It’s not the one big thing you do well but the hundreds of little things you do better that make the difference.
Decide what you want most in life. Determine the steps needed to get you there. Do the first thing to get you started. Every single thing you do a little bit better creates balance and excellence. It’s not the one big thing you do well but the hundreds of little things you do better that make the difference.
So become an inch better – as a parent, spouse, employer, employee, professional speaker, or friend – and see what a difference that inch makes. Remember, the difference between the person who wins the race and the person who comes in second may be only an inch. When you go the extra inch in your family and work life, you end up with smooth relationships and happy people around you. This leads to balance in your life.
All of us can achieve balance and excellence provided we want to improve and are willing to make the right choices and put in the effort. An improvement of a half-percent each day will do the job. If you do that consistently for most of the week, you’ll find that your small successes will compound each other and in one year you’ll have improved remarkably.
You can apply this approach not only to the career work you do, but also to your relationships, special interests, and domestic chores. If you plan to make positive changes, and if you motivate yourself to perform each task a little better each time, you will have continual success.
This involves the concept that if you do something positive in small chunks of time (a few minutes a day), and you do it consistently – say, five days a week – you’ll see improvement. If you want to learn a new language, or improve your relationships, or do better in your job, all it takes is a few minutes at regular intervals. You’re doing something special for a few minutes, but you’re doing it consistently. And that can do great things for you.
Going the extra mile creates excellence in addition to inviting balance. It may appear that going the extra mile means more effort, and therefore less time for Life Balance. But this is not the case. When you go the extra mile, your work is better and more fulfilling. There is less chance for error and duplication, thus saving time and energy. Imagine going the extra mile with your spouse or child, or with your exercises and spiritual quest. This is bound to help you achieve balance and excellence.
Many people settle for expediency, doing just enough to get by. They don’t realize that they are taking a shortcut to failure. Going the extra mile is a long-term approach. It takes effort and often requires that you sacrifice short-term pleasure. But once you go the extra mile, you’ll find that the competition is less, and the road becomes clearer. Going the extra mile means giving more than is required. It also means not only being what you are, but also being all that you can be – in your work and in your relationships with self, family, and community.
To conclude, I would like to say, people who take the initiative and go the extra mile are still rarities. Emulate them and you will stand apart.
Condensed message from “Life Balance the Sufi Way” by Azim Jamal and Dr. Nido Qubein. For feedback email firstname.lastname@example.org