Did you ever make a compliment to someone and they gave you that strange look? You ask yourself why, and then find out later that they were offended. How were you supposed to know? Over the past 10 years I have noticed more and more that people get offended at the smallest things. In our world where we have more people, with so many living close to each other, we are going to push buttons of those that we get close to.
A few years ago I was living alone and was not able to travel each year at the holidays. I would take the Christmas day shifts at Starbucks since I didn’t have much else to do. After finishing my shift I spent the afternoon with an older Jewish woman who did not celebrate Christmas. She gave me a great idea of how she handled it when people said “Merry Christmas” to her. She would kindly say, “Thank you, and Happy Hanukkah to you.” She wasn’t trying to be smart about it; she was trying to politely tell others that their greeting was offensive, but she understood they didn’t know. A way to go the extra mile in life is in trying not to offend others but also in trying to politely say “I was offended” if something happens.
I have gotten to the place that I try to let nothing offend me. This is a tough way to go the extra mile, but like my friend above I have learned that many people are not going to fit into my world and I’ll not fit in theirs either. This is a tough place to get at; not everyone can get this way as easily as I did. Going the extra mile means not letting the small things get to you, and then remembering that it’s all small stuff.
Did you ever notice that when you meet someone who has a past addiction problem with alcohol or drugs, we put a mental flag up in our mind to refrain from talking about that part of our lives in front of them. For example, I make a point of not talking about going out to have drinks with friends I know do not drink. This is a form of going the extra mile to help them not fall back into something that has done harm in their lives. We go out of our way to help, making different choices in front of them.
In life we have many personal choices we have to make. Going out of your way to make these small choices is a form of going the extra mile in life to make another’s life better. So if you don’t want to be offended in life, you can try to get to the point that nothing offends you like I have; or you could go the extra mile to not offend other people. Remember the karma of life: you get what you give. Be a giving person and go the extra miles trying not to offend.
This is one area in life most would never think of as going the extra mile. But it’s the one area that most of us actually can immediately put to practice the idea of going the extra mile. So where in your life have you made changes going the extra mile to make someone else’s life better?
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Go the extra mile and you will become the RockStar in your world.