In the spring of 1954 Roger Bannister triumphed in an epic battle of man versus the elements. Banister, a runner at Oxford trained with a relentless pursuit of breaking the 4-minute mile. This feat had never been accomplished, being deemed impossible by all others. Dedication, commitment and focus paid off on that spring day, when Bannister became immortalized in history as the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Soon after this accomplishment, two other runners were also able to replicate this amazing feat. A once unheard of accomplishment soon became the measuring stick for success by runners everywhere.
Awesome history lesion, but how does this relate to our lives? What does this have to do with me? In every realm of society, there are standards. There are standards in education, healthcare, and economics. In the hospital, we focus on core measures, time to treat, and responses to patients needs. As individuals, we have unwritten measures on how we treat others based on our social expectations and affiliation with the ancient saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Standards are vital for a productive society.
Great points Jeff, but what are you getting at? Are you suggesting we strive harder to meet standards in all walks of life? Maybe…….. Actually no. I’m saying lets take it to the next level. I suggest Like Bannister; we blindly focus on being the standard, not limited by societies definition or constraints. As parents, spouses, and healthcare workers, let us raise the bar of what is expected. We should create the norm. Whether at home or in the hospital…….. the grocery checkout line or dining table ………others are watching. Your influence is creating a standard.
Over the past Sixty years, the four-minute mile has been broken many times with 17 seconds shaved off of the 1954 record. What if Bannister had said to himself “ four minutes…..that is crazy! No way possible!” What if he had not dared question societies’ constraints? Better yet…………..what can we accomplish if we dare to strive for excellence?………dare to set the standards.
“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”
― Thomas A. Edison