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Going the Extra Mile for Greater Success

An extract from the XTL Journals

I distinctly remember when my kids started school at 5 years of age; one of the first lessons they were taught at school was to be proactive. They were taught, don’t wait to be told to do something or for someone to do it for you, learn to look for what needs to be done and get in there and do it. At any age, this is a great skill to learn.

If we applied this attitude to every part of our life, our whole life would change. The benefits are many and varied; they may be in the form of monetary, a friendlier workplace or a happier home. Also by doing something helpful for someone else and maybe someone you don’t even know, you get a good feeling inside.

When should we go the extra mile? Is it with our relationship, with our kids, at work, at the gym or at play? There is no doubt, we all put effort into our life, but is it in all areas of our life or just our own selection?

Whether you want to develop your own business, go to work daily or want to work on developing relationships with others, going the extra mile is very necessary if you want to make a difference in your life.

Your boss expects that you do a certain amount of work each week and all too often people only do what they have to and not one bit extra. They think that the company doesn’t owe them anything and that the company doesn’t care.

Only by changing your attitude from a “what’s in it for me” attitude to a “how can I help” attitude, can you move towards adding value. You move away from being self-centred to being a more giving helpful person. This is the attitude of someone that goes the extra mile. Common thinking is “What’s in it for me”, but this thinking is also the kiss of death when it comes to success.

If you want to be successful, remove what’s in it for me from your mindset. Don’t think about whether you are wasting your time to give more when you’re not being paid or acknowledged for it. By changing your thinking from “it’s not my job” to “how can I help and you will soon see when you take the focus off yourself and make other people the focus instead, positive results will flow in more quickly.

Going the extra mile is about paying attention to detail, caring about your image, respecting and being thoughtful of other people’s needs and doing whatever needs to be done. Only by doing this, will you attract new business, opportunities and success.

Who would be more likely to get the promotion or bonus at work, the person who has a continual “Go the extra-mile” attitude or the person that just does their job and nothing more? Who would be kept around if it came to downsizing?

Sooner or later the extra mile habit will bring your positive attention to those who can provide opportunities for self-advancement.

The key is, if you see an opportunity of doing that little bit extra, don’t do it expecting a reward; do it anyway and willingly with a positive mental attitude.

Four important points to ponder

Here are four questions you can ask to see how well you are implementing this principle into your life:

1. Take an honest look at your day.

  • Do you constantly give more than people expect from you?
  • Are you on the lookout for ways that you could supply a higher standard of service?
  • Or are you just meeting expectations and nothing more?

2. Do you know what is expected of you?

  • To exceed expectations, you first need to know what the expectations are.
  • What service do customers expect?
  • What do/does my employees/boss expect?
  • What does my partner and children want from me?
  • What do my friends expect?
  • Look at all of your relationships and write down what the minimum expectations are for each and then exceed them.

3. How willing are you to exceed expectations by going the extra mile?

  • Ask yourself, if you aren’t totally committed to delivering a service that will make you stand out above the average, why not?

4. What can you do to exceed expectations?

  • What can you do that your customers would love, but never expect?
  • How could you provide more value to your students, boss, employees and relationships?
  • Wildly exceeded all of your relationship expectations and watch the benefits start to flow.

Every living creature apart from man is forced to apply this principle every day in order to survive. If they don’t apply this principle they will die. Think about that one!

Your advantage is that the majority of people don’t and never will practice this habit. Master this habit, implement it into every area of your life and watch the changes.

Who do you want to be, the one who is just doing enough to get by or the one who is always putting that extra effort to go the  extra mile?

The power of giving

Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich tells the true story of Mr Schwab who came to the attention of Mr Carnegie.

Andrew Carnegie owned the giant United States Steel Corporation and was one of the richest men in the world at the time. Charles Schwab worked in one of the steel mill plants as a labourer. Schwab always provided a better service that for which he was paid and through his positive mental attitude, he was popular with his fellow employees. Through his attitude, he was eventually promoted in 1901 to become the president of the United States Steel Corporation with the salary of $75,000 per year.

Schwab did not reach this position through schemes or intelligence; he reached it through adopting the habit of going the extra mile.

On more than one occasion Mr Carnegie paid Schwab as much as $1,000,000 as a bonus in addition to his normal salary. Carnegie was asked why he would pay a bonus greater than his salary in which he replied; his bonus was for his willingness to go the extra mile, which in turn sets a great example for his fellow employees.

A bonus of $1,000,000 paid for his willingness to do more than for what he was paid. A salary of $75,000 a year paid to a man who started as a day labourer, and a massive bonus on top. Imagine what that is in today’s money terms.

Years ago, I was given the opportunity of a difficult, near impossible job to take on. Not being one to knock back a challenge, I said yes without expecting any further works to eventuate from this one job. To cut a long story short, with only 5 hours sleep over 3 days, the job was completed successfully by going the extra mile. The unexpected reward was a further 2 years work worth over 2 million dollars with a global company.

Who say’s going the extra mile isn’t worth it?

Hard Workers Become Their Own Success Story

Dig deeper into any overnight success story and you will find someone who worked exceptionally hard to get what they wanted. You’ll find out that most successes don’t just happen overnight, it’s due to how they put in the hard yards, the extra time, did what wasn’t written in their job description, and exceeded on what was asked of them. You’ll hear how they continually persisted until they broke through, and usually not in the first several years to do so.

Time flies by so quickly. Are you doing the same thing for the past couple of years? Have you advanced in your work or life? Think what you could accomplish if you made it a habit of giving more than just what’s expected of you.  Image the opportunities that could open up for you if you decided to give more than the average person.

  • Be willing to treat everyone like you’re best friend.
  • Don’t be average.
  • Don’t short cut great service.
  • Amaze people with exceptional service.
  • Improve your image and at the same time you will improve your reputation.

Success comes much faster to those people who are willing to go the extra mile!

And lastly, from another very famous book…“Give and you shall receive”

You don’t know how, you don’t know when and you don’t know who from, but one day you shall receive by going the extra mile today. Sometimes, you will receive from someone other than who you went the extra mile for and that’s the magical part.

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Yours in Life,


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