Daily Dose of Coach #217: Think on This - The Extra Mile

"There are no traffic jams along the extra mile." Rodger Staubach

A few days ago I listened to this on the audio book, "The Experience, 5 Principles of Disney Service and Relationship Excellence" and wanted to share it with you. It's the origin of the extra mile principle.

"Two thousand years ago, Rome had conquered the known world. One of those territories was Judea (Israel). The Romans had a law that any Roman soldier could order any Jewish boy to carry his backpack for one mile. The backpacks often weighed 60 or 70 pounds. The Jewish boys weighed somewhere around the same. If the Jewish boy refused, it could be immediate grounds for death.

The Rabbi's of the land, got together and sent out a message to all the Jewish boys, it was a law. The law was the Jewish boys must carry the backpack for one mile, but at the end of that mile he should politely ask, 'could I carry this an extra mile for you.'

The Roman soldier was in control the first mile because he had the power and the authority. But, who was in control the second mile? The Jewish boy, because he chose, of his own free will, to go the extra mile."

The extra mile is simply going one step further. This gives you control of the enrichment that surrounds your life. It applies to all things. It's an attitude of excellence. It's looking for the smallest ways to improve the world around you. It's recognizing opportunities to help and serve others.

As the quote says above, the extra mile is never crowded. There's not much competition there. Most people aren't willing to sacrifice or do more than they have to do. Like the Jewish boys, every time you find yourself at the end of a mile, every time you think you've done enough, pick up that metaphorical backpack and say, "I'm carrying this one more mile."