“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” – Roger Bannister
May 6th 1954. That day in history will be forever remembered as the day Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. The amazing part of Roger Bannister’s feat (pun intended) was that before that fateful day, no man or woman had ever run the mile in under 4 minutes, they said it simply couldn’t be done. Since that day some 20,000 athletes have run sub 4 minute miles, including high school and collegiate athletes. The question is, what changed? What has happened to the 20,000 athletes that took to the track after May of 1954 and broke the the 4 minute mile? Has the conditioning improved? Are the sneakers more advanced? The difference is that they all know it has been done before, they know that it’s possible.
You can do whatever it is in life you want to do, because it’s possible. What are your biggest dreams? What makes you get up in the morning and press on even when you don’t feel like it? Nietzsche said, “If you know your why in life you can endure any how.” Sometimes we forget our whys which causes us to lose our focus and our drive. We need to stretch beyond our limits to live a life worth living. We must risk going too far to discover just how far we can go. We have to eliminate the dreaded disease called “possibility blindness”.
Mr. Bannister, during his training, envisioned himself crossing the finish line, looking up at the clock and seeing 3:59. Before he even stepped foot in the stadium he had already broken the record. He had seen the colors of the track and its infield, smelled the cinders and heard the screams of the crowd; it was exactly what that day was supposed to look like. He didn’t wish it would happen or hope for it, in his mind he had already done it. It is the only way we will realize our dreams. We must tell ourselves over and over again, we must see ourselves accomplishing what we know we desire most. The subconscious mind can’t differentiate between what is real and what isn’t. The subconscious only knows what it has been programmed to see, it will then go about setting the course. A defined directness of purpose will force the body to commit the actions and make the decisions and choices needed to succeed beyond all reason. Whatever your dreams and wants are know that you can do this. Whether it’s writing a book, running an iron man, or something as daunting as living another day to beat a dreaded disease, know that it’s possible.
Eliminate all the noise, the naysayers, the stealers of dreams. There is no coach, teacher or boss that can realize your dreams for you. Do not let anyone’s opinion of you become your reality. You are the one, you have the power. Tell yourself that the world has not seen the best version of you yet. It has been said that our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkeness that most frightens us.
Thoreau said that “the masses lead quiet lives of desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Don’t be that person. Live so that when you look back over your life, you will have run YOUR race, you will have run the perfect mile.