Thursday, March 10, 2011

Above and Beyond

One sure path to success is to go above and beyond.  Go above and beyond what your boss expects of you at work, go above and beyond what you spouse expects of you in your relationship and even more importantly, go above and beyond what you expect of yourself.

Going above and beyond at work doesn’t necessarily mean putting in extra hours, although working through the occasional lunch or staying late to help your boss out is reasonable.  It is doing your job with 110% effort and being proactive when most of the staff just shows up.  Even if you think your boss doesn’t notice your hard work or the extra care, rest assured that others in the organization will.  

Going above and beyond for your spouse can be as simple as picking up their dry cleaning for them, or taking care of a chore you know they dislike.  This doesn’t mean you should do everything all the time, but doing something that makes them feel loved and special will be appreciated.  Going above and beyond may involve something as simple as stopping and really listening to your spouse when they are talking to you.  Good communication is about listening more than talking.  So go above and beyond and make your husband or wife feel like they are the most important person to you.  The reward will be a stronger bond and a more stable relationship.

Now for the most important- going above and beyond your own expectations. What do you expect of yourself?  Often people don’t really know.  Expectations imply a plan or goal and many people don’t expect much of themselves beyond actually showing up at work.  In truth, the more we expect of ourselves, the more we can accomplish.  As a child, did you have dreams of whom or what you’d be in life?  Did you have any reason not to believe it would happen?  Usually as kids we think we can do anything, but somewhere along the lines we lose those beliefs and lower our expectations of ourselves based on experiences, on what others have said about us, on stereotypes or on grades achieved in school.  These factors do not determine what you can do so expect more of yourself.

Why not raise the expectations of yourself a little bit each day?  Like the athlete training for the high jump, they don’t start with the bar raised to the top.  They start low and practice their technique and then gradually raise the bar.  You can do the same with your life.  I’m raising my bar a little by cutting out procrastination and taking more action.  These are little things and some days I may run face first into the bar, but I will try again and again.  I expect gradual, continual improvement of myself and will go above and beyond to exceed my expectations.  

Go above and beyond for yourself and others and the rewards will come!

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