Bannister was asked about his motivation during his busy schedule. Was he motivated by external visions of grandeur (breaking the barrier many thought impossible) or by an internal drive to fulfill his potential (run as fast as possible, for him, regardless of the time). Bannister responded with this thoughtful story as an explanation for why he ran, and why he wanted to become a doctor:
Every morning, a gazelle awakens. He knows he must outrun the fastest lion, that day, or he will be killed.
Every morning, a lion awakens. He knows he must run faster than the slowest gazelle, that day, or he will starve.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better run.
The gazelle cannot afford to make a mistake, or he dies. The lion can make a mistake, but he will be hungry. So, be both the gazelle and the lion. Never stop pursuing your goals, no matter your motivation that day.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com