Every day, when you get to work or start your projects, you get to decide how much effort you're going to put in. A little, the normal amount, or go completely overboard. Few choose that last option, which gives you an advantage. Photo by Kuster & Wildhaber Photography.
As writer Adam Chudy points out, going the extra mile isn't very common (or else it would just be the normal mile). Which makes sense! Why put in more effort than you need to? If you can keep up with everyone else by walking five kilometres, why go six? Well, there's at least one good reason: because you immediately stand out just for putting in the effort.
Did you really want that job you applied for? So did the other 1,000 online applicants. How many of them do you think got on Linkedin and reached out personally to the hiring manager or someone in the organisation? I can promise you it was a lot less than 1,000. How many of those who emailed, called the front desk, asked for that person, and left them a personal message? Probably nobody. Maybe 1...
If you want people to know your name. If you want the job. The fans. The body. Whatever it is you want. Go the damn extra mile, because I can promise you… it might be lonely but it's certainly not crowded.
The crazy thing is, we all know this already. We flock to the exceptional like moths to a flame. When someone's the best at something, we're in awe of it. We'll share their videos, post their pictures, tell their stories. It's easy to assume that they got there because they're special. Because they were born with just the right set of genes, or circumstances that led to them being the best through no fault of their own. While that helps, more often they simply put in the extra effort where most other people don't. Being willing to do more than is necessary is often the key distinguishing factor between average and extraordinary.