Stepping on Water

Napoleon Hill is my favorite writer on success. His texts are an invaluable source of inspiration because of their practicality; anyone can start applying the principles immediately if he so chooses. So today, I would like to borrow the title of one of the chapters in his book, The Master-Key to Success (which I highly recommend you read), to illustrate how you can gain practical knowledge and skills by applying to rule of going the extra mile.

Man may disregard the principle [of going the extra mile] if he chooses, but he cannot do so and at the same time enjoy the fruits of the enduring success.” ~ Napoleon Hill

My interpretation of Hill’s principle of going the extra mile is that if you are faced with an unresolved problem, the solution will appear before you when it’s ready to present itself. The only requirement is that you put enduring effort into solving the problem, and eventually, the problem will solve itself.

For example, I am now taking a course on PHP and SQL, and was recently assigned to create a web page for modifying data stored in a MySQL database. For adepts, this task sounds effortless, but quite difficult for a beginner like me. At first, I didn’t know what to do, since I had only been solving easy problems. But now was the time to put my skills out there. I was also well aware of the fact that I had to finish the assignment unless I wanted to give up. The only way was to try different methods and do research related to the problems. In the end, it didn’t take too long to finally take care of the problems within the assignment; the main problem was the demanding start—I had to make a decision to commit myself to completing the assignment.

The decision to tackle the problems without caring how it would turn out helped me continue with the assignment. I didn’t really care how long it would take; I just wanted to find out how to do it, at my own pace.

You might be facing problems of much greater extent, but the same principle applies: if you want a solution to your problem, put time and effort into studying and applying the methods related to solving your problem. Even if you fail to solve the problem itself, you will have accumulated a lot of valuable experience and knowledge that will prove useful in the future.