So, in order to build a good business, in order to build a better business, you need to become a better business person. Now, to become a better business person, you need get rid of some of those limiting beliefs and what you think you can’t do or the things maybe you’re telling yourself that you can’t do. You know, “I cannot do this” or “They do that, I won’t be able to do it.” So, in order to explain this, I want to tell you a bit of a story.
When I was younger, back in high school, I was a really good runner. I ran track in summer and I ran cross country in winter. And my expertise in the summer was the 1500 metre run. Now, there’s an event at the Olympics, it’s also quite famous especially in America; it’s called the mile. It’s a little bit longer than 1500 metres, it’s 100 meters longer and it’s exactly 4 laps around the athletics track. Now, the reason why the mile is an important event is because there’s a benchmark called the four-minute mile. And what you might not know is a bit of history behind it. And prior to the mid-1950s, no one had ever been able to break the four-minute mile.
In 1945, the quickest time ever had been ran. It was run by a Swedish boy and it was something like 4 minutes, 1 second point 4. So that’s exactly what it was – 4 minutes, 1 second point 4. That record stood for almost 10 years. And in that time, people were saying, “That’s the quickest mile time we’ve ever seen,” “It’s never going to be broken,” “The human body has been pushed to its absolute limits,” “People are going to die if they train any harder to try and break it,” “We should just celebrate what we’ve got.”
Now, on the 6th of May 1954, there was a guy called Roger Bannister and he ran the mile in three minutes 59.4 seconds. He was the first person ever in the world to break the mile. And this was almost 10 years after the second quickest time had ever been run. Now, the super important thing here is Roger actually made it happen. He brought it alive. For 10 years there was all this negativity, “he can’t do it, it’s not doable.” Imagine being a runner back then. Imagine being in that environment. Now, here’s what’s interesting is 46 days after he broke the World Record, Roger Bannister was in another race with an Australian by the name of John Landy and both of them ran a sub-four-minute mile.
So, prior to that day, no one had ever broke the four minute mile. 10 years before they came close and no one’s able to break it in that period between the 40s and 50s. Suddenly Roger breaks it and he brings it alive. And now, just after, not even two months after it, he has broken it again and an Australian has broken it and that’s just continued, more and more people started breaking the four-minute mile.
So that was a very pivotal moment. It was almost the tipping point and people can now see it’s actually doable and people just started being able to run it. But it’s interesting that before that time, all these limiting beliefs held people back. And the funny thing to think about is, I wonder how many people between the 40s and 50s actually had it in them to run it, but in their head, they didn’t have it.
Now what you find is high school boys and girls run a four-minute mile. And it’s not that quick. Maybe for you it’s quick, but nowadays, as an athlete, it is not that quick.
One of my favourite runners of all time is a Moroccan guy called Hicham El Guerrouj. He still has the World Record. He ran it in 1999 and that record is 3 minutes, 43.13. So you can see, since the 50’s and now, the 4 minutes has been absolutely demolished. So, you have to think about the stories you’re telling yourself of what you can’t do. And there’s going to be a lot of people, especially friends and family, maybe business colleagues that will tell that as well. You need to stick it out because you might be that next Roger Bannister, you may be the one to do it in your business , your industry, in your life. Just because not everyone else is doing it, just because that’s not what’s done in your industry, they are more limiting beliefs. Now just stick to it because it could be to you.