In 2009, during my consulting days, a team member who was a former US Army officer, once casually told me that she would be running a marathon the coming weekend.
Even though I had done long-distance runs, I used to think of a marathon as something extreme. Yet, here she was – totally nonchalant about it!
In fact, at the next client engagement, where I was part of a new team, all three of my teammates had run marathons.
So why was I thinking of a marathon as something really challenging?
Because prior to becoming a consultant, while serving with the Indian Civil Services, I had only worked in small towns. This was the early 2000s, and we had no exposure to events like marathons.
When we don’t know people who have done something, we think it is hard. But once we see someone who has done it, it suddenly feels easy.
Climbing Mt Everest or running a 4-minute mile was once considered impossible. But after the first guys did it, a flood of people followed through.
The gold medal timing for the 1908 Olympic marathon would barely qualify you to run Boston Marathon.
For sure, know-how and improved training play a role. But for the most part, what we accomplish in life depends on what we believe.
To start changing your life, change what is in your head.