Welcome to another Meaning to Live awareness article. You’re going to LOVE today’s topic.
Check it out, way back in the 1940’s, it was thought that running a mile couldn’t be done in less than 4 minutes. Belief systems are HUGELY influential. Turns out, our minds give us more hurdles (pun intended) than anything else in life. Here’s the story:
Roger Bannister came from a very ordinary background but had very un-ordinary dreams. He wanted to be a Doctor and knew that his family wouldn’t be able to afford him the education required. Attending University in Great Britain was a privilege for kids with more...financial fluency. See, the Bannister family was 'working class' so, clever Roger figured he’d need a scholarship if he had a shot.
Turns out, he was a pretty talented runner and was able to get in to Oxford University as a track athlete. **Seriously, there are just so many puns available here…on the right ‘track’. He ‘stepped’ up his game. He ‘ran’ into problems. So – many.** Ok, back on ‘course’. Roger became so good at running that he actually made it into the 1948 Olympics which, he ‘passed up’. I don’t know why but coming from my own 'working class' family, can easily see it having to do with confidence. "Who am I think I am – going to the Olympics. Pshaw." Or, I’m just a kid from Washington, Utah! Who do I think I am, trying to help the world become happier with a YouTube channel?" Or, "who am I to open a mental health clinic?" You know, the kind of thinking where we don’t go after something because way down, we don’t think we can do it. Sorry everyone, I keep ‘running’ off on tangents! Keep on 'pace', Jed!...admittedly, that was a little weak. So, Roger didn’t attend the 1948 Olympics but he did muster up the confidence to race when the Olympics came again in 1952 and with great expectations, the whole country of Britain watched.
Roger didn’t medal. In fact, he ran horribly which crushed him to the point that he almost decided to give up running altogether (who hasn't been there). Fortunately for this article, he flipped his victim stance around and looked into what he learned from the experience. This spurned him on to push his belief system limits and he decided to break the world record in the mile run. Because, why not? He already survived after 'dropping the ball' (wait, wrong sport) at the Olympics in front of the world.
Remember, the pro’s all said it was humanly impossible to run the mile in less than 4 minutes. Bannister wanted to prove them wrong and over the next few years he put what he’d learned to use.
He didn’t run more.
He didn’t train more.
He worked on believing more.
Roger broke the world record in 1954 while running in the wind on a wet course. Completely NOT ideal conditions.
It’s a great story, no doubt, but even greater is the fact that Bannisters record was broken a short 6 weeks after he set it! Wha?!!
The story continues...
Here’s what happened. When Roger broke the record he also broke the faulty belief system for the entire running population! And when other runners began to BELIEVE it could be done – other runners did it. Roger Bannister gave all of them the key by unlocking their minds. Turns out, our thinking is the only thing holding us back.
Now think about what this concept that Bannister taught us about the power of belief and ask yourself, “what does this mean for me”.
Maybe everyone has a unique story; even you.
Even though Roger Bannister died last year (2018), his impact continues on. Thank you, Sir.
Thanks for taking the time to read and until next time,
Jed Thorpe, CMHC