GoalsLife Challenges

The Four Minute Mile

By February 5, 2015 No Comments

In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person on record to run a mile in less than four minutes.  But for almost ten years before his run, the four minute mile was considered impossible.  Sports commentators and enthusiasts alike had settled on the idea that the human body was not capable of breaking the four minute barrier, and runners apparently started believing it too.

For years, the record held ominously at four minutes and one second.  Then, finally, Roger Bannister ran four miles in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.  It was a landmark achievement.

Then, six weeks later, another runner broke Bannister’s record, running the mile in 3:57.9, and about a year later, three other runners ran sub-four-minute miles as well.

The lesson to be learned here (and I’m certainly not the first to point it out) is that when the prevailing theory is that something can’t be done, we don’t tend to push ourselves to achieve it.  Once someone else accomplishes that previously “impossible” goal, then we push ourselves to do the same.

Why do we wait for other people to deem something possible before we are willing to attempt it? Click To Tweet

While the sports commentators were saying that running the mile in less than four minutes was impossible, the entire running community of the US couldn’t seem to prove their theory wrong.  After one man proved it could be done, several individuals started running the mile with numbers well under four minutes.  In fact, high school runners have now beaten the four minute time.


The question is, then, what would you like to accomplish that you don’t think you can, simply because “they” say it can’t be done?  Break through success always shatters the expectations of the watching world… that’s what makes it a break through.  It’s important not to let the people around you dictate what you should expect from yourself.  In some cases, they will expect far too much, and in others, far too little.

Break through success always surprises the watching world… that’s what makes it a break through. Click To Tweet

Break through success always shatters the expectations of the watching world… that’s what makes it a break through.

The truth is, no one around me knows what I am capable of accomplishing.  But interestingly, I don’t either.  Only God truly knows what I am capable of.  Additionally, the scriptures tell me that God is very interested in accomplishing things through me, which means that I actually have the capacity to do things that completely outclass my own capabilities, but are not at all to difficult for God.

Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
13 For I can do everything through Christ,* who gives me strength.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

I’m not encouraging you to set goals as though you were unlimited… that would be extremely unrealistic.  And I’m not encouraging you to do something that is unsafe or unwise.  Obviously, some things are truly not possible or dangerous to attempt.  I would never suggest you try something like that.  This post has more to do with how you set goals for your future.  What I am suggesting is that you set those goals with the understanding that you serve a God that is unlimited.  What if God wants to help you achieve something that the rest of the watching world doesn’t think possible?

What if God wants to help you achieve something most others consider impossible? Click To Tweet

You have more potential than you or anyone around you recognizes.  Ask God to put it to work… and then go out there and shatter your own four-minute barrier.


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The Blindfolded Marriage will help you understand the root issues that create difficulty and conflict in your marriage. Full of practical insight you can start using right away, Jonathan's book will both equip and inspire you to take your relationship to the next level.

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Jonathan's insights into marital breakdowns and marital repair are both profound AND easily understood. To take such difficult issues and put them into accessible stories and metaphors that speak to both genders makes this book a rarity among marriage books. Whether your marriage is good and you want to make it better, or if it feels like the wheels came off about 5 miles ago, this book will help everyone along that spectrum.

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about Jonathan

Jonathan Hoover is the associate pastor and couples pastor at NewSpring Church in Wichita, KS, and the author of The Blindfolded Marriage.

As an author, communicator, and sought after marriage coach, Jonathan has shared God’s message of hope, love and encouragement with thousands of individuals.

Jonathan and Wendy have been married for 12 years, and they have two precious daughters, Cheyenne and Summer.

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Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott Authors of Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts