How to Go Beyond Average:The Habit of Going The Extra Mile

“You can start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for.”
Napoleon Hill

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Everyone is good enough for anything. But a small number of people are remarkable in what they do because they go the extra mile.

That means they go beyond average, dedicate time and efforts and make sacrifices. It’s a sure way to success and great results in any area, but few are willing to actually do it.

All people are capable of more than they think. And there are so many examples of that in history as well as today.

Just think of all the successful entrepreneurs that started at a young age and worked hard, of all the famous scientists and inventors who’ve tried and failed so many times before they succeeded, of all rich people who started from nothing, all athletes who dedicated years of their life to training.

The habit of going the extra mile

In his book The Magic Ladder to Success (you can get the free PDF here), Napoleon Hill lists hard work as one of the inevitable things you’ll have to go through if you’re really willing to make a change.

He calls it the habit of performing more work and better work than you are paid to perform.

Here is what he says:

“I do not believe it is possible for anyone to rise above mediocrity without developing this habit of performing more service and better service than is actually paid for in dollars and cents.

All the ability on earth, all of the knowledge recorded in all of the books down the ages, all the schooling on earth, will not create a profitable market for the services of a man or woman who renders as little service as possible and makes the quality as poor as will pass.

On the other hand, the spirit of willingly performing more work and better work than one is paid to perform is sure to bring its just reward. It will offset many other negative qualities and the lack of many other desirable qualities.”

It’s really important to realize that without doing some work you won’t get anywhere. And as everything else, it’s also a habit.

Because only going the extra mile and then repeating it many times can help you get whatever it is that you desire.
Only if you’re willing to do that, can you actually get anywhere and become whoever you want.

It’s simple, but not easy.

I’ve noticed that people usually think that the things worth fighting for are too complex and often don’t even give them a try. They also think there must be some secret that can help them get it easier.

Well, there isn’t. Things are really simple because all the fundamental rules we’ve all heard of are what it really takes to get there. But it’s not easy. It will take time, it will take energy, efforts, and many other things depending on the situation.

People still think they can find an easier way to lose weight and get fit, but the truth is that the basic things we all know about healthy dieting, exercising and motivation, especially the combination of them, are the way to the body we want.

Here is what Johnny B. Truant says in How to Be Legendary:

No form of success is complicated.

Repairing a relationship involves communication, patience, and time. Learningdance steps involves rehearsing them until you get them right. Becoming fluent in Italian requires speaking andreading and hearing Italian and maybe practicing vocabulary. Building a business requires finding a need in the marketand filling it, and learning from experience.

You already know what you need to do. You just need to do it.

If you want to quit smoking or drinking, doing the work is fighting cravings every day, maybe forever.

If you want to write a novel, doing the work is sitting down for a few hours every single day and putting words on thepage even when you suspect theyʼre horrible. If youʼre currently a bad writer, doing the work might even mean writinga few 100,000-word go-nowhere manuscripts full of terrible prose while youʼre learning, and then simply throwing themaway. Oh, and doing the work might entail a lot of rejection, too.

If you want to lose 300 pounds, doing the work is several years of dieting and exercise.

Doing the work is not for the faint of heart, but it is the key to achievement. Have you ever noticed how very few people are truly, truly, truly committed to a goal? Thatʼs why so few people achieve truly remarkable things.”

So with this post I want to remind you of 6 things:

1. It’s absolutely possible to reach all your goals.

2. You already have what it takes.

3. You’ll need to work hard.

4. Then to do it repeatedly.

5. You’ll need to go the extra mile and go beyond what is considered average.

6. It will also take dedication and sacrifices.

Without these six things in mind, I’m afraid, you won’t achieve anything. And that means you will never do anything with your life when you could have done so much.

I see so many people wasting their time doing meaningless activities, wasting their potential doing stuff they don’t enjoy. And it’s so sad when they turn back and realize they could have done remarkable things with their life and helped others at the same time.

So if you don’t want to be one of them you need to be willing to work hard for what you want. It could be anything because you can simply achieve anything. But the way to do it is one – through hard work, repetition, practice and dedication.

So are you willing to invest time, energy and effort in the name of your goal? Do you want it bad enough?

See also:

The “Do something” principle
One action a day is all it takes
The get off your ass manifesto

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Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

29 Comments

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  1. Fantastic advice! One of my favorite (related) quotes:

    “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” – Earl Nightingale

  2. Jim Rohn said something along the lines: “You need to work harder on yourself, than you work on your job”.
    I agree 100%. In the end it’s not the amount of dollars you earn which matters. You won’t take them with you beyond the grave. But you will take your essence, who you are.

  3. Hey Lidiya!

    What an awesome post. It is so true that, to get what we want, to achieve our goals and desires, we need to work hard and then be committed to the cause. Too many times I have heard people say “If only I won the lottery I could do such and such.” Those people are just dreamers. They seem to think that things will magically fall into their laps if they sit around long enough.

    It only takes one step in the right direction, then another and another, then a person is making progress!

    Keep up the good work. I so love reading your blog posts!

    Take care,
    Brian Simms
    (A Better Life (NZ))

  4. I’ve read Napoleon Hill. Great advice on how to succeed. You’ve done a wonderful summary. Many thanks for stopping by my blog!

  5. A beautiful post which is highly relevant in present times. In corporate too young executives are challenged by setting ‘stretch’ goals to keep them motivated. If the goal is too easy the the talent in employees withers away. So we surely need to go for the extra mile.
    Thank you Lidiya and cheers 🙂

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