Lessons from the Four Minute Mile

Many said it was not possible for a human being to run a mile in under four minutes.  After all, humans had been trying since the times of ancient Greece and no one had ever succeeded.  So it was quite a moment when, in May of 1954, Roger Bannister, of England, recorded a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. More amazing than Bannister’s accomplishment, however, is the fact that the record stood for only 46 days before it was broken.  And in the 60 years since Bannister’s record-setting run, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds.  How is it that for hundreds of years the sub four minute mile was not possible and now even strong high school runners can achieve this feat?

The mind is a powerful thing.  When people thought it was not possible to run a mile in four minutes, they could not accomplish it.  But once Bannister proved it was possible, others started to believe and were then also able to achieve this mark.  Bannister was first to achieve this record because he believed it was possible.  He visualized himself running a four minute mile and, in his mind, created a sense of belief, of certainty, that it would happen.

As leaders, this lesson teaches us that we have to believe to achieve.  It starts with a dream.  And when we dream big, we get big results.  The most decorated Olympian of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps, once said “If you dream as big as you can dream, anything is possible.”  Don’t let anyone tell you or your team that something can’t be done.  Dream big, believe in yourself, and you can accomplish amazing things…..even things the world thought were impossible!

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog – http://www.jvearle.wordpress.com
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Website – http://www.jvearle.com


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