“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” On the surface, not one of the late Nelson Mandela’s most profound quotes; yet such meaning lies in that simple statement.
I always refer to the “4-minute barrier” analogy. In 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man to scoot his little buns around the track in less than four minutes, clocking in at 3:59. Since then, many male athletes have followed in his 15 mph gate and now 3:45 to 4 minutes is more the standard rather than the impossible.
I always ask my clients, struggling with fear of failure or taking risks, to take stock in all the seemingly impossible tasks that they have accomplished. Starting with riding a bike, all the way up through parallel parking a car, graduating college, and for some pushing a baby out of their ever-loving body.
When they’re done, we often have long lists of accomplishments proving that they can, in fact, achieve the “impossible.” And sometimes that’s all you need, a little bit of concrete evidence in your favor.
Not only did our boy, Roger, have the vision that he could break the 4-minute barrier, he had done it in his mind hundreds and maybe even thousands of times, so much so that he had eliminated all doubt in his body.
There have been studies showing that pianists can practice through visualization and make just as many gains as those practicing on the keys.
Musicians, athletes, and performers have been taking advantage of these visualization techniques since the beginning of time it seems. Entrepreneurs, business gurus, creative geniuses and scientists (to name a few) have become more vocal about their usage of visualization to uplevel their badass.
“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” –Nelson Mandela
Keeping the vision in mind as you move forward will further align your conscious and subconscious, laying deeper neurological tracks to achieve your goal. The best part is that even baby steps count. Crawl if you have to–just keep moving forward!
I leave you with this: Over the next 48 hours, create a vision board either online or off that, for some, may be the first time you allow yourself to not only ask for what you want, but to be so specific you can create your first picture/visualization. Be bold. Sky’s the limit.
PS. Thank you, Mr. Mandela, for your compassion, your guts, and your incredible vision.