Extra Mile

Train TracksProviding more than is expected or required, above and beyond normal

Here is the simple but powerful rule… always give people more than they expect to get. Nelson Boswell

Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.  Henry Ward Beecher.

The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.  Richard M Devos        

   One of the best lessons we could have ever learned in growing up is “going the extra mile”. It is also one of the best qualities we could ever pass on by teaching it to our kids. It is so lacking in today’s world.

    Practicing the ideal of the “Extra Mile” will serve us well. It is likely to increase our level of success in whatever we do and provide great satisfaction in knowing we have given our best. It is that “little” extra that sets us apart from the rest. It will separate us from the “average”. It is analogous to the thoroughbreds who win the Kentucky Derby; they are only hundredths of a second faster than the competition. They have been trained and bred to go the extra mile in “effort”. Small things do make huge differences. Whom do we prefer to do business with; carpenters, plumbers, electricians and mechanics that are average or those that go the extra mile?

     Not only do we prefer doing business with “extra milers” we will tell our friends and neighbors about them. Who gets the promotions and raises at work; it is those that go the extra mile? Who is it that tends to succeed in general; it is those that go the extra mile? As is it with most things in life, “easier said than done”.

     Let us assume we make and keep the following commitment, starting tomorrow morning, to start giving an extra 10% effort to those aspects of life that are most important. Would this make any significant difference in our lives? You bet it would. This extra 10% would likely result in something like the following:  it would separate us from our co-workers (raises, promotions); it would increase our sales, productivity, profits, performance and it would improve our relationships with family and friends. The list would be long.  If we stop and think about it, an extra 10% is not really that much. However, that which can separate us from the “norm” even though small percentage points can be “huge”. It differentiates us in many positive ways. Anything that causes us to get more involved in giving more of our best improves our quality of life. Many of us are “mere” percentage points or small amounts away from significantly greater results and accomplishments. Committing to going the extra mile will pay us huge dividends for our effort.

Challenge:  Take a moment and evaluate your overall quality of effort. Where would “going the extra mile” make a difference? Where would “a little bit more” differentiate you from others? What would it take to get you to provide that extra effort, even 10%?  Would the higher level of success that awaits be worth the effort? What keeps you from doing this? You really have nothing to lose and potentially very much to gain. Go the extra mile.

Wisdom: No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction. Charles Francis Adams 

Spiritual: (NIV)

Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.  Proverbs 22:4

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, Proverbs 3:5

He will teach us His ways, so that we make walk in His path.  Isaiah 2:3

Going the extra mile is close kin to practicing the Golden Rule. Giving more than is expected is a kissing cousin to “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Similarly, the Law of Seeding advocates “whatever we sow comes back to us”. Do good things and they will come back to you. There are many examples of such teachings. It is not what we get, but what we give that makes the difference. God will help us to live this way.

Prayer:  Help me to be able to live and act in a way that uses the talents and abilities you have given me.

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