Go Beyond The Extra Mile

Published: 03rd August 2007
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It can be very easy to limit yourself to doing a so-so job. When you know the requirements, the bare minimum, it can be attractive to go no further. The super successful know better, and always go the extra mile.

In school, did you ever have a teacher who was tougher on her students than all the other teachers were? One who gave a good job a B, and a great job a B+? And the only way to satisfy her requirements for an A was to dazzle her by going way overboard on a project or assignment? Such teachers do exist. They make it difficult to achieve top grades, but also instill a lasting value in their students. The idea is to go further than is asked of you, beyond the call of duty, and achieve greatness through extraordinary accomplishment.

Most people, not having had the benefit of such an educator, settle for the bare minimum to scrape by. They do this to their folly. For example: "Have that report on my desk by 5 P.M." The report shows up bare-bones and on schedule, but it doesn't wow the boss. It's fine, not great. Enough, not exceptional. Then one day, a second, new assistant is hired. "I need that report by 5, new guy." "Yes sir!" The new guy goes the extra mile, and delivers the report not only an hour early, but also packed with useful extras that are sure to help out the boss. "Excellent work, new guy! You're on your way up!" It's not too long before the new assistant is promoted above the veteran who had delivered that bare bones report.

What just happened? Someone lived by the rule of always going the extra mile, and severely outclassed a peer who had failed to do so. Despite the veteran's time with the company, the new guy proved he was a more valuable asset, and that he had the skills to do well higher up the corporate ladder.

The moral of the story is: People who go the extra mile get ahead. Doesn't it make perfect sense? If you always go a mile further than your competition, you'll win in the race of life! In the same amount of time, you cover a greater distance than everybody else, and thereby put yourself right into the fast lane. That's a good place to be.

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