Is your mindset holding you back?

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“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler.
Roger Bannister – The answer is easy. The first person to run a mile in under 4 minutes. It’s an inspiring story as to how he overcame the many hurdles and achieved what was considered impossible at that time. If you need to know more, please check out the video below of that famous race.

However, our story is not about Mr.Bannister. It’s about an Australian runner named John Landy.
Landy was a legend. He was one of Australia’s best and had been working hard over the years to break the 4-minute barrier, much before Roger Bannister had achieved the feat. His best times kept improving and he was getting closer and closer to the 4-minute mark but was never able to beat it. And then Roger and his team found that team effort is the secret and they made it happen. The four-minute mile barrier was broken. It was an inspiring moment indeed.

That’s not the fun part. In many attempts before the Roger event, Landy was never successful. No fault on his effort, his plans, and his approach. But just a month after the Roger 4 minute mile, it happened. Landy beat not just the 4-minute mile, but also set a record to beat the time achieved by Roger.

So, what was so different about the Landy before the Roger event and after? The effort was the same, the plan was the same, the schedules were the same. And it seemed like the 4-minute barrier was absolutely impossible. After the Roger event, everything was the same but there was one new twist. An addition to Landy’s thinking. It’s called Mindset. The Landy before R was aspiring to beat the barrier but was always thinking of it as an impossible task. And more he worked and saw that he was only able to get close to the target but never beat it, he believed more that it was impossible.

But once he saw that the barrier was broken, that someone else had achieved the ‘impossible’, he started to truly believe that it was actually possible. Once the mindset is different, the brain and the body act differently, and suddenly, what seemed impossible seems very much achievable.  It’s amazing how one small change in mindset can set off a series of positive ripples and make you achieve amazing things.

There is a second video that relates to this – how we think of ourselves, and what we think we can and we cannot do. How many of you think you can draw?

Today, the world is a very different place. We are getting used to the new normal. We are learning in our own ways to keep us moving, getting work done, keeping in touch with friends and family, and still looking ahead cautiously. We have all changed so much in our minds today as opposed to even about six weeks back. This world we live in seemed impossible, but it now very real.  The key is, if we all walk out of this experience being the same, with the same skills and the same attitude as before, we would have lost out on a brilliant opportunity.

What if we change our mindset to using this opportunity to learn? Is it possible for us to make a step-change to how productive we are? Is it possible for us to try out new tech, learn new digital tools, and make work more interesting? To Graham Shaw’s point, how many such things as ‘drawing’ do we think we cannot do? How much is our mindset holding us back? What does it take to set it free?

What is the one new skill set you are going to pick up on?

Written by Sundara Sukavanam, Chief Digital Officer at Firstsource.

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