Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and enjoying this Holiday Season. This week we ask...
Why Go The Extra Mile?
The story goes that when the Jewish people were ordered by the Roman’s to go a distance, they were inspired to go an extra mile.
Maybe to remind themselves of their freedom of choice. The choice to go less than the distance required was not an option, but there were other choices to make, that were within their power. Choosing to go the extra mile based on their own internal desire, was easier than being forced to go the minimum distance.
No matter what you are being asked to do - or may feel required to do - doing the minimum under a feeling of duress will be far harder than exercising your power of choice. And what becomes a priority, in extreme conditions even a bigger priority then food and shelter? Freedom.
As long as I’m free, I can endure much. It’s possible the leaders of the group maintained morale by encouraging the group to go an extra mile; empowering them to maintain a spirit of ownership that will eventually give them the courage to try to break free from oppression. In modern days, why do people with addictions often join groups during therapy sessions? To build their spirit of ownership and to learn they have the power, should they be able to build up the will, to change their circumstance.
Importantly, the person choosing to go above and beyond is the main beneficiary of the choice. It shouldn’t be doubted their choice positively influences so many around them.
There are those who get after it, living a proactive and empowered life and then there are those who resist and resent, living reactively disempowered.
If you have ever wondered why some people seem to do more than most and also have an attitude above and beyond the average - they are beating the system by choosing to do what they want to do, versus what can be perceived as a good-enough minimum requirement.
Whether or not you will meet other’s expectations is beside the point. Targets are always moving. The question is: Are you up for the challenges that life gives you?
No doubt, our upbringing has an influence on how prepared we are to face challenges. I’ve met highly achieved people who dedicate their success to their family who always encouraged them to pursue their goals as there was no limit to what they can achieve. I have also met highly successful people who dedicate their success to the spirit of ownership; the hand life has dealt them, just couldn’t be the condition they were going to live their lives, and they pushed forward, sometimes going more than just the “extra mile.” Look around, the heroes are always the ones that offer the inspiration to overcome adversity.
Our natural bias can be to choose the path of least resistance, but through our power of choice, we can live more on our terms, aligned with our highest aspirations, embracing and inviting all that life has for us. In his book, the Alchemist, Paulo Coelho presents it in this manner: “Your life is not where you’ve come from, but what you do with the days before you (…) Life is the moment we live in right now; live the present moment as if you live the lessons of the past and the dreams of the future.”
Decide what you want, ask if what you want has a heart and then consider, more than ever, going that extra mile - not under some external duress, but from a desire, born from within, to be all that you can be for those and that which matters most.
This is your life, make it count, count another mile and marvel at where it takes you.