Napoleon Hill

The Master Key to Success


Principle 3:  The Habit of Going the Extra Mile



This our third visit brings us to the success principle, which has marked the turning point of every person who has promoted himself or herself from the lower brackets of success to the higher plains of achievement, where one acquires everything he desires.

This principle is called, “The habit of going the extra mile”.


Which means the habit of rendering more service and better service than one is expected to render and doing it in a positive mental attitude


I'm going to tell you all I know about this magic principle of self-advancement, because it is the one rule you must follow, if you expect to write your own price tag and be sure of getting it.


Let me describe this success principle for you in a brief formula, which you can easily remember.


I call it the QQMA formula.


Which means, the quality of service you render plus the quantity of service you render plus the mental attitude in which you render service, determines the space you occupy in your chosen calling and the compensation you get from your services.


If you will examine carefully the people whom you know to be unusually successful you will discover that they follow the QQMA formula, although they may do so unconsciously.


Now I wish to give you a big advantage over those who follow this formula unconsciously.


I wish to show you, how to make use of it deliberately with purpose of forethought, so you may make the principle pay off in a big way and do it quickly.


And now, I shall tell you some of the benefits you will enjoy by following the habit of going the extra mile:



This habit will bring you to the favourable attention of those who can and will provide you with opportunities to promote yourself into a better circumstance


2. It will place back of you that great natural law of increasing returns, through which the service you render will bring back greater than average compensations.



Following this habit will make you indispensable in your chosen occupation or calling. Therefore it will place you in a position to write your own ticket.



This habit will help you to excel in your line of work, because each time you render service you endeavour to do a better job than you did previously.



If you work for a salary or wages, this habit will give you preference when work is slack and others are laid off.



It will help you to benefit by the law of contrast, because the others around you will not be going the first mile let alone the second mile



Following this habit of doing your very best in all of your efforts and doing it in a pleasing mental attitude will improve your personality and make you liked by others



It will also help you to develop a keen alert imagination, because you will be continuously seeking new and better ways of rendering useful service



It will inspire you to move on your own personal initiative instead of waiting to be told what to do. A habit, which is the first step in leadership in all callings.



The habit of going the extra mile definitely develops greater self-reliance and gives one more courage to move ahead without the fear of criticism from others



It helps you to master the destructive habit of procrastination. The one habit, which heads the list of causes of failure.



Going the extra mile influences other people to respect your integrity and inspires them to go out of their way to cooperate with you in a friendly spirit.



The habit helps you to develop definiteness of purpose, which is the starting point of all personal success, and it stops you from drifting through life without knowing what you want or where you are going.



And here is the grand payoff which this habit gives you It provides you with the one and only excuse for asking for a promotion to a better station in life or a higher pay.


Obviously if you are doing no more than you are being paid for, then you are receiving pay for all to which you are entitled. And you have not a single excuse for asking for more pay or a better position. You understand this point and appreciate it´s significance, do you not?



Last but not least. The habit of going the extra mile conditions your mind to maintain a mastermind alliance with others.


Ever so often I hear people complain about their not receiving favourable breaks in their relations with others. I never hear this sort of complaint from one of my students of the science of success, nor from anyone who has ever read any book that i have written.


Because all of my students have learned the secret of how to create their own favourable breaks. They do it by following the habit of going the extra mile.


I can tell you frankly, I have never received a major favorable break during my entire life, that did not come from having applied the principle of going the extra mile.


Sometimes i hear people complain also, that their positions are such, that they are not permitted to go the extra mile And my counsel to these people is always the same: change positions and market your services where it pays to go the extra



I am sincere in giving this advice, because i know that no one can do better than earn a mere living unless and until he begins going the extra mile.


During my business career I have employed at one time or another at least a score of private secretaries, all of whom followed the habit of going the extra mile. But I have never been able to keep but one of those secretaries for more than a year, because invariably they promoted themselves into better paying jobs elsewhere. And they did so with my full blessings.


The one exception is my present chief secretary, who has been with me for over ten years. I married her to make sure I wouldn't lose her.


The reason I know definitely that the habit of going the extra mile is a sound procedure is the fact, that i have checked this principle as i did all of the other 16 success principles to make sure they were in harmony with natural laws.


I can give you a fine example of how nature forces man to go the extra mile in order that he may produce the food with which to exist.


The farmer for example must follow the habit of clearing the ground, fencing it, plowing it and planting the seed at the right season of the year, all of which he must do in advance without compensation of any kind.


If he does his part of the work properly he then hands the job over to nature, sits down and waits for her to do her part. And within a brief period nature germinates the seed the farmer plants, matures it and yields back to him the seed he planted plus perhaps an increase of a hundred times that amount to compensate him for having gone the extra mile.


Thus we see that the law of increasing returns comes to the aid of the man who goes the extra mile.


And this principle applies the same in rendering service in a job as it does in the fields of a farmer.


If the farmer did not follow the habit of going the extra mile, the human race would starve to death in one season.


And I am sure you will agree, that anytime we can copy mother nature's habits, we will not go wrong in doing so.


You now have an understanding of the third principle of personal achievement, which brings you three steps nearer the secret, by which you may take possession of the

Master key to success.


In order that you may test the magic power of this third principle, I am going to offer you a suggestion, which may bring you such overwhelming success, that you will not need to attend further visits with me.


My suggestion is this:



Start tomorrow, in whatever occupation you are engaged, to render some form of useful service to someone near you, which you are not expected to render and for which you neither expect nor ask for compensation.



Render this service in a pleasing mental attitude, which will show clearly that you enjoy doing it


And Three:

Follow this practice seven days in succession and then notice what a changed atmosphere you will enjoy in your association with those nearest you.


In carrying out these instructions, do not make known your plan to anyone, but

go ahead and do it in the most natural way possible.


By the end of the seventh day you will find yourself so much happier and so much better liked by those around you, that you will never desire to give up the habit.


Then you will be within the easy reach of the supreme secret of success which comes to the master key to success.


In my fourth visit with you, I will give you a very definite clue as to the means by which you may appropriate and use the great master key.


And in this same clue, I will introduce you to the source of a form of power which does not recognize the word impossible and helps you to transmute all failures and defeats and all adversities into assets of great benefit to you.


And now until our next visit, may I remind you that, if you believe it you can do it!

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