The lesson of this letter may be summarised as: Listen to experts, but don’t let them limit your potential.

Every time I think about challenging my potential, I remember the 4 minute mile story. It challenges me. It is a story about doing the impossible and challenging your potential. It is not a new story but it is instructional.

For many years, since ancient Greek, it has been a belief that no person can run a mile in 4 minutes or less. Folklore even has it that the Greeks had at a particular time used lions to chase runners just to test if it would make them run faster and therefore beat the 4-minute rule, but it failed. No runner was able to run a mile in 4 minutes or less. 

At another time, there was a story about runners that were given Original Tiger’s Milk – not the tiger milk that you know of; the real one from the real tiger. Yet it didn’t work.

Everything they tried didn’t work. So, they decided that it was impossible for a person to run a mile in 4 minutes or less.

This belief stayed for a long time, over 1000 years and everyone accepted it. Experts created several theories – that our bone structure was not made for such a feat, that the wind resistance was too great, and there was even one that said Humans do not have adequate lung power for such a race, etc. 

Experts kept coming up with a million reasons.

Until one man named Roger Bannister (Google him), proved that the doctors, the trainers, the experts and the millions of runners who ran before him and failed were all wrong. He broke the 4-minute mile.

But that’s not the lesson for me today. It’s not about Roger Bannister. Just read on.

For me, the lesson is that, after the year Roger broke the record, do you know that the following year, it was recorded that 37 other runners broke the 4-minute mile? The year after that, 300 runners broke the record.

What really happened? 

Well, nothing scientific in my opinion.

There was no change in our bone structure, our lungs power didn’t improve, wind resistance wasn’t controlled. 

What changed? 

Our attitude.

Roger Bannister chose not to believe the experts because experts can stop you from reaching your potential. Experts are good people; they are influential but they can be wrong when it comes to telling you what is possible and what is not possible.

Experts are not the limits to your potential. GOD is.

Some years ago, the automobile genius, Henry Ford, once came up with a revolutionary idea to produce a new kind of engine. So, he called some of his guys to design the idea on paper and he presented the ideas to his engineers in his company.

All the engineers (experts) looked at the idea and all of them came to the same conclusion – that this dream is impossible.

I love Ford’s response: Produce it anyway!

When they replied “It is impossible”, Ford commanded them to “Go ahead and stay on the Job until they succeed no matter how much time is required”. 

That’s the attitude of someone who is challenging his potential.

One year later, these engineers came back with the excuse that what he wanted was impossible. Ford told them to keep going. They obeyed until they finally discovered how to build the engine – that engine is known today as the V-8 engine.

These stories inspire me, and I want it to inspire you too to challenge your potential.

You can accomplish your goals if you set them. It does not matter if the experts say you can’t do it. What matters, the only thing that matters, is if you SAY YOU CAN.

Then commit to doing it! 

Challenge your potential.

Ask yourself, how can I challenge my potential this month?

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