Exploring Possibilities: From No Success To Know Success!
Roger Bannister, was a British middle distance athlete and neurologist who ran the first sub 4 minute mile. He accomplished this feat on 6 May 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford, with Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher providing the pacing. When the announcer, Norris McWhirter, declared "The time was three...", the cheers of the crowd drowned out Bannister's exact time, which was 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.
There have been many achievements in the history of track and field events, but I am referring to this with one with a particular motive. Before this it was considered by the pundits or so called experts that humans cannot run a mile in less than four minutes. Best of the athletes tried but failed to achieve.
Barely a year after Bannister’s accomplishment, someone else ran a mile in under 4 minutes. Then some more runners did. Now, it’s almost routine. Even strong high-schoolers today run 4-minute miles. The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 athletes, and is now the standard of professional middle distance runners in several cultures.
Something which was considered impossible, is now a routine. What did Roger Bannister do that day? He was able to sow the seed of possibility in the human mind. Whatever we create in this world, first gets created in our mind. Anything which does not find its strong manifestation in our minds, does not see the light of the day. My question now is, do people know the name of any of those 14oo who have completed the sub 4-minute mile later. History remembers those who create the path of possibility.
Possibilities are about extending the limit of human functioning. Once upon a time in 1983, the best team in the world of cricket, could not score a paltry score of 183 in 60 overs. Now we see a score more than this being chased down in twenty overs. There was a day in 2005 when Australia made 436 in their allocated quota of 50 overs.
They were celebrating their success, and considering them as winners of the match. After all, who won’t, especially after a world record. But South Africans have a different plan. They chased down this score and created the second world record of the day by making 438 runs.
Both stories, rather incidents narrated above, have worked as milestones in their respective fields. They created a power of conviction in human minds. Conviction of possibility. Why were these things not possible earlier? These people gave this conviction of greater possibilities to people. When we are in a state of compulsiveness, we do not see anything the way it is. Our life gets distorted and makes us think that “that is it” at that moment.
So in our life we move from one compulsive state to another, without getting the opportunity to see the expansion of our limits. Nowadays in India, if we speak to a boy or a girl of fourteen to fifteen years about their intent for the future, they will talk about earning and living. They look for a secure life, where everything is fixed.
They do not become a Doctor for their interest in human physiology, or a computer engineer for their fondness of the super computer, they just want to earn. It’s definitely important, but investing all the energy and intelligence in just earning a living is not a very wise way of living life. The moment earning is ensured people sit down and become fat.
No wonder we do not get many nominations for nobel prizes. Currently the Olympics are on. Please do not expect much and criticize our players, as we have gestated a generation who just want to earn a living. Isn’t it important that before we leave this world, we get to our peak possibility?
Ladies and gentlemen, if we need to leave the mediocrity of life, we need to try for the possibilities rather than cry for not getting them. Great people don’t give up their dreams, but they live up to their dreams. We shouldn’t simply go through the difficulties, we need to grow through the difficulties.
Then only we reach the highest peaks of success, that others only aspire for. So my dear friends, we all understand that “no” challenges “no” success. I will extend it to “know” challenges, “know” success…and explore possibilities….
(The author is a Certified Designed Thinking Master practitioner and Clifton Certified Strength Finder Coach, Corporate Trainer and a Leadership coach. He is based in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, India.)