Start Going the Extra Mile

Good Tuesday morning. I hope you are excited about this week’s topic. In talking with people this past week while preparing for the theme, I asked what keeps them from taking action in life, what keeps them from going the extra mile. It is usually a mindset we have to get past. We must tell ourselves that we are going to do the work even if we are not paid to do it.

For so many years I met people who would give eight hours of work for eight hours of pay. They would refuse to do more. I would find it very strange that some of those people would ask the person paying them in some cases to give them more, ask them to go an extra mile for them, but would not do the same in return. Then I began thinking of this concept in, say, a dating relationship, or a marriage. Ask yourself this: would you be willing to go the extra mile for your spouse or partner? Would you expect them to do that for you? Would you be willing to do it even if they didn’t seem to have done it for you?

While watching another movie last week, Company Man, I was able to see examples of people willing, and those not willing to go the extra mile in service to get ahead. The movie featured educated executives who took jobs as construction workers to pay their bills. In that construction job, the main character took longer to do the simple tasks that the other, more skilled workers could do in less time. I related to this, years ago, when working in my car cleaning business back East. I had some slow times and one of my customers owned a plumbing company. He told me I could come put some hours in working to help if I needed extra money. When spending time on a crew, I found myself being the one taking longer to get the small tasks done because I wasn’t as skilled as the others on the team.

To succeed at something in the beginning you are going to take longer to get things done. When I was looking to advance at anything I was doing, I always had the expectation that I would have to work harder at it than those who were experienced. I remember when I was starting over here in Texas and working the truck shop, I would sometimes work 12-hour days to learn how to make the job work for me. So in the beginning you have to go the extra mile to learn.

In the movie I was watching, the two executives who had to work in construction eventually found good jobs in their fields again but they still went to work on a Sunday for free when the owner of the construction company could not afford to pay, because he needed to get the project done. So these men, who had to work twice as hard, went the extra mile to help him when he could not pay. They already had new jobs but so they didn’t need to work any longer in construction but they chose to give the extra bit, even though they would never be compensated for it. They did this because the owner of the construction company went the extra mile to help them by hiring them in the first place when they needed work – even though he couldn’t really afford poorly skilled workers.

In your life where do you need to go the extra mile? As you look at the many areas of your life, your relationships, your business, your job, your family, what areas need improvement now? Take this time to look where you are and make a list of where you need to make that improvement.

Write down how you could go the extra mile, or what you could do more to improve that area of your life. Write down three ideas of where you can improve. Are you willing to take these ideas to make those improvements in your life in those areas?

Make the additions to your life to make them happen. Start doing the extra work even if you do not see the results at first. When you are working the ten hours for the eight hours of pay, then you will soon be the person who shines. It will only be a short amount of time until going the extra mile will pay off. Soon you will see that you are able to be better at it. When I was working in auto body shops I wanted to learn to paint. So I would take the extra jobs of prepping and painting those edges of parts and priming them as practice. I did this as well as performing my own job each day. As improvement at my job came, I had free time to learn each day. This is the part of where you have to do extra to learn. But once you learn you will find yourself doing the job in less time.

The next step is to always continue this practice. As I just said, when I learned to be better at my job and do it in less time, then I was able to learn new things that would move me forward in my career. Imagine if you were to always work at doing more, learning and applying what you learned. How long would it take for you to be three or four times further ahead than others in your field or business?  So make this a lifestyle and see how much your life changes for the better.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Build your life to a process of going the extra mile and soon you will be the RockStar in your world.

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