Chapter 86

If You Get A Second Chance

Today's Empowering Quote

"If you ever get a second chance at life, you've got to go all the way." - Lance Armstrong (5 time winner of the Tour de France)

Today's Empowering Question

"What must I do to increase my determination and improve?"

Today's Fast Session

It's now official.

Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France for a record tying fifth time.

The most difficult, grueling sporting event in the world.

He survived 2,100 miles over two mountain ranges in 20 days, the stomach flu, dehydration, crashes & near crashes as well as the weather to do the unthinkable.  Three weeks and over 83 hours of pushing himself past exhaustion.  I can't even imagine what that must take physically and mentally to run that race.

To most people, it's just two words, "bike race," that don't mean too much.

But in life you've got to grab inspiration wherever you can.

To me, his record setting performance is just one more push to make this lifetime a masterpiece.  One more confirmation that with determination, anything can be achieved. Absolutely anything.

Here's a guy who in 1996 was diagnosed with an advanced form of testicular cancer that had spread to his abdomen, lungs and brain.

Because of its spread, he was given only a 50-50 chance of survival.

But he had aggressive surgery and chemo treatments that alone would've killed the average person, and was pronounced cancer free in 1997.  Then began the arduous road back to health.

A few months ago, I was watching a 1997 video of him training after his surgery.  He had no hair and you could see the U-shaped scar on top of his head where they went in to remove part of the cancer.  He said training was difficult... he would get wiped out after only an hour and a half on the bike.

An hour and a half, and he got wiped out!

Most people are ready to quit after 2 minutes.

After the treatment and surgery, he was no different than anyone else... actually much worse off physically than practically anyone alive.

But he had Lance Armstrong's mind...

...the mind that made him the best cyclist in the world.

You see, that is what separates the winners from the losers in life.

Everyone who knows of Lance knows of him as a winner, but in his first Tours he didn't do so well.

Here's how he did in his previous Tour races:

'93 - Did not finish
'94 - Did not finish
'95 - 36th
'96 - Did not finish
'97 - Did not enter
'98 - Did not enter
'99 - 1st
'00 - 1st
'01 - 1st
'02 - 1st
'03 - 1st

He didn't even finish 3 times. See?  We're talking about a grueling race!

But success in life is about how many times you pick yourself up, not how many times you fail.

Since I was "this" close to using another quote today, I'll include it.  Here it is: "A winner must first know what losing's like." Billionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes said that.  So he knew something about winning, I'd say.

You see, so many people I work with are just so scared of losing that they just won't get involved in life and risk falling down... of looking foolish... of losing what little they have.

But you must.

The good stuff is on the other side of failure.  You just can't get there without it.

It hurts, sure it does.

Those months I spent in the van hurt worse than I can go into right now.  And lots of risk went into getting out and creating an actual life.  And without failure there is no success.


I've been reading the press coverage of this year's Tour extensively, and I read a quote of one of Lance's fans saying that this is the most excited she's ever been in her life.

And I thought about how sad that is.

Someone else's achievement, someone they've never met - and it's the most thrilling event in their life.

Look, I don't care if it's the World Cup, the Super Bowl or little green men landing on Earth, the most thrilling moment in your life should be from something YOU achieve. 

And there is inspiration all around every day.  You just have to open your eyes.  It's constant and never ending.

Tell yourself that you are prepared to look stupid a dozen times today.  And when you accomplish the first one, find out what you can learn from it.  After your twelfth stupid action, you should have learned twelve new lessons that hopefully made you smarter and better prepared for tomorrow.

Are you getting this?

That's how you use failure... to learn.

Lance did.

He failed and failed and failed.

But because he used his failure to learn...

...he got smarter and smarter and smarter.

Without the failure, he wouldn't be so dominant today.

Without the cancer, he may not have gotten so mentally strong so as to be so unbeatable.

Unless this is an unconscious habit of yours already, do this:

Every single time you mess something up, miss a deadline, miss a sale, lose a race or a game, get angry when you shouldn't or any other kind of screw up, write it down and ask yourself today's empowering question.

You will have answers.

Act on those answers, and you'll grow so fast, learn so much and improve your life skill so completely that you'll look back on your life a year from now and shake your head in amazement.

And don't mourn all the years you didn't do this.

Just get excited. Let go of the failures. Use them to learn and let them go.


Today's Winning Beliefs

-- I use failure to inspire me to improve
-- I am determined to win in life beginning with today
-- I am a champion in all I do
-- I see myself as a winner and I do the things winners do
-- Failure is simply a part of my education process
-- I'm going to win today. I know it

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