On 6th May 1954, Roger Bannister lined up for the race of his life. With a cross wind of 20–25 mph, the weather conditions that day were far from perfect.
Nevertheless, he created history when he crossed the finish line 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds later.
In fact, the breaking of the 4-minute mile was so significant that, it was named by Forbes as the greatest athletic achievements of all times.
For years, it was almost considered impossible for any human being to run 1609 meters under 4 minutes. Even more so, the physiologists of those times believed it to be very risky for the health of the athletes if ever attempted. The achievement of this 4-minute mile was considered, until that historic day, a goal beyond human reach.
But when Bannister smashed the elusive 4-minute mile, he also destroyed a psychological barrier. Other runners saw the goal within their grasp, and within three years of Bannister’s historic run,16 athletes had conquered the barrier.
So How did Bannister achieve the impossible?
Back to recent times, Football icon Cristiano Ronando says “We have money, we have cars, we have everything. But you don’t know, we suffer to achieve this. I have become the person I am today, because of the time I spent without my family and going through difficult times.”
Another iconic player, the greatest Olympian Michael Phelps says in an interview “Eat, Sleep and Swim. That is all I can do. Get some calories into my system and try to recover the best I can.”
So What are Ronaldo and Phelps trying to tell us here?
What is their Amazing Mantra to Success?
Success is a very attractive, demanding and high maintenance mistress. She expects absolute loyalty and unwavering dedication. She does not tolerate any rivals, even the most inconsequential ones.
So if you wish to achieve something and want it badly, stop dreaming and get going. Develop a sharp, unrelenting focus. Develop a tunnel vision and maneuver yourself into a place, where everything else except your goal blurs away. Nothing beyond your goal is important. Discipline and consistency to maintain that discipline is the mantra.
Take any iconic example, from sports-persons, film stars, writers or wildly successful entrepreneurs, the one thing common in all these superstars is their single minded dedication towards their goal. They have excluded everything else from their lives in pursuit of their goals.
Even after reaching the goals, they have not rested on their laurels. Nothing else matters to them, except the determination to stay where they have reached. Life becomes one long schedule of training, practice, learning and improving; all to please one never-easy-to-please mistress-SUCCESS.
There can be no NORMAL Life for the SUPER SUCCESSFUL
Indeed, there can be no normal life for people who have achieved the impossible. No holiday plans, no binge trips and no easing down on the schedule even by a day. Discipline is the ultimate deciding factor. Everything has to be planned around a grueling work routine. Every “normal “thing in life is weighed in terms of its relevance towards the bigger objective; the goal to be achieved.
World famous Japanese author Haruki Murakami talks about his daily routine in an interview — “I get up at 4.00 AM in the morning and then write for 5–6 hours. Then I either run for 10 km or swim for 1500 meters, after which I read and listen to Music. My day ends sharp at 9 pm.”
He says — “The repetition itself becomes the most important thing. It is a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for long, requires a good amount of physical and mental strength.”
Those unwilling to give up “normal lives” can never succeed, because Success demands sacrifice from its patrons and their families. You can either be a super successful star, or be happy leading a normal life. You cannot have both!
Bringing it All Together
Having a goal is important, no doubt about it. But what is more important is the how much we can dedicate ourselves towards that goal. Once your goal is fixed, everything else should become a distraction. Nurture patience and endurance and blur everything out of sight.
Thus in a nutshell, the only mantra to reach your goal and be among the super successful giants is focus, focus and more intense focus. Develop a one track vision, which contains only your goal in your line of sight and leave, ignore and abandon everything else in your pursuit to reach the top.
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About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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