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What's your 4-minute mile?

One of the true miracles of life as a human being is that we were all born into this world as bundles of potential with DNA that was programmed for success, in other words we were born to succeed.


You may well ask the question…“if we’re all born to succeed, why then do so many people never realise their full potential and end up living lives of extended mediocrity?”

Whilst there are many factors that play a role in the actualisation of human potential, there is none greater than the conditioning effect of our “tribe”. The tribe refers to that collective group of people that comprised our “world” during our formative years, such as our family members, our teachers, class mates and our peer group.

From the many thoughts and messages we absorb from members of our tribe at a young age, we develop views and beliefs about how the world operates…and even more importantly we ascertain how we fit into the world and what we’re capable of!

In an ideal world everyone would learn productive lessons that facilitate a can-do attitude that is a recipe for continuing success throughout our lives. But in practice many people….correction, most people, develop flawed and limiting beliefs about their capabilities and this severely restricts their capacity to achieve amazing things in their lives.

In fact, the truly great achievers over the years are the ones who have so much self belief that they’re prepared to challenge paradigms…they’re the ones who’ve lifted the self-imposed and socially imposed barriers to achieve seemingly “impossible” breakthroughs.

A great example of achieving the seemingly impossible is Roger Bannister’s effort in breaking the 4 minute mile barrier. To put the achievement in context, we need to understand that the record for the mile sat at 4.01.4 for 9 years from 1945. During this time many experts (such as exercise physiologists and athletics coaches) and the elite mile runners themselves proclaimed that human performance had reached saturation point and it was impossible for human beings to break the magical 4 minute barrier.

However a young elite British runner who was studying medicine at Oxford university named Roger Bannister felt that breaking the 4 minute barrier was a psychological limitation and not a physiological impossibility. In May 1954 after tremendous preparation and with the help of two pacesetters and a massive vocal crowd, Bannister ran the race of his life to smash the magical 4 minute barrier in a time of 3.59.4. Haven't seen it? Check it out here

This showed other athletes that the impossible was all of a sudden achievable and just 6 weeks later an Australian, John Landy, set a new world record time of 3.58.9. In fact, within 12 months 5 other runners had run sub 4 minute miles. Nowadays the record for the mile sits at a remarkable time of 3.43.13!

If the worlds best athletes can be trapped by the subtle power of limiting beliefs, then it’s most likely that we all need to guard against the allure of sub-optimal achievements due to faulty thinking patterns.

Now for the exciting news…although our tribe may have conditioned us to default thinking styles at a young age, there are some very powerful and relatively simple tools available that can help us recondition our thought processes to support genuine breakthrough achievements throughout our lives…

Check out more here


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