Remember when you were 5? Remember how you believed that anything was possible? You thought that you could be and do anything. You may have even thought that you could fly. Then, somewhere along the way, you started to lose your faith in possibilities. Subconsciously or otherwise, you absorbed the negative messages around you that said, “You can’t”, “you won’t”, and “it’s not possible”.

We are all capable of more than we know, but when we lose that sense of possibility, and begin to believe the negative messages that we find in the world around us, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe we can’t so we can’t. Not only do we fail to reach our potential, we stop trying.

The good news is the self-fulfilling prophecy can work in the positive direction too. Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” If you can get to a place where you honestly believe that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, then for you, anything will be.

We all have times in our lives when it can be difficult to believe that anything is possible. Life can be discouraging sometimes, and there are times when it feels more like NOTHING is possible. When I go through those times I find it helpful to remember the story of Roger Banister.

For those of you unfamiliar with his name, Roger Banister was the first man to run the mile in under four minutes. He ran faster over that distance than anyone ever had before.
Obviously he was a very gifted and talented athlete, but that’s not what makes Banister special. Bannister’s greatest achievement wasn’t his record-breaking time; it was his ability to believe that anything is possible. Roger Banister broke the 4:00 minute mile mark in 1954. For nearly a decade the world record held at 4:01.4. Hundreds of athletes had tried and failed to break the magic barrier.

The time gained such lore that some medical professionals even declared it physically impossible for any human to run it any faster. Then in four magic minutes, Bannister redefined what was possible. But that’s not the end of the story. In fact, the great lesson for all of us can be found in what happened in the months after Bannister broke the record. While the previous record of 4:01.4 stood for nine years without a single person breaking the mark, in the ten years after Bannister broke 4 minutes, the record was broken FIVE times and the previously elusive four-minute mark, was broken several more times than that! John Landy, beat the record by a full second just one month later!

So what was so special about Landy, Derek Ibbotson, Herb Elliott and Peter Snell who all broke the four minute mark after Bannister? What did they have that the athletes who came before them didn’t? They had Roger Bannister to follow.

Those runners knew they could reach their goal. They didn’t need to have the vision that Bannister had because when Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile, he made the impossible possible!
What’s the lesson for you and I who, most likely, are never going to break running records? If we want to become all that we can be in our lives, we have to be like Roger Bannister. We have to believe that anything is possible.

When I decided that I was going to run a marathon, it was only seven days after my transplant. I was forty pounds underweight, had five chest-tubes jutting from my sides, had more than thirty staples holding together an incision that spanned the width of my chest, and I hadn’t run more than a few feet in several years.

If I’d told my doctors that day that I was going to run a marathon one day, they would have laughed. They may have even said that it was impossible. But I knew that it was possible. I knew that I could do it. It took more than two years and a lot of hard work and training, but I did it.

Whatever your goals are and whatever you want to accomplish whether it’s learning to water ski or to be the first person to walk on Mars, if you’re going to succeed, you must first believe that it’s possible. Once you clear that mental hurdle, anything is possible…

Action Item
Today, I challenge you to look at everything through the eyes of your five-year-old self and believe that anything is possible. Make a list of the things you really want to achieve in your life, even ones that maybe you’ve written off as being impossible.

Take a moment to think about why you decided that dream or ambition was impossible and write down the excuse that you told yourself to justify giving up on that goal. Then, for each excuse you made for why you couldn’t accomplish these goals, find a solution.

Once you can see there is a solution to every obstacle that stands in your way, you’ll be left with no more excuses for not getting everything you want in your life.

Now comes the last, but most important, step; take action. Do something today to start realizing one of those previously impossible dreams. And don’t forget to pause for a minute, and realize how amazing you are. After all, you are about to do the impossible!

What I want to achieve:

Why Haven’t I Done It Yet?

Solutions to My Excuses:

Author's Bio: 

Mark is a motivational/inspirational speaker, a double-lung and heart transplant recipient, and a marathon runner. He uses his experiences on his journey from “Hospital Bed to Marathon Man” to inspire others to “Live Life from the Heart”. If you know someone who would benefit from hearing Mark’s message, contact him at or visit his web site at Mark Black Speaks for information about his powerful presentations.