There are a lot of ways of working, and most are valid. Depending on the industry, company and role, workloads and challenges present themselves in different ways, and people approach them with different attitudes and skills. But there’s one thing that makes all the difference.

Going the extra mile.

Why? Because, although it can be counterproductive if done for the wrong reasons, if we ‘go the extra mile’ for ourselves, it can work wonders. I do it because I want to, I can and I crave it. You know, being an overachiever and all. But the way I see it, there’s something valuable in it for everyone.

If you go the extra mile, people will do the same

At least most of them will. I can’t count how many people have dropped everything at a moment’s notice to help me. All kinds of people, in all kinds of roles, because I did the same for them. I shared my time with them when they had something to accomplish, regardless of my mile-long to-do list. So, they come through for me even when I don’t ask.

It opens doors you didn’t know existed

Many times, I’ve been lucky enough to have extraordinary opportunities that apparently came out of nowhere; all because, while I was busy pushing stuff through, someone was paying attention and noticed I was doing more than I was supposed to.

There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with it

Haven’t you had that feeling of achievement after you’ve done something well? Going the extra mile pays off, for you, your sense of pride, and knowing that you gave it your all. Plus, you learn more when you dive deeper into something. You grow, you develop your role and yourself, you create value for yourself and others.

And if that was not enough, there is another reason to do it.

Not everybody does it

Therefore, if you do, you have an advantage. You stand out, you are more likely to be promoted, and you can negotiate a better salary in the future.

Still, I acknowledge this doesn’t come naturally to everyone. How can you awaken the motivation to ‘go the extra mile’? The bad news is that no one can do it for you. The good news is that, if you really want to, it will easier to do it.

How?

  • Find what motivates and matters to you
  • Combat exhaustion when necessary in a healthy way
  • Do it when it feels right, not just to impress someone
  • Cut corners when it makes sense to do so
  • Don’t let others take advantage of you

Going the extra mile doesn’t mean doing things that others don’t want to do, or doing it until you are worn out.

Do it because you care, because you want to pour your heart into something.

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