Where will you be first?

Chicken_eggThere is a story that has held my attention for many years. When I first heard it I was too young to understand the true value of the lesson it held. Somehow though I did recognize it as a story that mattered and it has stayed with me.

A certain world record was broken in 1954.

The record itself is not the reason the story captured my attention. What captured my attention was the fact that once the record was broken, within 46 days it would be broken again.

A feat that alluded so many for so long suddenly became the standard instead of just an aspiration.

The four-minute mile. Two men in 1954 ran a race that changed the possibilities for every runner thereafter because of the barrier that was broken. Many in fact have since achieved even better, faster times.

What I have learned from my own personal experience is that it can be hard being the first person to break a barrier. You fight against unbelievable odds and quite often have far more naysayers than champions on your path.

But when you win; ah when you win you are forever the first. It is something that stands the test of time, even when others improve upon your work. The achievement is remembered.

We are surrounded by many such heroes today. We are privileged to live in a time when many have achieved new firsts, set new standards in nearly every area and discipline.

Those heroes represent more than hope. They also embody purpose. When you combine purpose and hope you go well beyond what we might consider powerful. You are in miracle territory. That is where I believe we are today.

It is the culmination of effort and progressive moments that have brought us to where we now find ourselves. No single act or event has moved us to this point. Many more great moments lie ahead because of what we will choose, even aspire to continue to build. The compounding effect of what is good and purposeful remains within and among us.

I am continuously reminded that each time a runner entered a race after that day in 1954 they knew that it was possible to do better. And so they did. The barrier could not go back in place. It was forever banished. A new possibility was born.

Once of my favorite quotes from C. S. Lewis talks about the fact that while it might be hard for an egg to turn into a bird, it would be much harder for it to learn to fly if it remained an egg. I would take it a step further and say that once hatched, what is now impossible is for that bird to go back to just being an ordinary egg. No, once the barrier is broken there is only one thing left for the bird to do: Fly!

Where will you be first?

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.