1954, Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four- minute mile disproving the widely held view that it was beyond the physical capabilities of man. On a cold, wet day in Oxford, Bannister, who believed it was possible, completed the distance in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. The story is well documented but what is less well documented is that over 1000 people have now achieved what was once thought impossible and today the record stands at 3:43.13. All it needed was someone with an unshakeable belief that it could be done.
More recently Felix Baumgarten became the first man to break the speed of sound, wearing only a protective bodysuit. He also claimed the records for the highest manned balloon flight and the highest skydive.
Belief, commitment, courage, intent and a clear vision surely play a hugely important role in all such achievements. For most of us, our challenges will have less impact on the world stage, be they updating a staff handbook, issuing a proposal or encouraging our managers to complete the performance review process on time (or at all)! Nevertheless whatever the goal, it is intention and belief that can carry you to success or drop you at the first hurdle.