety is an excellent way to demonstrate respect for other people in your life.
- Spirituality: A sense of awe, reverence, and inner peace inspired by a connection to all of creation and/or that which is greater than oneself. If you are a member of a faith community, this sixth principle may very well resonate with you strongly. But what if you don’t consider yourself a religious individual? In that case, it is important to remember that having a spiritual outlook is not necessarily the same thing as being religious. Just acknowledging that the world is a beautiful, mysterious place is a spiritual act—and that, too, supports your sobriety.
We’re in Your Corner if Substance Use Has You on the Ropes
Sometimes it feels as though drugs and alcohol have delivered a knockout punch, and you find yourself down for the count. In those moments, things can seem pretty hopeless. Happily, you can get back on your feet again—and we can help.
At French Creek Recovery Center, we offer personalized treatment for substance use disorders that is grounded in expertise, experience, and compassion. We are ready and able to address any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be in play, and we are committed to a continuum of care so that you can be sure there is always someone in your corner when the going gets tough.