How to Do Impossible Stuff

I am sure, most of us know that Roger Bannister was the first person to break the 4-minute mile, 3:59.4 to be exact. Even the smartest scientists and doctors of his era said that it was an ‘impossible dream’ to run a mile in under 4 minutes and that the human body was not capable of such a feat, Period, End of Story. And he, of course, wasn’t so sure!!

But here’s what’s so awesome, can you guess how Roger trained to do the impossible?

The answer is simple really: He broke down his goal into bite-sized pieces.

And here’s exactly how: First, he trained until he could run a quarter mile in a minute. (Wow, Nice job!) Then he trained until he could run half a mile in two minutes. (Well done!) Then he trained until he could run three-quarters of a mile in three minutes. (Sweet!) Then he trained and trained until he thought he could run the full mile in less than four minutes.

And, voila!!

On May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, the timekeeper looked down and saw the magic numbers: 3:59.4.

Roger achieved the impossible by breaking his “impossible” goal into little bite-size, do-able pieces—so simple, yet we all forget what a great idea this is. (As Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you break it into small enough pieces.”)

How about you?

What’s your Biggest Most, Audacious Goal, the next exciting thing you want to achieve, in your life, business or career. I like to call it BIG Hairy ARSED Goal (BHAG)!

You know, the thing you would do if you weren’t afraid? Or maybe even if you are afraid!

YEAH. That one.

Write it down, capture it in succinct words.

Now, let’s chunk it down and give you your next bite-size doable target. Baby steps is all it takes. One of my favourite sayings when I find myself getting paralysed by the thought of a big goal or something that may seem a little (or a lot) overwhelming is “Inch by inch is a cinch, yard by yard is hard.

What’s the very next micro-goal you need to hit en route to that BHAG?! The thing that, once you achieve, will make it possible to hit your next target?

Got it? Awesome.

Now… What’s your next baby step?

And, most importantly: Is now a good time to take it?

P.S. Want to watch the iconic moment where Bannister breaks the record and his take on the miracle mile? Share the moment itself, nearly 70 years on, I find this incredibly emotional.


Stay Focussed, Keep Positive and Choose to +1 in Every Moment. Fulfil Your Dreams and Awaken Your Greatness!

Toni x

Toni Eastwood OBE, MBA #TheWomanBeyond