I am often asked, “how did you become successful?” Until recently, I had not articulated it, but 2020 has compelled me to reflect on this topic more.
While there are many paths to success, I recently spent some time defining what has worked for me. Over my next several blog posts, I will do a bit of reflecting forward, sharing my experiences and efforts in hopes of inspiring you to take the next step in your success journey.
Go the Extra Mile
“One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile.” – Napoleon Hill
I have never been afraid to work hard. I held my first job when I was twelve years old, and I worked three jobs while attending Colorado School of Mines while playing Division II softball. Every day, I wake up at 4am to work out so I can start my day ready to accomplish all that I set out to do. I volunteer for leadership roles and put energy into producing high-quality work. I am determined to make an impact, and it compels me to put effort into everything I choose to do. Simply put, I am willing to go the extra mile.
Going the extra mile is the first step in truly becoming successful. You must exhibit a can-do attitude and embrace solving tough challenges with positivity and resolve. You must be willing to work harder and smarter than everyone else. You must hold yourself accountable and never make excuses. You must put yourself out there, volunteer to take on leadership roles, and help others when they need it most.
By going the extra mile, you will make a more significant impact. Not only will you affect change, but you will also inspire others to put in the extra effort. Showing up with commitment, diligence, determination, and the ability to get things done will compel others to follow in your footsteps.
Pro tip: being generous and easy to work with while you are going the extra mile will catapult you to the next level. Why? Because we all want to work with people who make our lives a little bit easier and a little bit happier.
Sometimes the extra mile can be lonely because not everyone is willing to put in the effort required. Not everyone has the same dreams and goals; they can’t fully comprehend why you are working so hard, practicing so much, caring so deeply. Very few people get up at 4 am. But greatness requires sacrifice and a bit of suffering. Ok, more than a bit. The extra mile is lonely because many people don’t want to make the necessary sacrifice or fear suffering. But if you embrace the challenge and go the extra mile repeatedly, you will find reward and, eventually, success.
Step one on your path to success: go the extra mile.
“A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell, former U.S. Defense Secretary
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