How wonderful it would be if there were a simple formula for success. “Follow these steps and you will be successful in business, as a parent, as a student, in your vocation or in any endeavor you attempt.” Only if it were that easy.
I think of the man who was honored as “Businessperson of the Year.” At the presentation dinner, a newspaper reporter asked him, “To what do you owe your great success and prosperity?”
“Five things contributed to my success,” said the man. “First, I always treated people fairly. Second, I always offered a fair price. Third, I was always honest. Fourth, I was always generous to my employees. And fifth, my Aunt Edna died a few years back and left me two and a half million dollars.”
Certainly, the top four items on his list are well worth following - fairness, sound business principles, honesty and generosity. Each contributes toward success. And Aunt Edna’s infusion of money certainly helped.
But there is one behavior that will almost always guarantee that we will succeed at most everything we do. And it is especially important if we want to build whole and happy lives.
Professor Richard Weaver, who taught at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, points us to that behavior. He sums it up in three simple words: “and then some.”
Most people do what is expected of them. But some do what is expected – and then some. They meet their obligations and responsibilities fairly – and then some. They are good friends to their friends – and then some. They build bridges; they mend fences - and then some. They can be counted on in an emergency – and then some. They are considerate and kind – and then some. They donate money, expertise and time - and then some.
There are many paths to getting what you want out of life and becoming the kind of person you want to be in life. But the surest way of succeeding is to remember those three words: and then some.
They are only three simple words, but they change everything.