Seeing a great performance inspires me to no end. I'm moved by others' dreams and by their devotion and courage in the pursuit of excellence. I get choked up when I see a kid, or anyone else, fighting hopeless odds - someone who goes out there to run the lonely roads with a dream in the heart, a gleam in the eye, and a goal in mind. I admire those who have the courage to step up to the line of a great race to run their heart out for a dream." - from Racing the Antelope, by Bernd Heinrich

A person with no arms becomes an excellent painter; A one-legged man becomes a fine springboard diver; a blind person excels at running marathons and bouncing on the trampoline; a person with cerebral palsy graduates from a top percussion school; a person who stammers becomes a well-known public speaker … And … The list goes on …

Marla Runyan, who is legally blind, earned 5th place in the 26.2 mile NYC marathon, and said, "I think what I represent is achieving what you want in life. It's a matter of attitude. Some people have a negative attitude, and that's their disability." Another marathon finisher with cerebral palsy said, "Cerebral palsy has been a disability, but it has also been a motivating force in my running. I am thankful for every step I can take."

Unbelievable, isnt it? Well, that's exactly what most thought before such feats were accomplished: Not conceivable, believable, nor achievable. They also believed (and thought they knew) that the world was flat, but is it now?

One of the major forces behind these remarkable achievements is beliefs. Beliefs can be the reason for embarking rather than excusing; questing rather quitting; and, ultimately, reaching rather than regretting.

Take for instance this story of a weightlifter: He was asked to lift 300 pounds. He lifted it. He was then asked to lift 310 pounds. He did not lift it. Then someone asked him to lift 300 pounds again, only it was not 300 pounds! It was 310! He believed it was 300. He lifted 310! Dont you think this weightlifter might consider elevating his "belief standard" after being told it was really 310!?

Beliefs allow us to raise the bar, (no pun intended!), as they can lift our focus to a higher place. The point is not necessarily that we should run a marathon or lift this much weight, but rather that we have the option to take atleast one step further in a direction that we otherwise might not have planned.

Beliefs determine how we act; Beliefs grant us opportunities to get closer to where we want to be. It's up to you to choose whether you assign beliefs to lock doors or open them. Why not find out what that new room looks like?

Author's Bio: 

Dan Britt is a NJ drummer/instructor who conducts clinics at schools and conferences. A background in psychological research, his inspirational articles have appeared in various international publications and organization newsletters. Dan can be contacted through his website,, or via e-mail at