Going the Extra Mile
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Why do so many people do just what they need to do to “get by” in life rather than go the extra mile? Some say it is because people are generally lazy, and some say it is because people are generally unwilling to give something for nothing. However, I believe it is because people are just unaware of the chain reaction of positive events that come from going the extra mile. If everyone knew the great effects this gesture has, everyone would take the time to go the extra mile.
Going the extra mile is simply doing more than you are asked or expected to do. You may have tried this approach before and became discouraged or found it a waste of your time. In order to realize the benefits that come with going the extra mile in business or your personal life, you must not expect anything in return. You must be satisfied enough in knowing that you have helped another in need. If not, this value will be in conflict with your other values, and it will not last.
Why go the extra mile? Why go out of your way for others? Besides the great feeling you get in knowing you have helped another in need, there are many reasons that will ultimately benefit you. I use the word “ultimately” because these benefits are not obvious and not immediately recognizable; however, they do have a very positive effect on your success in life.
- Going the extra mile will help you stand out from the crowd and be recognized.
- Going the extra mile will bring out positive emotions in others allowing them to both remember you and feel good about you.
- Going the extra mile will help you to move ahead of your competition and succeed where others fail.
How and when do you go the extra mile? Do you give your customers free products or service? Do you do your employees’ jobs for them? Do you give away money to your friends? Going the extra mile is not about becoming a slave or a saint; it is about offering your help in some small way. Giving away products, service, money, or doing too much for others will hurt both your business and the independence of others you are attempting to help. Ask yourself this question, “Is this something I would charge a friend for?” If not, then do it for free and do it with enthusiasm.
Here are some ways you can go the extra mile for others.
- run errands for a parent
- take a friend out to dinner
- call existing customers just to make sure they are happy with their purchase
- help a co-worker with their heavy workload
- do a personal favor for an employee
Waiters who go the extra mile get bigger tips. Employees who go the extra mile get more promotions. Businesses that go the extra mile get more customers. Go the extra mile for others in your life and expect nothing in return. Then just sit back and enjoy the by-product of success that will eventually come your way.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)