Win at all costs

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom

– King Solomon

I had the chance to spend a day with some leaders at Trek Bicycle in Waterloo, Wisconsin. I will cover some lessons learned in another post, but I wanted to share something I noticed and something I felt. On the walls of the halls within Trek’s headquarters are amazing pictures of products and people. Sadly there are no pictures of Lance Armstrong or the beautiful Trek bikes that he rode in those years of the Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong was a “win at all costs” athlete, and this determination and drive allowed him to beat cancer and then rocket to the top of the cycling profession. But it was this drive, and a behind the surface pride issue, that led him to abuse the system and eventually disgrace himself.

We like to look at those who have fallen from grace with a certain disdain and contempt, and focus on how their arrogance led them to the point of certain failure. How could they have done that? How could they let pride, and the idea of winning, cause them to stoop so low?

Why do I care? Sadly over the past few weeks I have been looking at social media and tracking my stats and how many “likes” and comments I receive. In some cases I would check-in multiple times a day. Is that the reason I write stories or share things with friends? To be liked? To be popular? As I reflected on this I realized that I need to seriously check myself and my pride.

example on Facebook

Interestingly, during this same period of time I was not inspired to write any new articles. The source of inspiration and creativity that I love was simply not present. My focus was on myself and not one how I can help or serve others. Pride was getting in the way of success and true wisdom.

I think I have fallen victim to pride. I have not felt the Holy Spirit in many days. In this void I have to realize I should listen and not talk. When I don’t know what to say, it is a prime opportunity to read the Bible and ask for guidance and inspiration

– Note to myself (from my journal)

Thankfully, I stumbled upon James 1:5 and I am slowly getting the inspiration to write again. I also stumbled upon an interview with Lance Armstrong on NBC Sports where he looks back on his cycling career and discusses how he’s trying to move on from one of the biggest scandals in sports history. I know there are mixed feelings for Lance Armstrong and the numerous other role models that have made critical mistakes that tarnished their name and their legacy. I personally am rooting for them all that they can move beyond failure and find redemption. That they can use their talents and their passion in some way to improve themselves and others. I know someday I will be judged and I am thankful for grace.

I have no idea where you are in this journey, but I hope that you are doing well. We are worth more than the number of “likes” we receive on social media, and your true friends will stand by you in both the good and the bad moments.

Appreciate your support and wish you the best,

Douglas Diemel

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