I gave my niece and her husband food gifts for Christmas. Being perishable, I couldn’t wrap them up and put them under the tree, so I made special things to represent the actual gifts and wrapped those. My niece asked me if the companies I purchased from had provided the things I had wrapped, and I told her, “No. I made them.” Her response was, “You always go the extra mile.”
Then I proceeded to serve my guests purchased desserts.
That statement, and the knowledge that I don’t always go the extra mile (or I would have been Betty Crocker-ing in my kitchen to make those desserts), made me stop and wonder if it’s always appropriate and/or desirable to give 110%. Are there times when less than your absolute best is truly good enough?
I hope some of you will tell me your thoughts on this, because I’d really like to know. In the meantime, though, I have discovered something about myself: I don’t always go the extra mile when it is too uncomfortable or inconvenient. Some of those uncomfortable or inconvenient things include diet, exercise, networking, baking, phone calling, and ironing.
While some of those things are pretty harmless and don’t hurt anyone – honestly, I am the only one who suffers if my ironing is less than perfect – I am troubled by the very idea that I don’t always do my best or try my hardest. Often? Yes. Always? No.
So that is my one phrase resolution for 2010 (a concept I stole borrowed from my friend April Dowling at PseudoHR): GO THE EXTRA MILE. Always. Even when it hurts or is uncomfortable. Especially when it hurts or is uncomfortable. It can only lead to a better 2010, my friends. Happy New Year!