60 years ago, no one had ever been able to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
Then in 1954, Roger Bannister set the world record for being the first person ever to run 1 mile (1,609.344 meters, 5280 feet) in under 4 minutes. His time: 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. At that time, it was considered impossible and psychologists even claimed it was hazardous to the health.
For years, it had not been just a physical, but also a psychological barrier that no one was able to break through.
Perhaps they were afraid for their health.
Perhaps no one had the stamina.
Or perhaps, it had been drilled into everyone’s mindset that running a mile in under 4 minutes was just too impossible.
Until Roger Bannister came along.
He went down in the Guiness Book of Records as the first man to ever cross the finish line of a mile in under 4 minutes. And then only 46 days later, John Landy broke that record by coming in at 3 minutes 57.9 seconds. The two of them later competed on 7th August to finally decide the winner of the 4-minute mile, and Bannister came out on top.
And then what happened? Just 3 years later, 16 more runners had broken past the 4-minute mile barrier. 3 years after the first person set a record for the unthinkable, 16 more runners had set the exact same record.
Because when everyone realized that the impossible had become reality, everyone else was willing to try their hand to achieve the same feat. Because finally “someone else had done it”.
When nobody else had achieved such a feat, no one was willing enough to try it because their mentality was “it can never happen”. But the moment 1 person does it and reports success, everyone else rushes to do the same thing.
So the lesson here is: Nothing is impossible. Nothing (rational) is impossible, anyway.
There have been many time in my life where I thought something was impossible, whether because I was afraid, or thought I wasn’t smart enough, because I didn’t think I had enough time, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to take it.
But that’s where success lies. You push yourself further than you thought possible, and sometimes it takes training, sometimes it takes practice, sometimes it takes luck. But once you get there, you get to enjoy the taste of success.
And that’s when you realize you’ve made a breakthrough.
Just Do It.
(You KNEW I was gonna do that, didn’t you?)
What do you think is impossible?