5 Take-Home Lessons From Lance Armstrong

Millions of us watched a “disgraced” Lance Armstrong sit down with interview extraordinaire, Oprah Winfrey.

His words were carefully crafted, his answers were brief, and he seemed emotionless as the former talk show queen asked the hard hitting questions.

And not to mention, he appeared to be downright clueless about the depth of his situation. The fact that he tweeted that photo oh-so smugly amidst his yellow jerseys mere months ago seems quite telling. And he had to look up the word ‘cheat?’ Is this not a sign of being completely disconnected from the human race?

As a longtime supporter of Lance – mostly for his work in the cancer community – I saw the other side of the famous cyclist that many insiders have been talking about for years.

Let’s take this opportunity to learn from Lance, and (as he said) “become a better person.” After all, as a wise woman once said, “The truth will set you free.”

  • Narcissism:

Narcissism is defined as a personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, conceit, or selfishness. It is also described as a mental illness and a social or cultural problem.

When a person thinks only of (her)himself, their life is all that matters. Their worldview becomes the center of the universe, and a trickle-down effect occurs: they will lie to protect their drama, regardless of who they hurt.

But lying, cheating, and bullying people to get your way never wins out in the end.

When a person discovers they’ve been living in their own reality, it can be painful and difficult to come back to the ‘real world.’

Are you drowning in narcissism? Take note of the feedback from your loved ones. Are you being ‘pushed away’ by people that you know are healthy and good?

  • Authenticity:

During the interview, Lance seemed to lack authenticity. But when he spoke of his children, we saw raw and real emotion. When a person is coming from an authentic place, we can feel it. In addition, when a person is not coming from an authentic place, we can sense that as well.

Use this authenticity-detector in your everyday life. Some call it your intuition or your inner guide. Don’t judge it, follow it.

  • The truth will always prevail:

If Lance taught us anything, it’s that the truth will always come out. Not even the world’s best doping doctors – or all the money in the world – can defy what is true.

If you are cheating or lying, it will be revealed. It is a law of the universe, and you will always be faced with what you have created.

If you think you’re not going to get caught, you will. The truth might be revealed quickly, or it might even take years, but it will always prevail.

Although it is scary, face your truth now — it will set you free.

  • Selling out:

Selling yourself out is always selling yourself short.

Each of us has unique talents and a purpose in life. None of us were intended to sell out for a quick buck (or millions of bucks for that matter). All of us are better than that, regardless of where we came from, our gender, class, race, and so on.

So strive to cultivate your skills and talents, even if it doesn’t break any records or put billions of dollars into your bank account. The pride and honor you receive from working hard at what you love, given your unique set of talents and skills, is priceless.

  • Your kids love you no matter what:

It’s no secret that Lance has daddy issues. But did he attempt to create a ‘superhero dad’ persona for his 5 kids to compensate for his own absentee father?

Whether you’re good at sports, rich, able-bodied, smart, literate, attractive – you name it – your kids don’t care.

Children love their parents regardless, and Lance’s 13-year-old son Luke reminded us of this truth. Even though he was defending his father to the naysayers – and didn’t even question the ongoing rumors – when Lance finally told his son the truth, Luke simply said, “OK, I love you, you’re my dad and this won’t change that.”

And it’s that’s simple. Children love their parents even if they don’t win seven consecutive world-class races.

So why not become an admirable mentor in your child’s life – not a false representation of yourself – and someone you can both be proud of.

Final thoughts:

In the case of Lance Armstrong, he gave false hope to millions of people. He shared an inspirational story that was not true. He lied on a global scale, and many are left feeling a sense of disappointment and betrayal.

Many are left asking, ‘Why did he do this?’ But perhaps the better question is: ‘How can we learn and grow as a society from this epic tale of bullying and dishonesty?’

My hope is that the Livestrong foundation will continue to provide funds and inspiration for the cancer community.

And my hope for Lance is the same as Kristin and Oprah’s: May the truth set you free.

What are some of your thoughts on Lance’s situation?

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