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Saturday, February 26, 2005 

It’s All About the Attitude

The thing that struck me most about this book is the power of attitude.

I have agreed, to an extent with many of the opinions of the week. The book is not great literature, if you’re NOT rich and famous you might get crappy health care or none at all, sometimes fame and work can “out-excite” family life, but generally speaking, I liked this book. I was impressed by Lance Armstrong even through his faults. I think he is doing the best job he thinks he can do.

(If only we could get him to listen to the missionaries! Wouldn’t he be the MOST awesome youth conference or EFY speaker? Imagine the firesides! If Lance would just be humble enough to accept the notion of a Heavenly Father and a Savior…he would be unstoppable! I’m just saying…)

I was really impressed by Lance’s attitude. I believe in the power of a positive mental attitude. In the POWER… Attitude has a force that can actually MAKE things happen. I also believe in visualizing… If you can imagine it, it can happen. (That sounds a little bit Disney-esque…) But if you can imagine it in detail, and practice it out in your mind repeatedly, you’ve won half the battle. I don’t think that in our current lowly human state we can even fathom what we are capable of doing with our minds and bodies.

I am very interested in the LDS notion of spirit + body = soul. Because I consider myself a very weak person, I have pondered this principle many times in conjunction with the principle found in Ether 12:27

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for it they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong unto them.”

I’m counting on this.

But I am constantly aware of the need for balance; imagine an overdeveloped body with an underdeveloped spirit, and vice versa. Then imagine the balanced soul; that’s where I want to be, the master of my mortal existence.

Lance Armstrong is blessed with many natural gifts that I don’t have: low body fat, huge lung capacity, low lactic acid production, high tolerance for pain, physical endurance, determination, self motivation, confidence. I really admire the way he was able to take some of those natural gifts and focus them into a career, into something he loved to do.

Cancer forced him to develop some traits he wasn’t born with: patience, empathy, dependence, love, admiration for the talents and skills of others, humility, serenity.

Thank goodness we are not being compared to each other. I couldn’t hold a candle to Lance’s self motivation, and he couldn’t hold a candle to my faith in a living God, my faith that God has a plan for each of us.

But I was happy to read the story of a fellow human being; a brother, if you will. I was left with a happy impression; an impression of hope, an impression that I can be in more control of my life, an impression that there is more to me than meets the eye.

CA - I love how you totally put a spiritual spin on this! Good work.

I too am facinated with the body+spirit=soul thing. And really, I didn't think about that in Lance's situation.

I think the cancer did do A LOT to humble him, but not enough. I remember reading an article in SI about him where his then wife praised God for his recovery and he rebutted with (and I'm totally paraphrasing) "God had nothing to do with this. It was all me." I remember being almost sad when I read that. But I digress.

Great post love... you rock!

Haven't read the book but I loved your insights into the balance of body and spirit. Maybe you should be the EFY speaker!

In response to Sarah... I think if someone doesn't believe in a god they don't have to give credit to a god they don't recognize... Although, I am sure he could have handled the situation a bit more tactfully.

CA - I agree with mo, you should be the EFY speaker.

You guys are so kind...

Yeah, I don't think I emphasized enough how amazing it is to me for him to be SO humbled WITHOUT finding God. There is such a strong connection between our bodies and spirits and a divine "maker". Many people only discover this when they almost have no body left; when their spirits literally have little to cling to. But somehow he made it through "unscathed" by a Godly presence...interesting...I still admire him for other things...

CA-way to bring it all home, my friend. You tied it all together and I really appreciate your outlook...not only on the book but the balance we strive for in our lives.

I still maintain my love for the Lance-Man...just thought I'd throw that in there for good measure.

LOVED the post...

I just love how you think, Carrie Ann. I am so glad you write (almost) last every week, because you always pull out very interesting stuff, right when I thought everything to be said on a subject had already been said.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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