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A Little Extra Effort



I wonder about the many things we could do if we didnít know that we couldnít do them. Many people never make a serious effort to achieve worthwhile objectives because they assume they canít reach them.

Hereís a story that demonstrates what even a little extra effort can produce. Sir Walter Raleigh attended a prestigious boarding school when he was a youngster. He was an excellent student and wanted to be number one in his class. However, one lad always finished ahead of him, so he determined to discover the secret. Each night when he prepared for bed, he looked across the grounds that separated his room from that of his competitor and noticed that his candle was still burning. One night he noticed that the other boy studied only about fifteen minutes longer than he did. After that, Sir Walter Raleigh studied an extra twenty minutes every night. At the end of the year he was the number one student.

Iíve often wondered how many students miss out on a college scholarship because they did not study an additional twenty minutes each day. Research shows that over 98 percent of all scholarships are either academic or hardship, so some deserving students miss out not because of lack of ability, but because of lack of effort. Many times people grow frustrated because promotions or raises donít come as fast as they think they should, so they jump ship when just around the corner the promotion awaits.

I have often used the phrase ďand then some,Ē pointing out to my audiences that you should keep every promise, and then some; give your clients or customers everything they expect, and then some; give whatever you do an honest effort, and then some. I first learned those words from former secretary of state James Byrnes, who used that phrase when someone asked him to explain his success in life and in the political arena. I believe that little extra effort Ė that going ahead from where they are to do the best they can with what they have, and then some Ė is what separates the successful from the would-be successful.

Message: When you go the extra mile, you are seldom delayed by a traffic jam.


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A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations, affecting lives in a profound way.
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