It was thought that running a mile in under 4-minutes was physically impossible for any human being. Until, at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Stadium in 1954, Roger Bannister completed four laps in 3:59.4. The photo of an exhausted Bannister with his eyes closed and mouth opened appeared on the front page of newspapers around the world, a testament of what humankind could achieve.
“However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then… even thought impossible.”Roger Bannister
As important as anything, Bannister broke a psychological barrier with this run. However, this once believed impossible record only lasted for 46 days before Australian runner John Landy shaved 1.5 seconds off of his time. By the end of 1957, 16 runners had logged sub-4-minute miles. Since that time more than 1,400 runners have broken the 4 minute mile and the current record stands at 3:43.13. An impossible task until Bannister changed that belief and mindset.
Similar to the impossible 4-minute mile, breaking the 2-hour marathon (26.2 miles) was another barrier that seemed would never happen. In fact, researchers in Australia crunched marathon world records over the past 60 years and concluded that there was a 10 percent likelihood that the two-hour mark would fall by 2032, and just a 5 percent chance it would happen by 2024.
On October 12, 2019 Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest 26.2 miles ever and broke through the seemingly impossible barrier of two hours with a time of 1:59:40.2. That is an incredible sub-4:34 mile pace for the entire distance.
Just like when Bannister broke the 4-minute mile barrier in 1954, Kipchoge has inspired a new generation to push their limits with what is possible.
“It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister in 1954. I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours, and I can tell people that no human is limited,” Kipchoge said. “I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”Napoleon Hill
To live the life you truly desire, the first step is to break through the psychological barriers that are holding you back. You have to believe that you can get there.
Kipchoge believed he could break the two-hour barrier. Before the event he said, “Many ideologies [have] been going that no human will break the two-hour mark but personally, I have dared to try. I am doing it to make history.” After the race he said, “there was no point that I doubted myself.”
Look around. Your biggest dreams, the life you really want is not the 4-minute mile or the 2-hour marathon. Most likely, there’s already someone that is living that life. You don’t need to wait for someone to break through that psychological barrier before you can achieve it. That barrier has already been broken. You just need the mindset that will allow you to believe.
Your first step to achieving your goals is believing you can do it.
“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”Ronald Regan
Where do you really want to be? What are your big goals? Identify the real and the imagined barriers that are holding you back. It’s time to break through those barriers and reach your true potential! Stop believing your own lies.
Not knowing how to do it. Not seeing the path. Thinking it’s impossible. These are all excuses that you’ve told yourself. Kipchoge figured out how to run a sub-2 hour marathon, you can figure out how to achieve the life you want.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”Stephen R. Covey
Once you really believe you can achieve your goals you need to give yourself a path to follow so you’ll be able to reach the goals you previously thought were impossible.
In May of 2017, Kipchoge came up just shy of the two-hour mark during Nike’s Breaking2 project, finishing with a time of 2:00:25. After missing the mark by less than half a minute, he created the path he needed to follow to accomplish the goal a little more than two years later. This included his training and preparation all the way through to the pace setters and water delivery during the run.
Planning is key to your success. Figure out how you’re going to reach your ultimate goals and follow that plan. But be flexible so you can adjust quickly and make decisions when road blocks appear.
Know Your ‘Why’
“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”Simon Sinek
Why do you want to achieve this goal that you’re after? Most people don’t really know. They know that they want something, but their ‘why’ hasn’t been defined.
But when you really identify your true ‘why’, it will be anchored in your heart with feelings and emotions.
This is an exercise I spend a lot of time on with my clients because one they have figured out their ‘why,’ there’s no stopping them. It’s what gives them their motivation. It’s what gets them to jump out of bed in the morning when they are tired or not feeling well. It’s what will help them persist until they succeed!
Persist Until You Succeed
“Your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action and the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!”Brian Tracy
If at times you get knocked off your path it doesn’t mean it’s over. Adjust and figure out how to get back on the path again.
The first step in your journey is to see in your mind what it is that you really want and to truly believe you are capable of achieving it. The mind is a powerful force and when you use it to create the life and the outcomes you desire, amazing things will happen.
“He’s actually inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives and we can do more than we think we can do.“Patrick Sang – Eliud Kipchoge’s Coach