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Most of the time in our lives, we try to meet the standard that is expected of us. At our jobs, for example, there are usually specific criteria for performance we have to meet in order to be in good standing. For example, in my job as a professor, they expect me to publish a certain number of articles per year, teach classes, serve on various committees, etc.

This happens in our personal lives as well. If we’re married, for example, there might be expectations that are put on us because of our role as a husband or wife. We might be expected to act kindly, remember our spouse’s birthday, etc.

Meeting the Standard (And Stopping There)

Often in our lives, we meet the basic standard expected of us and we stop there. We’re all busy, so we don’t feel a need to put in extra effort to go beyond what is expected of us.

Lost in the Shuffle

The problem with this way of doing life is we can get lost in the shuffle. Because most people are more or less meeting the basic standard that is expected of them, it’s hard to stand out if you do life this way. You will never be extraordinary.

Fixer Upper

I was watching “Fixer Upper” the other day, and I was struck by how Chip and Joanna Gaines constantly go above and beyond when they are renovating a client’s home. For example, they were working on the first home of a young couple, and they found out that the husband’s grandfather was a craftsman and woodworker. So, they drove all the way from Waco, Texas to St. Louis, Missouri to purchase two end tables his grandfather had made. They put the end tables in the house as a family heirloom for the young couple as they started their new home together. As you might expect, the end tables were a big hit.

Go Above and Beyond

In your work and personal life, be on the lookout for ways you can go above and beyond. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Often, it just takes some time and intentionality. How might you do a little bit extra, to help you stand out from the crowd? Try it and see what happens.

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