Precision, inches & seconds count
Today I want to talk about a very important topic and that is precision. inches and seconds may make the difference. Now, what do I mean by that? Yesterday, I was volunteering as a timer at the UT Longhorn swim competition, where my daughter regularly swims. I did that, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, during which we completed over 200 races across all four swim strokes.
It dawned on me that the difference between winning and losing is a matter of microseconds, milliseconds, and seconds. That is the difference between somebody that comes first, in 100 meters freestyle and somebody that comes second. If you extrapolate that in life, the same principle applies. It’s not the huge things that make the difference. It’s the small things that you do very well, that make the difference.
Give the extra push
In football, it’s a matter of inches. You throw the pass a few inches too long or a few inches too short, it doesn’t work out. It’s a question of doing a few things better than others. And it’s just a few improvements that make the big difference. This is equally important in your personal life, as in your work life. Being good, is now table stakes. That’s the cost of entry. The key question is how can you differentiate yourself from the good and be outstanding?
In certain cases, it pays to do that-it pays to give that extra push, it pays to give that extra effort, it pays to go above and beyond. And the sizzle sells the steak. In other cases, it doesn’t pay to put in that extra effort, because it’s small stuff and you don’t want to sweat the small stuff. So I’m talking of the situations where it behooves you to put in that extra push and those extra inches.
If you can start the race by making sure that you get a good dive in, that helps you generate those extra seconds in the race. If you can do the turn at the end of the 25 meters and push off the wall strong, it will save you time and shave off a couple of seconds. As you near the end of the race, if you plunge and you reach out and you touch the wall quicker with the palms of both your hands, it will shave off another few seconds. When you add up all those few seconds that you shaved off, you end up ahead.
Impact of going the extra mile
As a result of all these different things that you did better than the others, you come first, instead of second, third, or fourth. This is so critical, folks. And when you’re a timer and you’re seeing all these young, dedicated, focused, persevering, passionate swimmers, it makes you realize and recognize that it’s a question of a few inches. It’s a question of a few microseconds, not minutes, not hours, not feet or yards, but a few inches. And that is so important for us to recognize in life and at work, and in our relationships and our personal life.
We each have the opportunity to be outstanding. It takes effort, it takes ability, and it takes execution. It takes motivation, and it takes desire and it takes passion. So my question to you is, what are you doing, to save those extra few microseconds, or to get ahead by those extra inches? Or to put a bow on the present? Or to create a memorable experience for your customer? What are some of those things that you are doing that go above and beyond the average and the good and make you great and outstanding?
Execute the opportunity
You have the opportunity to do that. We all do. The question is, are you going to take the opportunity and are you going to seize it? And then are you going to follow through and execute? Nothing happens till you execute. You may have the desire, you may have the passion, you may have the determination, you may have the aspiration. But if you don’t execute and take action, guess what-nothing happens. Nothing changes, if nothing changes. We all have the opportunity. It presents us every single day, multiple times a day. Are you going to do that extra bit that separates you from the winners and elevates you to the top? Be mindful of that. And remember, it’s the inches and the microseconds and the milliseconds that make the difference. Thanks. To develop the right mindset and perspective of being exceptional and going above and beyond, check out our course here.