These words are often used when one does a task or job better than what was expected of them. Phrases such as, “Our waitress went above and beyond expectations tonight at dinner.” In this scenario, this behavior is typically rewarded with a great tip. At one time or another, we’ve all heard these words, most of us have probably said them but how many of us have them said about us?
Over the past few years, I have read articles, blogs, and even some books by great thinkers and innovators of our culture. One characteristic I see in every one of them is their willingness to go above and beyond what’s required. You don’t see big dreams become a reality by simply punching a time-clock from 9-5. You don’t see ideas that will change a culture by only doing what’s required. Don’t get me wrong, many people do that and are fulfilled in doing so. But, if you’re a dreamer, if you desire to be an innovator, then it is essential that you go above and beyond.
You may ask, “What does that look like in every day life?” Simple – start where you are. Develop a mentality to do more than the task or job description details. If your job is to file papers in their applicable folders, so so – plus volunteer to analyze and reorganize the file drawer. Your task may be to shovel your walk. Do so – plus bless your neighbor by shoveling theirs as well (That was a reference to my blog 01/24). The reason I use that example is because this isn’t just about a job but it’s about life. Jesus even teaches us about this during the sermon on the mount:
Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:41)
This is where we get the well known statement, “Going the extra (or second) mile.” In the context in which Jesus teaches this, it also references when someone slaps you, turn the other cheek. If someone sues you for your shirt, give him your coat as well. Our logical (unspiritual) thinking is this is crazy. But Jesus teaches and demonstrates how to go above and beyond.
We hear a lot today about the “participation trophy” given to everyone who participates rather than rewarding those who work harder to accomplish victory. Listen, I am all about encouraging and appreciating those who do the job expected of them. But, just like our waitress at the beginning of this blog, when you and I go above and beyond what’s required, you will see rewards come your way. . . financially, relationally and spiritually.
As I wrap up, let’s not be one of those who just do what’s necessary to complete a given task, project or job. Consider everything an opportunity to show your passion and potential. Let this quote be your daily mantra.
Be blessed and go above and beyond what other’s think you should or think you can.