30 days to reaching your potential day 22: The extra mile

One thing that is often overlooked by many people (particularly by my generation) in reaching their potential is the habit of going the extra mile.

Going the extra mile is a habit that is important to cultivate in order to reach your potential. Going the extra mile can improve your results at your job or in your business, with family and friends, with your health and fitness and in your spiritual life.

I remember when I first started working for Pitch Club. I was employed as a Management Assistant. I was in the middle of doing exams and studying and really couldn't make a start before they were finished, however I pushed myself and started working for them. Six weeks later I was no longer referred to as the Management Assistant but now as the Manager. I also got an 11% pay raise. My results continued to improve with the company, but I would not be where I am today if it had not been for doing more than I was paid for and going the extra mile.

Going the extra mile has a number of benefits:
  • Employees who go the extra mile are held onto longer during redundancies
  • Family will notice the extra commitment you put in
  • Friends will start to know you are reliable and trustworthy
  • You will feel more fulfilled in your spiritual life
  • Your chances of success improve greatly.
Going the extra mile can be done very easily, particularly at work. One of my friends (let's call her Bianca) does this by focusing on her job during work hours (as opposed to playing on facebook) and by showing up to work half an hour before she needs to start. This sees her productivity improve while showing her bosses that she is a leader and cares about the business enough to work for half an hour unpaid every day. The benefits to her? Several promotions, pay raises and a staff member to work under her. Not bad for a little bit of extra effort.

There are a number of ways you can get started going the extra mile. They are:

At Work
  • Show up early and/or leave later than everyone else
  • Focus on work tasks instead of being distracted
  • Read relevant material to improve your results out of work hours
  • Spend time building new relationships with clients and coworkers
  • Come up with new ideas and possibilities for the business, and voice them to the right people
  • Show initiative and do what should be done without being told to do it.
At Home
  • Keep the house tidy for the rest of the family
  • Do the dishes for your parents without being asked
  • Embrace minimalism and help declutter the environment
  • Tell family members you love them... or show them by buying them flowers, etc.
With Friends
  • Call and see how your friend is going
  • Take an interest in what they are doing, and help them out where possible
  • Make the effort: take the initiative to build the relationship. Don't wait for them.
In Your Spiritual Life
  • Meditate and/or pray more
  • Spend more time reading relevant material
  • Give to those who need
  • Take a course to learn more
  • Teach what you know, and learn from others.
With Fitness/Health
  • Do one extra rep
  • Drink an extra glass of water
  • Find a workout buddy
  • Take a class
  • Join a gym.
By starting small and increasing your results gradually you can begin to build your momentum over time in relation to going the extra mile. Also, as you continue to give more than you receive and expect you may even find that your happiness and other benefits (remuneration, love, fulfillment, etc.) come along too.

  1. Determine an area of life where you can start to go the extra mile today.
  2. Take the first small step in going the extra mile.
  3. Build momentum gradually.

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