6 Things I Was Reminded of by Lance Armstrong

Note: This is a guest post by Julian of Present Outlook
Lance ArmstrongI’ve just finished reading Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong. What an amazing guy! What did he have that the other people don’t have? He had the determination to persevere regardless of circumstances. His experience recovering from testicular cancer had a huge impact upon him. So much so that he won the Tour de France a record breaking 7 times from 1999 to 2005. What an incredible achievement. Despite retiring after the 7th win he is coming out of retirement to attempt it again in 2009.
The potential for this determination was within him before he got cancer. That experience brought it out of him. If the potential was already there within him, is it possible that it could have been developed within him in another way? Would he have won the Tour de France 7 times if he didn’t get cancer?
I believe everyone has vast untapped potential within them. It’s there for us to realise but only if we really work hard for it. If you want to draw the best out of yourself you’ll really have to work for it. Here are a few things I was reminded of when reading this book:
Work hard for what you want – I find that the best sessions I have at the gym are when I absolutely don’t want to go. Those days when I finish work and just want to crawl straight into bed I’m so tired. Those are the days when I have a real battle with myself and have to really force myself into it. I find that when I have to really dig deep it snaps me out of the slump I’ve been in. I’ve come to see it as quite therapeutic. Even to the point where if I’m feeling stuck in a rut then I’ll go to the gym and see if I can blast myself out of it. It usually does the trick.
Challenge yourself constantly – You’ve probably heard of the idea of doing something that frightens you everyday. I don’t think it’s always possible to do that in everyday 9-5 life, but it’s certainly a good idea. How do you feel when you’ve done something you never thought you could? If you don’t know what that feels like then you haven’t lived!
Have goals – Goals give you purpose and direction. Motivation is meaningless unless you have direction for it. Figure out what you want in life, then get fired up to go get it.
Don’t doubt yourself – Too many times people have lost the race before they’ve even got to the start line. They doubt their ability, their heart isn’t really in it and they don’t think they can do it. I’m all for a practical and realistic approach to life and ambitions. But you can still be ambitious and set your sights high.
Focus – If you really want something then you really need to focus yourself on getting it. If you are juggling all sorts of other things and distracted then you won’t really be able to apply yourself. Eliminate distractions and simplify your life so that your goal becomes clear without being lost in the fog of the everyday clutter of your life.
Prioritise – If you want something you have to go out and get it. You have to improve your time management and really commit yourself to achieving it. You have to commit in reality as well as in your head. You have to do the hard yards. You have to get up at 5.30am and go out for a training ride. Or come home from work and spend your evening working on that business you’re trying to start up. It won’t happen by just talking about it. The person who makes sacrifices is the one who achieves his or her goal.
I highly recommend reading one of Lance’s books. Or any biographies of inspirational figures. It doesn’t matter if they’re sporting, political or just ordinary people. Reading about how other people have risen above challenges in their lives can be really inspiring.
If you enjoyed this you might like to check out Julian’s blog Present Outlook for similar articles.
Photo by judepics


  1. Great post, my favorites are Confidence and Focus.
    It’s amazing how much confidence will benefit the outcome of everything you do. A couple of ways to gain self-confidence are to practice martial arts, or otherwise learn something about yourself.

  2. I think the best advice given here is to constantly challenge yourself. Only by challenging yourself you can achieve personal growth.

  3. […] de ler o post 6 Things I Was Reminded of by Lance Armstrong, no blog Life Optimizer. Um resumo do livro Every Second Counts escrito pelo ciclista […]

  4. You are absolutely right about Lance. We could all learn something from him. Here’s what he tweeted out right before his first race back in the Tour Down Under:
    “In my room (thinking).about to leave for the first race back. There is zero doubt in my mind that I’ve done the right thing here. I’m ready.”
    That’s the reason he’s lance…no doubts! I try to think about his determination every day that I am building my business…
    Troy Malone

  5. Lance is certainly the embodiment of empowerment and success. I highly commend him and respect him on his perseverance, tenacity and strength to overcome obstacles standing in the way of success.

  6. Honestly, I’ve never read a book by Lance. Looks like I need to find and read one. He’s a great man.

  7. Great post Julian! You’re right it’s good to have goals and to push yourself. I am finally learning this again after a 2 year slump..
    Lance does have some great values but what bothers me is his personal life. He jumps around from woman to woman and is now having a kid out of wedlock with some floozy who is almost 10 years his junior. If having a transient personal life is the result of being obsessed with work, then it’s not worth it.

  8. I can see where you’re coming from Kathy but I guess he’s human like the rest of us. You often find that with people who achieve a great deal in their lives.
    I highly recommend his books Donald. But interestingly after I wrote this piece I was talking with a friend who has cancer and is going through chemotherapy. She said she found his first book depressing as it focused so much on the suffering he went through during his chemo. I found it inspiring that he could overcome it but then I don’t have cancer so I guess it can mean different things to different people.

  9. How cool would it be if this guy win’s another tour
    if there was anyone out there who could do it at his
    age it’s Lance.
    I love people like him they are great motivators

Comments are closed.