Lance Armstrong’s Guide to Getting What You Want in Life

Lance Armstrong is one of those remarkable humans that has a story strong enough to inspire others to take action. He is the type of person whose struggles make your common complaints appear minimal in comparison. If you haven’t heard Lance’s story, then you’ve seriously missed learning from one of the most dedicated and heroic figures of modern times.

Allow me to give you a quick update. In 1996, Lance was diagnosed with testicular cancer and was found to have tumors on both his brain and his lungs. After successful surgery, Lance didn’t just waddle through life and get to live a lifestyle similar to the healthiest of us, definitely not…he topped that by a long shot.

Since his surgery in 1996, he has gone on to:

  • Become a professional road racing cyclist
  • Win the Tour de France 7 times, breaking a record of 5 by Miguel Indurain and others
  • Not only did he win it, but he won it consecutively from 1999-2005
  • Named Worldwide sports athlete of the year in 1999
  • He won ESPN’s Best Male Athlete award 4 years in a row
  • …and so much more.

To be fair, if I continued the bullet-points they could really go on forever. Not only is the Tour de France one of the most grueling race courses in the world, but being able to win it 7 years in a row and after life saving surgery is nothing short of miraculous.

But as you are about to find out, Lance doesn’t believe in miracles.

I have been so inspired by Lance’s dedication that I thought his lessons would be great advice to anyone looking to get the most out of life. Whether young or old, I think anyone can benefit from his outlook…

Know that Pain is Temporary
Sometimes, to get what we want out of life we really have to work for it; we have to battle through the hard times. I’m sure all of you reading this can relate to a time in your life where you had to literally push yourself to keep going.

However, you must also realize that pain is temporary so unless you have set impossible goals, your struggles and efforts won’t last forever. The results will come to you.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

Realize you Have Two Choices
Whether it’s seeing the positive in things versus the negative or deciding to go for something or not, there are a lot of great possibilities in life on the other side of two choices. For Lance, those two choices he decided to focus on were a great testament to his mindset: you either give up or you die trying.

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.”

Go for What You Want Now, Before it’s Too Late
We really never know what is around the corner. Our partner could become pregnant, there could be a family emergency where we need to lend funds, or we may even be in a critical health situation that physically stops us from completing our goals. We often wait till it is too late in life before we go for the things we want. We save money for our pensions and decide we are going to live then; the downside to that of course being that we are in our worst physical shape.

“Without the illness I would never have been forced to re-evaluate my life and my career. I know if I had not had cancer, I would not have won the Tour de France.”

Don’t focus on Potential Failures
One of the things that really gets me down in life is the people that manage to talk themselves out of brilliant ideas and situations before they’ve even tried them out – before they’ve even given things a shot. Sure, you could fail at whatever you would like to accomplish; you could fail miserably. On the other side of the coin, you could also burn your hand on the toaster tomorrow morning but you’re still going to put the bread in the machine.

Don’t look for reasons not to do something, look for everything that is going to help you succeed in doing it.

“If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

Put Everything into your Goals
In my opinion, half-hearted efforts are going to get half-hearted results. If you don’t put the time or effort into something, you aren’t going to get your desired outcome. Whatever it is that you want, literally immerse yourself in the life of having it. Study the subject, set practical hours to work on your goals and actually stick to your plan.

If you do feel like giving up, just appreciate that other people going for the same thing are feeling that as well, and while they might let those feelings take over them, you won’t.

I figure the faster I pedal, the faster I can retire.

Lance is one of those people I’ve admired since hearing his story and watching the dedication he puts into training, day in and day out. To me, he is the epitome of success where hard work generates results.

I hope you’ve all gotten something out of this. If you have, why not send Lance a tweet to let him know about this post?

Written on 3/04/2009 by Glen Allsop. Glen writes on the subject of Personal Development at PluginID. His sites main aim is to help people Plug into their Identity, be who they want to be and live the life they want to live. Photo Credit:
Lance Armstrong

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