We know you are familiar with the phrase “what goes around comes around,” but do you believe it? Do you really feel that if you sow love, kindness, patience, gentleness, and perseverance that it will make a difference in how you are treated or in how you are rewarded? And likewise, if you sow hate, impatience, and meanness that is what you will reap? We do. We are firm believers that in life, you reap what you sow.
Another phrase we hear is “go the extra mile.” By definition “go the extra mile” is to make more effort than is expected of you; to do more and make a greater effort. How many times do we, in a normal day, do this? Think about it, because it matters. Your life long success depends on it. Whether at home, at work, at play or anywhere you find yourself, going the extra mile is what makes life, your life, successful.
Here is a story that we have seen from time to time (we don’t know where it was first printed) but always gives us pause. This story, and there are many more like it, always causes us to reflect and take stock of our personal life as well as our business life as co-authors. The story goes:
Many years ago an elderly lady was strolling through a Pittsburgh department store, obviously killing time. She passed counter after counter without anyone paying any attention to her. All of the clerks had spotted her as an idle “looker” who had no intention of buying. They made it a point of looking in another direction when she stopped at their counters.
What costly business this neglect turned out to be! Finally the lady came to a counter that was attended by a young clerk who bowed politely and asked if he might serve her.
“No” she replied, “I am just killing time, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go home”. “Very well Madam” the young man smiled, “may I bring out a chair for you”, and he brought it without waiting for her answer. After the rain stopped, the young man took the lady by the arm, escorted her to the street and bade her good-bye. As she left she asked him for his card.
Several months later the owner of the store received a letter, asking that this young man be sent to Scotland to take an order for the furnishings of a home. The owner of the store wrote back that he was sorry, but the young man did not work the home furnishings department, however, he explained that he would be glad to send an “experienced man” to do his job.
Back came a reply that no one would do except this particular young man. The letter was signed by Andrew Carnegie and the house he wanted furnished was Skibo Castle in Scotland. The elderly lady was Mr. Carnegie’s mother. The young man was sent to Scotland and he received an order for several hundred thousand dollars worth of household furnishings. He later became the owner of half interest in the store.
Verily it pays to go the extra mile.
When we practice this skill, and it can be learned and honed like any other skill, of going the extra mile, we improve and work on us. The great return is that it always blesses the life of those around us too. There is something magical that happens, even while we are ‘away’ from the situation. People do not forget unmerited kindness and thoughtfulness. They remember for years and years. What you do today, unasked and unexpected, could come back around to bless you tomorrow or twenty years from now. But, it always, always comes back and blesses because what goes around does indeed come back around.
Robert Louis Stevenson once said “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” How true! Our life on this earth is all about planting. At different times in our life we do get to harvest, but not near as many times as we get to plant. You never know if your tiny act of kindness or thoughtfulness, or your willingness to stay an extra thirty minutes at the end of the day, or your purposed remembering of someone’s favorite snack will be the only good thing in their day. Better still, it may turn out to be the best thing in your day or even your life. For we do not always know who we will be rendering that kindness too nor who may see.
Just remember when you look at anyone who is considered successful, or favored, or ‘the pet’ or whatever else they may be labeled, consider this. Take a look at their history, step by step, and you will find that their success, more times than not, was due solely to their own initiative. They were willing to go the extra mile.
We cannot stress enough how important it is for all of us to give more than we receive, go the extra mile, think of others and what would bless them. For this is the main ingredient of someone who is successful, truly successful in life. Stop measuring and start pouring. You will be glad you did.
Blessings to you all, K.R. and T.L.