Thursday, September 19, 2013

And Then Some Revisited

Essay by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

At my blog, you will not just find the core philosophy, "The Core of the "And Then Some" Philosophy Part I," but you will find, too, the number of pivotal moments in my life, "The Core of the "And Then Some" Philosophy Part II," which have proven, over and over, the validity of the philosophy and why it is so firmly entrenched not just in my life but in my psyche.

That philosophy was written for a speech I delivered more than twenty-five years ago. Since that time, my textbook, COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY 10e (McGraw-Hill, 2012) has gone through at least eight editions, and is now in its tenth. Also, I have written or composed six books designed for the general public, produced close to 300 book reviews (many of them posted at,) and written well over 300, 1,000-word essays. It is the "and then some" philosophy in action in my life.

That "and then some" philosophy is no less important today than it has always been—maybe, considering the deterioration of the Puritan work ethic, it may be even more important. Let me repeat here for emphasis and a strong reminder, the advantages of this approach

First, going the extra mile can make you stand out. Few people, unfortunately, are so motivated. Thus, going the extra mile can set you apart, reveal your conscientiousness, establish your reliability, or increase your value.

Second, it is likely to bring out positive emotions in others. When positive emotions are connected either to you or something you did, it will cause others to both remember you and feel good about you.

Third, it will help you move ahead of your competition and succeed where others fail.

Fourth, and finally, it can bring personal rewards. In one college course, I became so absorbed in the term project that I exceeded all the parameters of the assignment. I knew what the value of the project would be to me, and what I needed to know to help me, so, like the Energizer Bunny, I just kept going, and going, and going. It resulted in a grade of A+ in the course, but that was never the goal; it was simply an unintended, and unexpected reward for my excessiveness. I did the project and then some.

Can you apply the "And Then Some" philosophy to others? Of course. When you borrow a pan or dish from a neighbor, show your appreciation for the loan by placing a goodie inside when you return it. When someone asks you for a piece of gum, give him or her the whole pack. When going for groceries, ask a neighbor if he or she is out of milk, needs a prescription picked up, or a loaf of bread. Give people an un-birthday treat—something that they had their eye on but wouldn’t pick up for themselves. Give thank-you notes to people for something they have done for you—even the small, often thankless, little courtesies.

Often, it is the small things—the little ways we have for showing respect and caring—that count the most in others’ lives. Run errands for a parent; take a friend out to dinner; call your existing customers just to make sure they are happy with their purchase; help a co-worker with their heavy workload; do a personal favor for an employee; say little things that will build others up. Do what is expected and then some.

But, too, you can be a model for the "And Then Some" philosophy. Going the extra mile in your own life is often revealed in a positive, optimistic, cheerful outlook. For example, people are more likely attracted to those who avoid swearing, vulgar language, and gossip. People, too, do not like to be talked down to. When you say nice things to others, give out compliments, help others when they are cranky, and tell the truth, you are showing others you are confident and self-assured. When you reveal the traits above, too, you show others you care about them. True, it is hard to do when you are in a bad mood, but by lifting the mood of others, you will lift your own as well. Set an example and then some.

At the website muyiwa OKEOLA, the essay is called, "Go the extra mile. Succeed more!"
It ends with the following inspirational paragraph, "When you consistently go the extra mile in every area of your life: personal, relationship, job and business, you inevitably become excellence personified. This implies that you always do ordinary things in extraordinary manner. Consequently, you achieve extraordinary results doing ordinary things. Start going the extra mile today! Start going beyond the ordinary in your little business or job. . . ."

At, the essay is called, "Workplace: Going the Extra Mile has Benefits." The author lists his or her own ten reasons for doing it: 1) It gives you a new life’s purpose. 2) It turns your attitude from negative to positive. 3) It makes you a positive initiator. 4) It improves the environment for you and everyone else around you. 5) It gives you job security. 6) You might get a pay raise or promotion without asking. 7) It has a positive effect on all those around you—coworkers, clients, etc. 8) It gives you a clear conscience. 9) It can prevent procrastination. 10) Going the extra mile can stimulate your soul. What motivators each of these elements could be!

Let me end with the website ExtraMileAmerica and what it says in the brief essay there : "It is one of those great laws of success masked in a simple ‘cause and effect’ principle...add value to receive value. When we go the extra mile...

1. In our careers...we launch forward. We experience our best jobs...and our best paychecks.

2. In our relationships...we find harmony. We experience our greatest friendships and love.

3. In our communities...we serve a greater number. We experience the greatest sense of selflessness.

4. In ourselves...we find happiness. We experience the greatest transformation.

5. In our encouragement...we find joy. We experience what it feels like to bring out the best in someone else.

"Now is the time to take a personal look in the mirror and ask ourselves, 'What can I do differently?  What can I do to make a difference?'"  And I would add to these two questions a third: "How can I make full and complete use of the 'And Then Some' philosophy in my life?

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"A Gift of Inspiration," is the name of the website. The rather lengthy essay there by Keith Ready, "Positive Inspirational Achievement Stories: The Habits of Going the Extra Mile," ends this way: "We know the rules by which success is attained. Let us appropriate these rules and use them intelligently thereby acquiring the personal riches we demand, and adding to the wealth of the nation as well."

I wonder how much of "going the extra mile" goes on by students in colleges today? And, I wonder how study habits used in college provide a template for habits used after college? I think Karli Kloss, a columnist at theMiamiStudent , may have it right in her column titled, "Opinion: Going the Extra Mile Benefits All." "We put in the hours when it counts, but all the extras that go into the true scholastic experience doesn't happen anymore. We do what we need in order to get by. But there are a few who go out of their way to learn just for the sake of learning. I know people who will Google questions in class on their Androids before even thinking about skimming the textbook for the answer...This is part of our generation's identity, but it makes me a little sad for the world of learning."

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Copyright September, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC

1 comment:

  1. Muito bom o blog. Enquanto filosofarmos sobre algo, estaremos longe da ignorância.


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