Going the Extra Mile
This is the speech that I gave as my second speech to complete the toastmaster speech craft program that was conducted by Millennium Toast Masters – Colombo.
This was just a spur of the moment speech, but I thought of sharing as I believe that it did have some values.
Today I have two stories to share. One a personal experience and the other which happened long time back with values for professional life.
This happened sometime in my life when she was young and I was younger. I know it sounds awkward because it was truly a complicated affair. We met at a KFC to spend some time together. There was another couple seated at the next table to us. The guy had given the girl a bouquet of flowers. My girl saw this and she was complaining as to why people spend so much money on immaterial things. (A bouquet of flowers in Colombo is expensive to natives) She said that she does not want people spending on unwanted things but she believes in savings and putting up a family and a stable life together. After sometime on her birthday, to juice things up, I sent her a bouquet of flowers and a cake from a five star to her office. I had completely forgotten about her dislike, and that was the best idea that my friends could come up for a decent surprise. I started getting a sweet thank you message and was expecting a scolding from her for spending so much. (Usually that’s how women in Sri Lanka are). To my surprise it was just the sweet message, followed by many photos that she took with her friends at office. They were the usual birthday photos but guess what each photo contained? The bouquet of flowers. There was absolutely no photo without it. She was holding onto them like they were the last ones on the planet.
I started to wonder. I knew that she didn’t want a person who spends on immaterial stuff, but why the change. Did she lie or are women all the same. The change was imminent because she still cherishes that moment. That day. So what happened?
No she was not lying. She was just an ordinary girl, but the move that I made, made her special. Made her different. Gave her the opportunity to outstand from the crowd. Its just a small thing that I did, but it worked.
The next story was from a book from Napoleon Hill. It was a story that happened long long time back. William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors, walked into his bank after banking hours and requested for a service that could have been only done during banking hours. The man who granted the favor was Carol Downes, an under official of the bank. Satisfied Mr. Durent asked Downes to visit him at his office sometime. When Downes paid the visit Mr. Durent offered him a position in his office which Downes accepted. His working hours were from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Mr. Durant noticed that Downes always stayed after 5.30pm. He asked Downes whether anything is wrong for him to work after hours that he was not paid for. Downes simply said that he was hoping that he could be of extra service to Mr. Durant and that is why he was staying after hours.
Some time after, Downes was called to Mr. Durants office and was informed that he was transferred to a new Factory and his job was to supervise the installation of machinery. Without a say, Downes accepted the offer and went on his way to his new assignment.
Three months later, he returned having the machinery installed and ready for operation. The job was done so well, Mr. Durant asked him where he learned about machinery installation. Downes said “ I never learned Mr. Durant. I just looked around for men who are good at the job and got it done from them.”
“Splendid” said Mr. Durant. “There are two types of men who are valuable. One is the fellow who can do something and do it well, without complaining that he is overworked. The other is the fellow who can get things done by others without complaining. You are both in one package.
Downes thanked him and turned to go.
“Wait” said Mr. Durant. “I forgot to tell you, you are promoted as the Manager of the plant that you just built”.
So Ladies and Gentlemen. In the first story, a small thing that I did changed a moment in a girls life. In the second story, a banker turns into a factory manager. It’s the small small things that we do that adds up to become big. In each case, myself and Downes did go the Extra Mile. The more you yourself account what you did and check whether you were paid back, the lesser you get. The time you learn to put in some effort and push a bit Extra, and when you do it from your whole heart, the return is beyond even your control.Life is all about going the Extra Mile. May it be in your personal life, or office or on day to day endeavors, always learn to care a little Extra and show that you go the Extra Mile. Going the Extra Mile is a task. a task that you need to learn to do in everything. The more you go the Extra Mile, the better you are known and so are your abilities.
If all this is difficult, you must learn three special things in life. Do it from the bottom of your heart.
Learn to Smile
Learn to say thank you
Mean when you say sorry.
Thank you Ladies and Gentlement.
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