On Oct 2, 1996, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer. Doctors also found brain lesions and cancer in his lungs and abdomen. The cyclist was ranked seventh in the world. He had a promising career ahead of him. He was twenty-five years old and looking at a death sentence.
But as most people know, he didn’t die. He went through surgery to remove his testicle, surgery to remove brain lesions, and twelve weeks of chemotherapy.
He was told he’d never ride again. But not only did he ride, three years later, he was crossing the finish line of the world’s most prestigious bike race, the Tour de France. When a reporter asked him what was the significance of this win, Armstrong replied, ““We can be told we have a 90 percent (survival) chance, a 50 percent chance or a 1 percent chance,” he said. “But as long as you take that chance and want to live… I’m living proof we get second chances, and second chances are better than the first.”
Armstrong didn’t win because of luck or hard work. He won because he’d cultivated a winning, never-say-die attitude. It wasn’t surgery or chemotherapy that kept him alive or put him on a bike again. Medicine can’t do that. It was mind over matter.
Armstrong wasn’t exceptional. His mom was an unwed teen who had dropped out of high school to have him. She doted on him and sometimes worked two jobs to put him in swim meets, runs, triathlons and, finally, bicycle races. By the time he became a professional triathlete at the age of 15, the mantra’s she taught him were firmly entrenched: Make a positive out of a negative; always work hard and good things will happen; don’t believe it when other people say you can’t.
We all have the ability to use mind over matter. If you want to make a huge shift in your life, here is how to get started in using this incredible tool.
Be Careful What You Allow In
Pay attention to your surroundings. If your environment is violent, negative, and destructive, your programs will be too. Keep it healthy and positive. Growth flourishes in positive energy. Negativity destroys. If you find yourself thinking things like “I can’t,” or you look for things that are wrong with yourself of the world, stop! If those thoughts take root, they will manifest in the world. That’s not some abstract idea. It’s a fact. You can if you believe you can. You will if you believe you will. It may not happen today, but it will happen.
Pay Attention to What You Put Out
Energy flows out of you too. This energy has to be congruent if you want it to work for you. When you have positive, productive thoughts going in and positive, productive words and deeds flowing from you, you’re more likely to reap healthy, life giving things.
Follow Through With Effort
You can’t just think things into being. You have to put some effort behind it. Do something. Look at the results of your work. If it’s working, keep doing it. If it’s not working, tweak it until it does. It’s thought + effort that yields results. You can’t do it once and quit. You have to keep at it. Believe.
The mind is an extremely powerful healing tool. We all have one. Not everyone uses it. We don’t all believe in it. It’s a shame because thoughts are free. Everyone can use mind over matter.