In 1985, three-time Olympic cyclist John Howard set the land speed record with a top speed of 152 miles per hour. Today, the land speed record on a bicycle is 184 miles per hour, held by Denise Mueller-Korenek. Interestingly enough, her coach? John Howard.
In 1977, Laura Schultz, a 63-year-old grandmother in Tallahassee, Florida, lifted the rear of a Buick off the arm of her 6-year-old grandson. Oh, and she did it with one hand while using the other to drag her grandson to safety.
You may have no interest in bicycle land speed records or displays of superhuman strength by grandmothers living in Florida. What’s important is this: We have no idea what is possible physically, mentally, or organizationally.
For years, Schultz refused to speak about the incident. Finally, she agreed to an interview with Dr. Charles Garfield of Peak Performance. When asked why she didn’t speak of the event until his interview, she replied,
“I didn’t like thinking about it because if I was able to do this when I didn’t think I could, what does that say about the rest of my life? How have I wasted it?”
We’re all capable of so much more than what we think is possible. Oftentimes our limitations come from past failures, fear of looking stupid for trying to achieve something incredible, or from people telling us our desires were too unrealistic. As a result, to protect ourselves from being disappointed or looking foolish, we lower the bar of what we think we can achieve. In other words… we play it safe.
By the way, when Denise broke the land speed record, she was 45 years old and the mother of three.
And with a little coaching from Garfield, Schultz went to college, earned a degree in geology, and became a professor at the age of 70.
DO THIS NOW:
Challenge Yourself Today: Identify one area of your life where you've been playing it safe. Set a goal that pushes your limits—just like Denise and Laura did. Share it with someone who will encourage and support you.
Invest in Learning: Take a course or attend a workshop in an area completely outside your comfort zone. Embrace the opportunity to learn new skills and gain fresh perspectives. It could be the catalyst for discovering untapped potential.
Start a "Possible List": Create a list of things you once considered impossible but are now open to achieving. It could be a career change, a new hobby, or a fitness goal. Take one small step towards making something on that list a reality.
Connect with a Mentor: Seek guidance from someone who has overcome challenges similar to yours. John Howard coached Denise to her record-breaking achievement, and Dr. Charles Garfield played a crucial role in Laura Schultz's transformation. Find a mentor who can inspire and guide you.
Share Your Story: Encourage others to break free from their limitations by sharing your own journey. Use social media, a blog, or a local community platform to inspire and motivate others. You never know who might need that extra push to pursue their dreams.