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I realized something while working out recently – something important to understand. There’s one thing that keeps many of us from achieving extraordinary things in life.
It’s the difference between average and exceptional – just two simple words…
Imagine lifting a set of dumbbells and you plan to do 12 in your set. When you get to 12, what’s stopping you from doing one more?
It might not sound like much, but if you consistently raise the reps you’re doing to account for that “one more” and continue to do one more regularly, you’re going to notice a huge difference. You’re going to become a lot stronger.
Then I started thinking that this doesn’t just apply to working out… this applies to almost everything in life.
By just pushing the things we need to be doing in life just a little more, we can take our lives to another level. We can move from being ok at something to being so much more.
Advance Your Career With Just One More
Let’s face it – most employees are average. They just want to do “just enough” in their jobs to get through the day and avoid getting fired.
I get it. It’s not your company so what do you care?
Here’s the thing – because most employees are average, it doesn’t take much to become a solid worker who’s looked upon highly by management. That can mean better pay raises, promotions, or other opportunities you might not see otherwise.
I look at things a little differently than most. When I’m working for someone, I try to put my all into that time. I’m getting paid to do a job, so I’m going to do my best at it.
That little bit of effort has helped me to be promoted multiple times over the years. I seemed to find my way into middle management wherever I went. Is it because I’m smarter or better than other employees there? Hell no (well, in most cases no)!
A big reason is that I put forth what I could to go above and beyond. Is more training available? Sure, I’ll take it – give me as much as you can. Someone’s needed to do a job nobody’s volunteering for? I’ll do it… why not?
You’d be surprised that it doesn’t take that much to get ahead in a company. If you’re someone trying to do “just enough” to get through the day, ramp it up a notch for a year and see what happens. You could be pretty surprised. The worst case is that you might have some additional wording for your resume.
And yes, I understand that not all companies and bosses are the same and this might not work for you. But if that’s the case, maybe the “one more” in life might be to stop being complacent and start putting out one more resume. Find a job where you can excel and shine. You’ll probably be much happier as well.
A Little More Effort to Further Your Education
Whether we’re talking about college, post-graduate education, or even training with a specific employer, we gravitate to thinking of it as a chore and a hassle…
I just need to get through this and be done with it so I can move on to better things.
But what if you changed your mindset to be a little different…
I have the opportunity to become smarter at something – the chance to learn something I don’t already know. Knowledge is power so I’m going to focus on mastering everything in this class/training.
Maybe that means putting in one more hour for a day or two in your studying for an exam. Perhaps it could be taking an additional class to help you build on those skills even more.
What’s important to understand though is that knowledge really is power. The more you know, the more educated and smarter your decisions can be at both your job and in life. And those better decisions you’re now making can yield a better life overall because you now understand more of what the ramifications are of going down a less ideal path.
One More Percent To Secure Your Financial Future
Many of you read this blog for the personal finance side of things. That said, you obviously know that the more you save, the more prepared you’re going to be financially in the future.
I think we all know that most folks are not saving enough…
The personal saving rate (that is, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income) was 5.1 percent in June, compared with 5.5 percent in May.— U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis – Personal Savings Rate (2022)
What?! Where’s our money going that we can’t afford to push that up to a decent level? That was higher during the pandemic when no one was out doing anything, but it’s been mostly trending downward since last year.
Whether it’s due to keeping up with the Joneses, not understanding that you need to save more money for retirement, or just being unable to save more due to an extremely low income, something needs to change.
If you legitimately don’t have enough money to save, this is a real roadblock. But if possible, are there other options to further your education, find a better-paying job, or look for a job in a completely different field? Unfortunately, I don’t know the best answer since every scenario is different.
However, if you’re in a position otherwise, those excuses on why you’re not saving more need to be eliminated. If you’re spending too much, it’s time to grab the reins and take control of it. If the damage is already done and you’re in debt big time, sorry, Charlie, but it’s time to buckle down, stop needless spending completely, and work your way out. I dug myself out years ago and I’m far from an anomaly in doing so.
In most cases, folks should be pushing up their savings rate incrementally and continuously. Let’s say that you’re saving 5% in an employer-offered 401(k). It’s time to apply the idea of “one more” and kick it up one percent to 6%. Don’t waste time – do that ASAP. I bet you won’t even notice that the money isn’t there with your next paycheck… but your retirement will!
Do this periodically – every year, every 6 months, whatever. Keep kicking up the number until it really pinches or you hit the federal max you can contribute (congrats on that if you do!).
If you’re still good with what you have leftover, keep going. If you have an HSA plan, up your contributions to that, open a Roth IRA and move a small amount to it each month, automate money to online savings accounts, etc.
Learn the difference between the accounts, the benefits of each account (and others), and just keep building your way to a secure financial future by pushing it up one more percent routinely.
I did that relentlessly and before we knew it, we had an astounding 60% personal savings rate going! And that was just on my income since Lisa had already left her job. Where the heck was all our money going before then?!!
That’s what enabled us to reach financial independence with a healthy net worth that’s currently at over $1.5 million, according to Empower (formerly Personal Capital), which is the free software we use to aggregate and manage all our finances). And when Empower’s Retirement Planner told us we didn’t have to work any longer if we didn’t want to, I was blown away.
It’s not a matter of needing to quit your job, but securing your financial future gives you the ability and freedom to choose to leave when you want or if you’re forced to for reasons out of your control.
One percent increase consistently… do it.
One More Step or Rep To Improve Your Health
Because I know it’s healthy for me to do and I no longer have a full-time career as an excuse as to why I “couldn’t” do it.
I’ve also talked about how much I love the Fitbod app since it takes a lot of thinking out of the picture for me. I just click on the “Workout” tab and it tells me what exercises I’m doing, how many sets/reps, the weight to use, etc. It all builds on my previous workouts so it’s custom to me.
I love this app and probably wouldn’t be working out as religiously as I do (usually 5 days a week) if it wasn’t for Fitbod. It’s helped me grow from a novice to an intermediate and to be more confident in what I’m doing… I love it.
If you want to try it out, you can check out Fitbod here… and you should!
But here’s what’s interesting… for a while, I would just do what the app said. If it told me to do dumbbell curls of 3 sets of 12 with 30-pound weights, I did it and would check it off as done. And, of course, it would slowly increase the weights over time.
Over the past year though, I had the thought of “why not one more?” during my workouts.
So now that’s what I do many times. Even if my arms or legs are tired and I’m wrapping up a set, I try to do one more… or sometimes two or three more of whatever exercise I’m doing.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? In this case, hell yes!
So not only am I doing a little more during that day, but then Fitbod considers that as it sets a new baseline. That means I’ll continue to ramp things up consistently.
Whether or not your using Fitbod to help guide your workouts, the idea of “one more” still applies.
In my head, I tend to think of a down-and-out Rocky, and then it’s all about the Eye of the Tiger! Picks me up and pushes me to do more. Whatever – don’t judge me, judgy judgerson! I’m sure you’ve got your own weird nuances! 😉
The point is, if you’re working out, it can be good to push yourself to do one more. If you’re walking, running, or biking, consider doing another lap or another mile. It might beat you up for a brief amount of time, but you’ll be stronger in the long run.
Becoming Better at Anything Can Take Just One More
These are just some examples of what putting in that extra “one more” in your life can help you with.
It doesn’t just have to be these few things I mentioned though. If you want to become good at something, you already know that practice is the key.
When you find a new hobby, sport, or anything new in life you want to try, you know you need to practice to become better at it. But if you don’t go in wholeheartedly, it’s hard to become more than average at it. So why not step it up a notch to put in a little more effort than you might have been?
Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.— Unknown
One more practice, one more hour of learning, one more time working on getting it right. Investing more time and effort into something can make all the difference in the world and take you from average to extraordinary.
This shouldn’t need to be said, but the “one more” rule shouldn’t be applied to bad habits. One more beer, one more cigarette, one more day of being lazy… those sorts of things aren’t what you need in life (though a periodic lazy day could be good for you!).
Where else could the “one more” strategy work to help transform your life and push you into becoming so much better?
Plan well, take action, and live your best life!
Thanks for reading!!