Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Go Above the Call of Duty

Mission Critical

Teammates, what’s the difference between success and failure? How about between winning and losing or the haves and the haves not?

Think about it – think hard … because success isn’t inherited or handed out in class or gifted during the holidays. NOTE – there one way and one way only to earn success: you work for it. But it’s not just work or even hard work, it’s more than that – it’s extra effort, what we call “above the call of duty”. This is what separates the men from the boys – the true winners from everyone else.

When I was in ninth grade, I had the privilege of learning from William H. Armstrong – author of more than 20 books, including “Sounder” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. At the time, he was “easily” in his late seventies – definitely eccentric but probably the most memorable man I’ve ever met. He had two quotations hung behind his desk. On the first day he read them aloud to us and told us to remember them. On the second day, he handed out a blank sheet of paper and told us we were having our first test – not a quiz – a test – if we aced it, we would receive an A for the semester. We were psyched.

He pointed to the quotations behind him – now turned around so all we could see was the cardboard backing … and he said: “Your test is to write down verbatim the two quotations I read to you yesterday.”

Needless to say, none of us received an A, but this point was indelibly made on me … and hopefully you’ll take them to heart, for whether your mission is to transform your body or your life, you’re gonna need to keep those close to you, especially when the going gets tough, as it always does.

They are:

“Before the gates of excellence, the High Gods have placed sweat.”

“If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave, the moment he does more, he is a free man."

Go above the “call of duty” – put the extra effort in, and you’ll never be disappointed.


P.S. The stronger your body (fitness level), the better suited/equipped you are to go above the call of duty.

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