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A Winner's Motivation

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Lance Armstrong is a successful cyclic athlete who has applied motivation in his life to bit tough odds against him. At age 25 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had already spread to the stomach, lungs and brain but that did not stop him. By the time he was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer, he had already won several cycling competitions. Lancer Armstrong was motivated and inspired himself by giving himself hope during his sickness. He motivated himself by gathering a lot of knowledge on cancer as he believed that there is power in knowledge (NIH Medicine plus, 2006).

Motivation is the inner stimulating strength that drives one to desire to continue to move towards ones goals through voluntary effort.

The ERG motivational theory can be applied in Armstrong’s cancer success story. Clayton Aderfers based his theory on the idea that there are three important needs that act as a stimulant in ones life, existence, relatedness and growth. The existence need is based on satisfying the basic needs for survival. In relating the same to Armstrong’s life the fight to get back his health after the cancer diagnoses was a fight to meet the basic need of health. He is still fighting to meet this need through his healthy eating habits which he developed after surviving the disease (Livestrong, 2010).  The second need in ERG theory is the need to maintain health relationships with members of the group one belongs to. As a cancer survivor, Armstrong has dedicated his life in acts that help inspire other cancer patients and victims. He started the Lance Armstrong Foundation to support members of his group, the group members being those who were affected by the cancer. The third need in the ERG motivational theory is the fundamental desire to succeed in achieving ones potential and complete growth. Armstrong started to satisfy this need when as a young boy as he used to cycle for long distance with his bike at a young age. He realized his passion and developed it and became a professional cyclist during his teenage hood. The passion continued even after surviving cancer leading him to winning the Tour de France race several times. After surviving with cancer he continued to develop himself by supporting in the fight against cancer.

Armstrong’s success cancer story and the cycling success afterwards can be related to the expectation motivation theory. The expectation theory, developed by Vroom, focuses on efforts and performance relationship, performance and reward relationship and rewards and personal goals relationship. It is based on the theory that ones actions are stimulated by the expectation that there is a positive outcome. This is too relevant a theory in Armstrong’s life. His fight against cancer was successful and stimulated by a lot of reading on the cancer subject. He continued with the fight, ignoring doctors’ optimism that he was not likely to survive based on the expectation that he would be healed. He aggressively followed on his treatment with the expectation that there would be a reward which was healing from the disease. The theory can as well be applied in his cycling come back though with the expectation of a different reward. Armstrong went back to cycling as a way to helping the support of fighting cancer (Saunders, 2009). His reward would be helping and motivating those who have been diagnosed with the disease as well as supporting further research on the disease, (Leopold, 2005).  In an interview posted at the Livestrong web, Armstrong said that his motivation and goal was to help those who are affected by the disease not to only survive but to thrive as well (Livestrong, 2010).

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