“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to
Denis Diderot (1713 - 1784)
Do more than what
is asked of you.
underperformers provide the minimum amount of service that is asked or
required. Some do considerably
less. Average people generally provide
just what is asked of them but seldom go that extra step. Great people deliver more than what is asked
of them and they generally do it with a contagious enthusiasm.
We all know people
that fit each of these descriptions in our personal lives as well as our
business lives. I have lived with
someone who fit each of those categories at various times. I see the silly bugger every morning, looking
at me in the mirror. On the days that I
look back at him and wonder what I think and feel about him, I find I have the
highest thoughts and greatest admiration for him when he has chosen to be an
over achiever. And being an over
achiever is not that difficult when you really think about it. It only requires you to be slightly above
average. We all have the ability to be
Many of us have
heard of the expression “giving 110%”. It’s
impossible to give more than we can and I don’t think many us can work at
maximum capacity all the time. In fact,
our goal is often to do just what is asked of us and no more. I typically do just enough so I don’t get
into too much trouble.
What do you think
would happen if we changed our ways just a little and reworked the “giving 110%”
expression to mean; “I will give 110% of what is asked of me”. This only requires minimally more effort with
the outcome being above average results.
underperformers are like water; always taking the path of least
resistance. Whenever they have a choice of
tasks to do they inevitably do what is easiest because they are either lazy or more
likely, just can’t see the benefit of putting out more effort. The benefits are there, I assure you. They just aren’t instantaneous. Worthwhile
achievements take substantial effort.
That may seem obvious to some but if it doesn’t, then read that last
If you adopt this
philosophy, your productivity and efficiency will increase in your personal and
your business life. By giving your
manager, co-workers, friends and family just a little bit more than the basics,
you will quickly come to be known as an above average achiever and held in high
regard by those you have served. You
will be more likely to get that raise or praise you’ve been looking for at work
and you’ll gain more admiration from the people in your personal life. Something else you’ll notice as you make that
tiny bit more effort; your opinion of yourself will increase too. You will be prouder and more confident as you
see the positive effects that this subtle change will have on all aspects of your life.