There exists a stretch of road that doesn’t show up on maps, old or new. It’s a place where, relatively speaking, few go. But those who choose to travel it are rewarded handsomely for their efforts, especially the ones who venture there on a regular basis. It’s here, on the extra mile, that life’s high achievers and successes distinguish themselves from the masses.
Such is life that we cannot enjoy the fruits of enduring success without first having repeatedly travelled the extra mile. It’s that one extra rep in the gym when your muscles are screaming at you to stop. It’s the extra set of sprints in the pouring rain when the rest of your team have gone home. It’s those extra hours spent at the office to meet that all important deadline. It’s all of these and so much more: It is a place where good becomes great and where ordinary becomes extraordinary; a place where champions are made.
A sometimes lonely but rewarding path
There are no crowds lining the extra mile, no spectators cheering our name, no cameras, no flashlights as we unquestioningly give of ourselves over and over again. Nothing. Just you and the empty road, and for that reason it’s the hardest mile we will ever travel but it’s the only path that will lead us to lasting success in life. The difference between those who are regularly achieving the goals that they set themselves and those who are not is the willingness to go the extra distance, the ability to consistently do more than the average person.
Make the sacrifices
Failure comes not from a lack of desire to achieve and be great in our own right, but rather from the fact that too often we trade what we want most in life for what we want right now. We want our own business, we want the promotion at work, we want the washboard stomach, but ultimately we are not prepared to make the short-term sacrifices required for the long-term rewards. It’s not about a single defining moment but rather thousands of smaller ones that, when combined, set us apart from the crowd.
Stay in it for the long haul
The success and recognition for our efforts comes long after we’ve put the hard work in. Eventually, we will be rewarded in public for what we tirelessly do in private. It’s about being prepared to do that little bit extra in order to be the best, no matter what field we are competing in, whether it’s for our local sports team, leading a business or just living our life to its fullest.
We go the extra mile because, to borrow the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “at best in the end it will result in high achievement, at worst, if we fail, we fail while daring greatly, and our place will never be among those timid souls that neither knew victory nor defeat.” Champions are always willing to do more, to give more, to be more. That’s why they are champions. To get past the crowds on the road to success you’ve got to be prepared to go the extra mile, you’ve got to be prepared to push the limits of what’s possible now so that nothing’s impossible in the future.