I want to tell you two stories today. The stories are of people doing things that were believed to be impossible. The lesson you can learn from the stories is that ‘impossible’ and ‘I can’t’ are words you should never use in your life about yourself or others.
As long as humans have existed and been able to look into the sky at birds and see their freedom in flight I’m pretty sure we have wanted to fly. There has only been one problem… Anyone who tried to fly for most of human history, failed. Today it is common to jump on a plane and fly, but I want you to think of how insane the idea of people flying would have been in 1900. Not only that… what if someone told you that not only could humans fly, but that they would do it in heavy metal objects? A statement like that seems likely to have suggested absolute insanity. Yet, in 1903, 2 bicycle mechanics did the impossible! What was the difference between the Wright brothers and almost everyone else on the planet at the time? Their belief! They believed they could do something and they ended up doing it. The reason belief was so important is that it allowed these men to TRY!
Later in the 20th century, there was a running record that had been held for 9 years. In early 1954 it was widely believed by experts that no human was capable of running a mile in under 4 minutes. This belief was very strong among both coaches and athletes. Then along came a young medical student named Roger Bannister. He ended up breaking the 4-minute mile barrier because he believed it was possible. Within just 6 weeks, his record had been broken! Within months there were more people who would run the mile in less than 4 minutes. What was the difference between the speed someone could run before 1954 and after? The only difference was belief! As soon as one person did it, everyone began believing in the possibility of breaking 4 minutes. Now, it is almost routine to break 4 minutes if a runner is serious about competing with the best.
Why am I telling these stories? To remind you of the power of your beliefs. Does it not make sense that if you believe something is impossible, you will never try? I mean, wouldn’t you be considered crazy to be dropped in the middle of the ocean if you didn’t believe you could swim? Wouldn’t it be nuts to attempt to jump out of a plane if you didn’t believe the parachute would open?
Today I challenge you to think about your own beliefs and whether or not they are holding you back from reaching more of your potential. In the upcoming weeks, I will be expanding on how to get much more out of life, but the first step is taking a look at your limiting beliefs. Take some time, right now, to contemplate what your beliefs are about money, relationships, how difficult it is to lose weight (or not), and what you are capable of doing in this world. If there is only one major difference between those who successfully reach their dreams and those who don’t, it is belief (don’t get me wrong, there are some other major factors as well).
This past summer I watched my son try something he had never attempted. He’s pretty little, but there is a simple tree swing in our neighbor’s yard and he was attempting to back way up and jump onto the swing to get the most out of his momentum. I saw him fall and just watched (it was grass and he was safe… don’t worry), then I heard him say under his breath: “I think I can, I think I can” from Thomas the train. My son tried 3 times and feel three times before he made it. When he did make it we were both smiling from ear to ear, but I had been smiling for a while already. The reason he was willing to try and fail and try again (multiple times) was that he never told himself it couldn’t be done. Failure is key to success because it is our training ground in life. Begin, today, to work toward what yesterday may have been impossible for you. I’ll leave you with this quote of Henry Ford’s:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!”