Brad King, MFS
Oscar Wilde once said, "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. The question is, are you merely surviving from day to day, or are you grasping everything you can from life?
Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” The question is, are you merely surviving from day to day, or are you grasping everything you can from life?
Do you believe in your ability to achieve what others may believe is impossible? It’s not who you are that holds you back; it’s who you think you’re not.
The Man Who Changed History
Throughout the early part of the last century, runners from all over the world would compete in the one-mile race, and everyone would strive to do it in four minutes or less. Although the best of the best would come close to running the elusive four-minute mile, no one could ever achieve it. This became such an impossible feat that some people started to believe that humans were just not capable of running a four-minute mile. Regardless of the reason, it was apparently impossible–or so we believed.
On May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister, a promising medical student and runner made the impossible a reality. With head tilted back and mouth agape (involuntarily ensuring optimal delivery of every drop of oxygen to his pumping arms and legs), Bannister crossed the finish line as the first person to ever run a four-minute mile (actually 3:59.4).
Bannister taught us an important lesson that day. Once we remove a barrier from our lives, with enough effort we can usually capture what is on the other side. Once the barrier of the “impossible four-minute mile” was removed from a runner’s mind–even though thousands had tried and failed before Bannister–it was only a matter of time before others would follow. Less than three months after his world record, three people ran a four-minute mile, and to date, more than 700 people have made this impossibility a reality.
Change Your Own History
What we have to start realizing is that we are often the ones responsible for the obstacles placed in our way. Once we see that many of these obstacles can be removed–by us–we can begin to achieve what others may see as impossible.
I believe that the primary reason people fail to realize their life’s dreams is not because they don’t want to achieve them but because they don’t truly believe they can. The late Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon, wrote in his book Psycho-Cybernetics (Pocket Books, 1969), “When you change a man’s face, you almost invariably change his future.” This physical change, in other words, has an impact on a much deeper level than mere cosmetics. The change also occurs in personality, behaviour, and sometimes even basic talents and abilities.
Dr. Maltz noted that some patients–no matter how physically altered through plastic surgery–showed no change at all in personality, as if nothing had changed, and in their minds they still remained scarred or disfigured. Dr. Maltz soon discovered that a person’s self-image, the way in which the individual perceived him- or herself, is the real key to that individual’s personality and behaviour. When it comes to self-image, perception is the same as reality.
My message is this: If you want something badly enough, change your belief system. The change you’re seeking to make is not only possible; it’s just a matter of time.