Going The Extra Mile

The Power Of One More

Life is non-linear, which makes the rewards of continued effort disproportionately big.



The Context of Going The Extra Mile

The origin of the phrase "going the extra mile" is said to be from the sayings of Jesus in the "sermon on the mount". At that time Palestine was under Roman occupation and a Roman soldier could legally impress a local Israeli citizen to carry his kit bag [weighing about 60kg] for 1,000 steps which was a Roman mile. Jesus was telling his followers to offer to carry the kit bag for a further 1,000 steps. Various commentators have offered differing interpretations as to Jesus's intended meaning.

The modern colloquial use of the phrase suggests making a special effort, going beyond what is expected of you to accomplish something. It is frequently used in the context of customer service.

In this article I want to move beyond the conventional meaning that applies to a one-time action and apply this to the very specific context of the pursuit of a long term goal which require you to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a long term success.


The Power of One More

There are many motivational books that offer a wide range of strategies to enable you to make that extra special effort. The latest to join this illustrious roster is Ed Mylett with "The Power Of One More".

Mylett's message is that:

“You're a lot closer to changing your life than you think. You’re one more meeting, one more relationship, one more decision, one more action, or one more thought from leading the life you deserve.”

He offers 3 "one more" thinking strategies to help you find the strength to take one more swing at a change you’re trying to make.

You can download a free one page summary of these 3 key points from the book courtesy of Nathan Lozeron of Productivity Game.

I have no issue with any of this and I think Mylett makes some constructive points.

But in this article I want to address 2 key questions that, like the proverbial elephant in the room, lurk behind these tough and sweat inducing efforts to go the extra mile and unleash the power of one more:


[1] How and why can I have any confidence that it is worth making these continued efforts?

[2] How can I know when "enough is enough" and it's time to bail out?









Going The Extra Mile For Disproportionate Reward

I have found the work of Nassim Taleb particularly helpful in gaining some insight into chance and probability from a statistical perspective with his insights based on his 21 years as a successful quantitative  trader.


Linear and Non Linear Systems

Many of the systems in our everyday life move in a linear fashion. So for example, every exam you take at school, university or professional training brings you closer to graduation or certification. Or, every dollar saved and invested in your retirement plan brings you closer to a comfortable retirement.

This is what we are used to and this is what we are brought up to expect.



    Our default position is that we think that all of life is linear - but it isn't - much of life is unfair because it is non linear.




Taleb explains that the reason why much of life is non-linear is path dependence - i.e. what has worked before will not necessarily work again - so if you keep on doing the same things over and over as you have before it does not guarantee a predictable result. Conversely if you started out at the same point again, with no dependence on what has gone before, you would likely do it differently and get a different result.

We are "hard wired" to expect incremental steps and incremental changes to have only an incremental impact.

But when there is a non-linear relationship between the steps and their impact and, at some unknown and indeterminate point, a tipping point is reached and a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place then this makes the rewards of going the extra mile  disproportionately big.



    It’s hard for us to see these tipping points in advance, so without visible progress  most people give up too soon and do not receive the disproportionately large rewards.





Setting yourself up for the disproportionate reward with the long game strategy

The long game describes an approach to any area of life that sacrifices short term gains for long-term wins.

The first step in the long game is the most difficult and negative.

You have to be willing to suffer today in order to reap enormous rewards tomorrow.

Going the extra mile in the long game is so hard to play because it involves taking a series of very small steps, that people rarely see,  persistently and consistently over a long period of time to reach an enormous and visible outcome.


Here are 7 proven strategies, with resources, for playing the long game:

  1. Adopt the Craftsman Mindset
  2. Attract Luck - Be The Best At What You Do
  3. Focus On The One Thing
  4. Benefit From The Power Of Habits
  5. Compound Your Way To Exponential Growth
  6. Be Smarter Rather Than Faster
  7. Live an Antifragile Life








Going The Extra Mile And Knowing When to Bail

In going the extra mile in the pursuit of a long term goal there always comes a point when you will ask yourself whether the pain of putting up with the tough times is worth the benefit of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Here are 3 key factors to take into account:

  • Short Term vs Long Term Strategies - Quitting as a short-term strategy is usually a bad idea because it is usually based on subjective and emotional factors.
  • When You MUST Bail Out Quickly - However there is an exception to this when you have made a commitment to a new project or job, or a new relationship, and realise very early on that you made a serious error of judgement.  In this instance it is a very good idea to bail out quickly before you do yourself and the other party serious harm.
  • Why Quitting For The Long Term Matters Most - Quitting for the long term is a better idea because it frees you up to focus on something more beneficial to your long term interests.


The 3 key questions for knowing when to quit:

  1. How much time are you willing to spend?
  2. How much money are you prepared to spend/lose?
  3. How much pain are you willing to put up with?







Further reading:

The Road Less Traveled - In this article I have outlined in some detail many of my own experiences in playing the long game. I have shared what these issues are and how best to deal with them. The article closes with  further experience based material to read together with extensive resources.

Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty - Here we explore how success is the exception rather than the rule and put fear of failure into perspective with 2 simple but powerful strategies that I use.  These will enable you to embrace your fear of failure and your underlying fear of uncertainty.

Ed Mylett - The Power Of One More


Next Article: Tao Te Ching - How To Be Lived By The Tao

Return from "Going The Extra Mile" to: Walking The Talk


Contact me





English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese




LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Intuition & Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Calling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…

    Read More

  2. Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery

    It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…

    Read More

  3. Fear Of Missing Out - "I'll Have What She's Having!"

    We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…

    Read More

  4. Free - Self Improvement Resources

    Exercising Balance and Discernment. I have just updated these self improvement resources with a number of additional sources of material that are practical and can help you change your life. Check it…

    Read More

  5. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…

    Read More

  6. The Power Of Gratitude - It's Good For You!

    Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…

    Read More

  7. Living With Your Thoughts - 4 Tools To Help You

    Develop A Good Working Relationship With Your Mind. The first step in living with your thoughts is to understand and develop a good working relationship with all areas of your mind. The key to develop…

    Read More

  8. You Are Not Your Thoughts - How To Escape This Ferris Wheel Of Suffering

    The 4 Stages To Dealing With Your Thoughts. You are not your thoughts, at least that's what your rational mind tells you most of the time, but that's definitely not how it feels at 3 am when you have…

    Read More

  9. Finish What You Start - Action Will Destroy Your Procrastination

    4 Key Tips To Help You Finish What You Start. So why do you fail to finish what you start? Or in my case, why do I fail to even get started? There is a wealth of information out there about how to avo…

    Read More

  10. Going The Extra Mile - The Power Of One More

    Life Is Non-Linear, Which Makes The Rewards Of Continued Effort Disproportionately Big. In the pursuit of a long term goal you have to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a big success. Go…

    Read More

  11. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More

  12. Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego

    Everything Does Not Revolve Around Me. The two phrases dying to self & dropping the ego are Christian and Buddhist expressions of the same fundamental truth - the need to correct the inbuilt, hardwire…

    Read More

  13. The Confident Mind - 4 Keys To Peak Performance

    Peak Performance Is Meditation In Motion. Peak performance is grounded in the Tao practise of Wu Wei which means "doing with out doing". This is all about how you take action by being so immersed in p…

    Read More

  14. Going With The Flow - The Balance Of Being And Doing

    Steer The Boat Each Day Rather Than Plan Ahead Way Into The Future. Going with the flow is about learning to become comfortable with uncertainty, and learning how to exploit the potential hidden withi…

    Read More

  15. 8 Principles For Success

    A Timeless Foundation On Which To Build Your Success. There are Universal laws and processes that work to support us and guarantee that we achieve all our goals. But first we need to know what they ar…

    Read More

  16. The Loving Father

    A Love That Will Not Let You Go. I had a loving father. I knew that I did, but I never felt it. My father was a good man but very damaged and unable to show his feelings. So I grew up knowing in my he…

    Read More

  17. Your Ebenezer Stone Of Help

    How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power. Approximately 2,500 years ago the Israeli town of Kafr Qasim was close to the site of two battles between the ancient Israelis and their neighbours…

    Read More

  18. The Stockdale Paradox

    How To Deal With The Attrition Factor. The Stockdale Paradox is named after the late James Stockdale, former vice presidential candidate, naval commander and prisoner of war during the American-Vietna…

    Read More

  19. Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty

    We Celebrate Success And Ignore Failure. Numerous studies have been undertaken on successful people to understand what it was that they did to become so successful, how they did it and when they did i…

    Read More

  20. The Wilderness Years - 3 Keys To An Exit

    How You Got Into The Wilderness Matters Less Than The Lessons To Be Learnt There. The wilderness years can be described as any lengthy time, longer than a year, that is spend aimlessly; without an imm…

    Read More

  21. Boredom – Your Greatest Threat to Results

    We Live In A World That Glorifies The Results And Not The Process. We all know what we should be doing, but the trouble with that is that sooner of later we get bored. The enjoyment fades, the excitem…

    Read More

  22. The Luck Factor - 4 Basic Principles

    You Can Master The Art of Creating Your Own Luck By Mastering 4 Key Principles "The Luck Factor" is the title of a book published 20 years ago based on the research of Professor Richard Wiseman who fo…

    Read More

  23. Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

    Just Because You Have A Spectacular Failure Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over. The thought that you could fail can really slow you down. But the problem is not the failure, the problem is your relationshi…

    Read More

  24. Lost, Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

    Are You Lost In Transition? To be in an alien North African city, late in the evening, in the dark, completely lost in transition from the main market square back to the obscure location of our Riad…

    Read More

  25. Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

    Do You Believe What You See Or Do You See What You Believe? Like the characters in "The Matrix" we are fooled by the illusion that what we see is how things really are. Why? Because this is the mind's…

    Read More

  26. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  27. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  28. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  29. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  30. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More


Get new posts by email:






Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site