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Going the Extra Mile: the Secret to Success

By Edited Apr 26, 2014 2 5
Going the extra mile
Credit: Daquella manera through Flickr

Have you ever helped someone without the hope of receiving anything in return, and then wonderful things have happened to you? Done that tiny bit of effort to help an old lady get the shopping up the stairs, and then receive $5 for it? Put the cherry on the cake in that essay for litterature, and the teacher suddenly featured you for the annual contest of young talented writers? That's because you went the extra mile. Going the extra mile can give you the credit, the reputation and the authority that will get you to a point in the future where "life will owe you".

The law of increasing returns:

Everything you give now will be given back to you one day, with compound interest.

“What do you mean?” You might say. It’s not like apples for apples. The way it works, simply put and using Pat Flynn’s words, “it’s all about working hard now, so that you can sit back and reap the benefits later”. So you go out and do now as much as you can and as well as you can possibly do it, and once that is done, the “laws of Nature” will take care of the rest. That does not literally mean that you actually sit back on the couch, but rather that the job you will have done will be so awesome that it will sell itself to the world. This will deliver the benefits you were expecting with an additional compound interest, that accounts for the time you have had to wait to receive them. So the longer the wait, the higher the compensation. Isn’t that great?


The way Ralph Aldo Emerson put it:

“The cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed, for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed. If you serve an ungrateful master, serve him the more, put God in your debt. Every stroke should be repaid. The longer the payment is withholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer.”

“The law of Nature is do the thing and you shall have the power; but they who do not do the thing have not the power”.[2]

The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Amazon Price: $31.00 $15.35 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 26, 2014)

The two big reasons for rendering more service than you are paid for according to Napoleon Hill:

According to Napoleon Hill[1]:

“You will benefit by comparison with those around you who do not render such service. The contrast will be so noticeable that there will be keen competition for your services no matter what your life-work may be”

“You know that if you wish a strong right arm, you can develop that arm only by giving it the hardest sort of use. Out if resistance comes strength. The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the Sun, but it’s the one that stands in the open, where it is compared to struggle for its existence against the winds and the rains and the scorching Sun. You not only exercise your service-rendering qualities, and thereby develop skill and ability of an extraordinary sort, but you build reputation that is valuable.”

Finally, in the words of James Allen, in As a Man Thinketh:

“There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice, and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance. And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more manly, upright, and righteous he becomes, the greater will be his success, the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements.”

“Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought. By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity, righteousness, and well-directed thought, a man ascends; by the aid of animality, indolence, impurity, corruption, and confusion of thought a man descends.”

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”[3]

As A Man Thinketh
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(price as of Apr 26, 2014)


Jun 25, 2013 5:28pm
Someone that goes the extra mile will definintely stand out in this world. Sadly, we live in a world with selfish people that only care about themselves. If people demonstrated more kindness and compassion, I think that this world would be a better place. Nice article!
Jun 25, 2013 10:28pm
So true!
Jun 27, 2013 1:20pm
Very nice article and something I've found in my life as well.
Jun 27, 2013 2:18pm
Glad you liked it :)
Jun 29, 2013 10:08am
I like the comparison to compound interest.
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  1. Napoleon Hill The Law of Success. US: Tribeca Books, 1928.
  2. Ralph Waldon Emerson Essays: Part 1. -: -, 1841.
  3. James Allen As a Man Thinketh. -: -, 1902.

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