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Breaking Barriers

The Impossible Time

In 1954, at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, England, a single man proved that beliefs can be overcome through action and self belief. He showed that the barriers which hold us back can be overcome.

Up until that point, running a mile under four minutes was considered impossible. The medical profession believed that the body would be unable to survive through the stress that would be put on it running at such speed.

Sir Roger Bannister was not a newcomer to the running circuit. Having attended and participated in two Olympic Games and several other national and international events, he was more than aware of what it would take to break the four minute barrier.

All previous records had neared the four minute mile (1600 Kilometres), but, fell short of breaking it. It seemed impossible.

But just like the Wright Brothers, Robert Stephenson, Henry Ford, Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Bannister saw beyond the common beliefs and set himself a goal of running the mile in under four minutes.

Each of the people mentioned above, had a dream of achieving a goal which was commonly considered impossible or involved the fear of death. They saw beyond the impossible and the fear, and set their mind to breaking barriers that others feared to go through or challenge.

The part that no-one will ever see in these people, is the internal struggle required to overcome, go through and break personally held beliefs, which would have otherwise have stopped them in their tracks from achieving their dreams, their goals.

What drove them was a passion to do something which they considered to be a worthy ideal, as Earl Nightingale would put it. They were goals that would write their names in the history books for ever, for the sole reason that they were the first to do it.

People like those mentioned and like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Elon Musk, dared to break common beliefs and overcome the impossible, the unlikely and the unknown, and prove that it can be done.

The impossible dream suddenly becomes the possible dream and the near reality.

That single turn of beliefs, from, “Is it possible”, “Can I”, to “It’s possible” and “I can”, is what has created the world that we live in, every invention, from the imagination of it’s creator to the physical world that we see.

Overcoming our beliefs and breaking through the mental barriers that hold us back takes effort, persistence, faith and belief. Within these, there is found the courage and discipline to ensure that we stay on track to the conclusion of our dreams, our goals, our passion and the life we want to live.

The mind is the single greatest barrier to overcome, where all our beliefs and tendencies are. Once we have overcome those beliefs, everything else falls into place.

When Bannister decided to break the four minute mile, he broke not only the belief within himself that it can be done, but he destroyed that belief for other runners, those that would follow in his footsteps and break the preceding record.

By doing this, he showed that the only impossibility is that which we hold in our mind as true. That barriers of belief are purely an illusion of our created mindset. And that with effort and action, we can overcome those beliefs and achieve goals which others consider impossible.

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreaux

Photo by: Rob Bates on Facebook

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