Going The Extra Mile’’ – Napoleon Hill‘s reflection on success

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.


I came across this article this week when preparing for a seminar. It’s a great reminder and timeless. Take time to go the extra mile:


Napoleon Hill spent most of his life studying the most successful entrepreneurs in American history. He analysed men like Ford, Edison and Carnegie at length. He concluded that success followed predictable and distinct patterns of behaviour. He suggested that all men and women have similar options open to them. He argued that great success and achievement were available to any and all who would choose to follow certain requirements which he spelled out in his many books.



Mr Hill was the architect of the philosophy of success. He was a pioneer and an original thinker. Many books and articles have copied his ideas, but he remains the master. Of all the great human accomplishments in the 20th century, the judgement of history will inevitably rank the commentaries of Napoleon Hill among them.

I hope you will gain some small benefit from this section.

However, as you read through the article, it will become obvious it was well before the time of equality of the sexes. Just bear with this anachronism.

* * * * *

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.

Many may disregard the principle if he chooses, but he cannot do so and at the same time enjoy the fruits of enduring success.

The advantages of the habit of going the extra mile are definite and understandable. Let me examine some of them and be convinced.

The habit brings the individual to the favourable 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 him to command more than average compensation for personal services.

It leads to mental growth and to physical skill and perfection in many forms of endeavour thereby adding to one’s earning capacity.

It protects one against the loss of employment, when scarce and places him in a position to command the choicest jobs.

It enables one to profit by the law of contrast since the majority of people do not practice the habit.

It leads to the development of a positive, pleasing mental attitude, which is essential for enduring success.



It tends to develop a keen, alert imagination because it is a habit which inspires one continuously to seek new and better ways of rendering service.

It develops the important quality of personal initiative.

It develops the self-reliance and courage.

It serves to build the confidence of others in one’s integrity.

It aids the mastery of the destructive habit of procrastination.

It develops definiteness of purpose, insuring one against the common habit of aimlessness.

There is still another great reason for following the habit of going the extra mile. It gives one the only logical reason for asking for increased compensation.

If a man performs no more service than that for which he is being paid, then obviously he is receiving all the pay to which he is entitled.

He must render as much service as that for which he is being paid, in order to hold his job, or to maintain his source of income, regardless of how he earns.

But he has the privilege always of rendering an over plus of service as a means of accumulating a reserve credit of goodwill, and to provide a just reason for demanding more pay, a better position, or both.

Every position based upon a salary or wages provides one with an opportunity to advance himself by the application of this principle, and it is important to note that the American system of free enterprise is operated on a basis of providing every worker in industry with a proper incentive to apply the principle.

Any practice of philosophy which deprives a man of the privilege of going the extra mile is unsound and doomed to failure, for it is obvious that this principle is the stepping-stone of major importance by which an individual may receive compensation for extra-ordinary skill, experience and education, and it is the one principle which provides the way of self-determination, regardless of what occupation, profession or calling the individual may be engaged in.



In America, anyone may earn a living without the habit of going the extra mile. And many do just that, but the economic security and luxuries available under the great American way of life are available only to the individual who makes this principle a part of his philosophy of life and lives by it as a matter of daily habit.

Every known rule of logic and common sense forces one to accept this as true. And even a cursory analysis of men in the higher brackets of success will prove that it is true.

It is a well-known fact that Andrew Carnegie developed more successful leaders of industry than has any other great American industrialist. Most of them came up from the ranks of ordinary day labourers and many of them accumulated personal fortunes of vast amounts, more than they could acquire without the guidance of Mr Carnegie.



Here’s to your success.
Andrew Cussons
Email: andrew@andrewcussons.com
Phone: 07801 612889

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