How far is the extra mile?

Many of us have used the old saying about ‘going the extra mile’ when someone, or perhaps ourselves, have done a little more than expected, more than just enough.  A mile, though, can be a long way: 1.6 kilometres, 1600 metres, 5280 feet!

Going this proverbial extra mile, though, is rarely that “far”. Often, this extra mile requires only a minimum extra effort, a few minutes, perhaps, of our time. This doesn’t seem as far as 5280 feet!

I have found the extra mile is common with some people, whilst for others it appears a truly foreign concept. The one thing I have identified with those who regularly travel this additional distance, is a slightly altered outlook. Thinking is not ‘what is required?’, rather the thought ‘what else can I do?’ prevails.

By starting an activity, a process, a relationship with a slightly different perspective we can deliver a significantly different result for both others and ourselves.

Going the extra mile builds problem-solving capacity and strengthens our relationships.

Going the extra mile is solution-oriented, not task-focused.

Ultimately, going the extra mile is really not that hard! Let’s make 2013 a collective year of going the extra mile. After all, it’s probably only a few steps.


Image credit: iakov / 123RF Stock Photo

What do you think?