Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong: Force vs. Flow

January 19, 2013

 Dear Friends,

While conducting a workshop a number of years ago, I was talking about the qualities of perserverance and determination, and how they relate to the idea of a “divine flow.” Lance Armstrong immediately came to mind.  Lance had just won the Tour de France for the seventh time, and although his successive triumphs were widely applauded, I questioned whether his victories should really be celebrated.

I don’t mean that I had an inkling that Armstrong was using performance-enhancing drugs.  I didn’t.  And, like many people, when allegations about doping were made against Armstrong, I believed his denials.

No, my question about Armstrong’s achievements had to do with his relentless drive, and his seemingly insatiable need to win and win and win again.  I wondered if his victories were more about the human ego, and less about the triumphs of the Inner Spirit.  I wondered if Lance Armstrong was somehow forcing things to go the way he wanted them to go, rather than co-creating with the divine flow.

Well, Thursday night I got my answer.  In his revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong stated this: “I have controlled every outcome in my life."  And then he went on to describe how he would vehemently—even viciously—attack anyone who threatened what he had created.  Wow!  If that’s not a great example of rowing against the flow, I don’t know what is.

What I am getting to, friends, is this: Whenever you are pursuing a goal or dream in life, it is helpful—to a degree—to be determined and to persevere. But there is a fine line between determination and being driven, and between perseverance and being obsessed. I can’t tell you where that line is for you. All I can do is remind you to continually ask yourself this question: “Am I taking the next right step that I am being divinely guided to take, or am I trying to control, manipulate, and force things to go the way I think they should go?”

To live life in the divine flow is to have the patience and the persistence to hold on to your dream, but to allow that dream to unfold in a divinely guided way. Otherwise, your achievement will only be the result of your ego’s activity. And that kind of achievement is only briefly satisfying, and never in the best interests of all.  Or worse, it can lead to a painful downfall with devastating and far-reaching consequences.

For his own sake—and for his own peace of mind—I am happy that Lance Armstrong has finally come clean about his past. For your sake—and for mine—I hope we never forget one of the many valuable lessons that can be learned from this man’s vivid example:  That life is not about achieving our goals and dreams “at all costs.”  It’s about cooperating with the divine flow of life . . . about letting go of our rigid attachments to what we believe is best for us, and allowing the divine flow to guide us to the fulfillment of our heart’s desires in a way that is not only beneficial for us, but for everyone else as well.


© 2013 by Steven Lane Taylor
Steven Lane Taylor, LLC