Author Joel Osteen tells the story of decades past when track and field experts declared that no runner could break the four-minute-mile barrier. A human just couldn’t run that far, that fast, for that length of time. Experts conducted all sorts of profound studies to show it was impossible to beat this barrier. For years, they were right.
One day a young man came along that didn’t believe the experts’ opinions. He didn’t dwell on the impossibilities. He refused to let all those negative words form a barrier in his mind. He began to train, believing he was going to break that record. He went out one day and broke the four minute mile barrier. He did what the experts said couldn’t be done. His name was Roger Bannister, and he made sports history.
Within ten years after Roger Bannister broke that record, 336 other runners had broken the four minute mile record, as well.
Look at the soaring popularity of marathons. Twenty years ago you’d be hard pressed to find someone who had run one much less to find a city that held a marathon. Now everyone is on the bandwagon. How many marathons do we have just within a hundred mile radius of where we live? What happened?
Possibility entered into the picture, that’s what happened and that’s all that happened. Why the Red Sox finally won the World Series and why I ran 26.2 miles in last December’s Marathon of the Palm Beaches.
Grand feats such as the Tour de France, the World Series and marathon running are more attainable than we think. We just don’t allow the possibility of achieving them to enter into our thoughts.
As a personal coach, my work is to help others live their best life through first seeing possibility. I worked on my own possibility barriers last year after going up to watch the Boston Marathon. After seeing about every body type cross the finish line (including several on crutches and one man who kicked himself backwards in a wheelchair) my perspective quickly shifted from impossible to possible. Nine months later, I was the one being watched crossing a marathon finish line.
I’ll never see my personal coaching work as merely helping people live a better life. Now, I also help people see possibility, which I learned is the first step to a better life.
*Side Note: Dr. Rob finished 5 minutes under his goal time!