col There's no traffic jam in going the extra mile

I've always believed that our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything. Life will give you back everything you've given it. Your life is not a coincidence; it's a reflection of you.

Take, for instance, the story about the mother and daughter who are hiking up a mountain.

Suddenly, the daughter falls, hurts herself and screams, "AAAhhhhhh!" To her surprise, she hears a voice repeating from somewhere in the mountain, "AAAhhhhhh!"

Curious, she yells, "Who are you?" She receives the answer, "Who are you?" Angered at the response, she screams, "Coward!" She receives the answer, "Coward!"


She looks at her mother and asks, "What's going on?" The mother smiles and says, "My daughter, pay attention." Then the mother yells, "You are a champion!" And the voice answers, "You are a champion!"

The girl is surprised, but does not understand. Then the mother explains, "People call this 'echo,' but really this is 'life.' It gives you back everything you say or do."

Michael Jordan, retired basketball great, once said: "I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."

Have you ever seen a team run on the field yelling, "We want to be No. 2"? A salesman friend of mine summed up his success in three simple words: ".. and then some."

He discovered at an early age that most of the difference between average people and top people could be explained in these three simple words. The top people did what was expected of them -- "and then some." They were thoughtful of others; they were considerate and kind -- "and then some." They met their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely -- "and then some." They were good friends to their friends -- "and then some." They could be counted on in an emergency -- "and then some."

Three little words -- "... and then some." They could transform our society as well as your academic and personal life. These three words could become a philosophy of life, a way of living.

Another good story is the one about the old farmer who had three sons and a farm that was rich with crops. There was only one problem -- all three boys were bone-lazy and outdid each other in shirking their duties.

Because of this, and despite their father's hard work from sunup to sundown, the farm went downhill year after year. Tired and discouraged after years of overwork, the farmer finally became seriously ill.


From his deathbed, the farmer sent for his sons, telling them that he had an important secret to tell them.

"My sons," said the old man, "I have never told you before but a great treasure lies hidden on this farm which I am about to leave you in my will. If you can find it you will all be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams."

"Where is it hidden?" asked the three sons, greed shining in their eyes.

"I am about to tell you," wheezed the old man. "You will have to dig for it ...." And with a sudden gasp, he died before he could tell them.

Immediately, the sons went to work with spades and plows, up and down the long-neglected fields. Every piece of earth on the estate was turned over, not once but several times.

The three boys were angry at first when no treasure was found. But after a while, they discovered they enjoyed working the rich, fertile soil. And when seeds were scattered over the fields, a bumper crop sprung up and was sold in the market for top prices.

The yield was especially great because the soil had been cultivated so thoroughly.

Thus the three lazy sons discovered the treasure that was buried on the farm all along. Finding it had only required some diligent effort.


Mackay's Moral: Effort is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely, and the likely definite.

Harvey Mackay is author of the New York Times best seller "Pushing the Envelope" (Ballantine Books). He can be reached through his Web site:; or Mackay Envelope Corp., 2100 Elm St., Minneapolis, MN 55414.

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