Are you going above and beyond? Or are you doing the minimum?

Drawbacks of doing the bare minimum

                In the Marine Corps we had a saying “That 10%”, what we were referencing was the fact that seemingly no matter where you go in our society (including the Marine Corps sadly) there are 10% of people that seem to always do the bare minimum, and will allow others to pick up the slack for them. To those that go above and beyond this can be a taxing endeavor. Sometimes it feels like you try so hard to get others to see the value in doing more than your share.

                At Northwoods Ranch and Retreat, we try to instill the concept of going above and beyond, doing more than your fair share, thinking of others when you do something and the consequences or benefits it brings to them, and taking the initiative instead of waiting to be told to do something you know you should be doing anyway.

                There are inherent drawbacks to doing the bare minimum, experiential learning for young men in a life skills program such as ours provides a platform for them to better understand this. Take for example a student that repeatedly needs to be micromanaged (often by a senior student peer) due to laziness, lack of motivation, or general inability to complete a task appropriately. They often become upset by having aspects of their day or lives micromanaged because, like most young men, they want “Freedom” (Sound familiar parents?) When led in the process of discussing their displeasure with this micromanagement they often say things such as “I’m an adult, I don’t want to be treated like a child and have someone hold my hand doing things” but when asked why they feel that others impose this micromanagement on them they are often at a loss of ideas as to why this might be. They eventually see through example that those who take initiative, do the right thing when no one is looking, and complete a task in a way that shows others they take pride in the things they do, they get more freedom and less restriction. Isn’t this the way things are in life? I can’t remember ever getting ahead in school, work, or career by doing the bare minimum, can you? Our students, like most everyone, need to learn this by experience. An experience we are happy to provide every day of our lives at the Ranch. Here we lead by example. I pride myself by vowing to never have a day where I do not choose to go above and beyond. Once you accept that the bare minimum is not good enough for you, you begin to get ahead in life because of your own hard work and dedication to working harder than others. I firmly believe this.

Rory McLaughlin, MSW

Success comes from taking the initiative and following up… Persisting… What simple action could you take today to produce a new momentum toward success in your life? – Tony Robbins