Your four-minute mile opportunities

‘The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.’ Roger Bannister

Until 1954, runners faced the impenetrable barrier of the four-minute mile. Running the mile in under four minutes was something beyond human comprehension. As it was beyond human comprehension, so it was beyond human achievement. Athletes had dreamt for years about the goal of running the mile in less than four minutes, but it seemed beyond the reach of any runner.

In May 1954, Roger Bannister, who had failed many times before, shattered this barrier. He had done the impossible and run the mile in three minutes fifty-nine point four seconds. Two months later, Bannister’s ‘miracle mile’ was broken by John Landy who improved on the record time by one point four seconds. Over the next three years the record was broken a further sixteen times.

What happened over those three years? Had there been a sudden growth in the evolution of runners? Improved genetic engineering? No, the running shoes, tracks and equipment were the same. The main change was the mental model of the runners. They had all been held back by the belief or mindset that they couldn’t beat the four-minute mile.

When the limit or glass ceiling was smashed, the others saw that they could do something they had all previously thought impossible. This is a great example of how our mindset limits or expands our world.

Where in your personal or business life are there four-minute mile opportunities that you have not yet recognised as possible? What is holding you back? How can you challenge them? What possibilities would be opened to you if this barrier was broken?

‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ – Napoleon Hill