Blog of Knowledge

Inspirational blogging for the inspirational readers. Get motivated; get productive; get going and help change the world.

Going the Extra Mile…

By Ross Bain


What does it mean to go the extra mile? If you think of this phrase, the first example that comes into your head may be of customer service. This phrase often epitomises many customer based businesses around the world. Hell, at Tree of Knowledge we want to inspire the whole world and if that’s not going the extra mile then I don’t know what is!

I bet that when you think of bad customer service, the first thing that pops into your head is someone doing the absolute minimum for you. We’ve all had that one experience where you ask an employee where the milk is, and rather than take you to the milk they tell you “oh it is the milk you seek? Well, to gain the milk you must first venture into the cold aisle of dairy and cheese, fending off attacks from the tribe of small children and once you obtain the holy grail, then you shall gain what you seek”. Thanks mate, very helpful.

But when you think of the best customer experience you’ve ever had, I bet it involves someone going ‘the extra mile’. When I was in Thailand my girlfriend and I returned to our hotel room after a day travelling the island wanting to just collapse onto the bed. When we entered our room, however, we saw a Champagne bucket filled with ice, a bottle of Champagne sticking out the top and little canapés on the side. Having not complained during our stay in the hotel we worried that the hotel had made a mistake. There was no mistake, the gift was for us. This experience really stands out in my mind as someone going the extra mile, doing something that improves our experience and makes a positive difference.

However, I want to reshape our understanding of ‘going the extra mile’ from something that is done for us by someone else, to something that we can do for ourselves. This year I graduated with a university degree in psychology and sociology. Attending university has been an amazing experience, I’ve learned so much about the world studying these subjects, and I’ve gained an abundance of skills and met interesting and passionate people.

The reason I applied for university was to push myself and make a personal difference: to go that extra mile. I wondered, am I capable of spending the next 4 years of my life intensively studying and producing essays week in and week out? Can I go that extra mile in education after having been in it for most of my life? And the answer was yes. Progressing through university has been one of the most challenging, exhaustive experiences of my life. At times I wanted to turn my laptop off, throw it out my window and drop out of university. But I would never change what I went through as it pushed me to my limits, highlighting that yes; I can go that extra mile.

Now, I understand that not everyone wants to or is attending university but this is something that we can all do. Is there a promotion at your job that you really want but are unsure whether or not you’ll get it? Go for it. Going the extra mile doesn’t have to mean making life-changing decisions. It could simply mean prioritising your family over other commitments or taking extra steps to improve your health and well-being.

Going the extra mile does not simply mean great customer service. It means so much more than that; it’s about making a positive difference, to go beyond what is expected to achieve something great.


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