By Napoleon Hill
An important principle of success in all walks of life and in all occupations is a willingness to GO THE EXTRA MILE; which means the rendering of more and better service than that for which one is paid, and giving it in a positive mental attitude.
Search wherever you will for a single sound argument against this principle, and you will not find it; nor will you find a single instance of enduring success, which was not attained in part by its application.
The principle is not the creation of man. It is a part of Nature’s handiwork, for it is obvious that every living creature below the intelligence of man is forced to apply the principle in order to survive.
We may disregard the principle if we choose, but we cannot do so and at the same time enjoy the fruits of enduring success.
Observe how Nature applies this principle in the production of food that grows from the soil, where the farmer is forced to GO THE EXTRA MILE by clearing the land, plowing it, and planting the seed at the right time of the year, for none of which he receives any pay in advance.
But, observe that if he does his work in harmony with Nature’s laws, and performs the necessary amount of labor, Nature takes over the job where the farmer’s labor ends, germinates the seed he plants and develops it into a crop of food.
And, observe thoughtfully this significant fact: For every grain of wheat or corn he plants in the soil Nature yields him perhaps a hundred grains, thus enabling him to benefit by the law of increasing returns.
Nature GOES THE EXTRA MILE by producing enough of everything for her needs, together with a surplus for emergencies and waste; for example, the fruit on the trees, the bloom from which the fruit is grown, frogs in the pond and fish in the seas.
Nature GOES THE EXTRA MILE by producing enough of every living thing to insure the perpetuation of the species, allowing for emergencies of every kind. If this were not true the species of all living things would soon vanish.
Some believe that the beasts of the jungle and the birds of the air live without labor, but thoughtful people know that this is not true. It is true that Nature provides the sources of supply of food for every living thing, but every creature must labor before it may partake of that food.
Thus we see that Nature discourages the habit which some have acquired of trying to get something for nothing.
The advantages of the habit of GOING THE EXTRA MILE are definite and understandable. Let us examine some of them and be convinced:
The habit brings the individual to the favorable attention of those who can and will provide opportunities for self-advancement. It tends to make one indispensable, in many different human relationships, and it therefore enables one to command more than average compensation for personal services.
It leads to mental growth and to physical skill and perfection in many forms of endeavor, thereby adding to one’s earning capacity.