In one of my favorite comedies, Office Space, the protagonist Peter Gibbons laments to a pair of consultants that the only real motivation at his job is to “work just hard enough not to get fired.” He walks them through a typical workday, which includes coming in late, staring at his desk for a few hours, and generally doing very little actual work. This rare bit of honesty impresses the consultants, and instead of firing Peter, they send him on the fast track to upper management.
One day, Peter was an anonymous office drone. The next day, he got promoted. Why? Because he was one of the few people at his company who stood out. All it took was a little honesty.
Most people are content to do the bare minimum at their jobs. Most people want to make just enough money to get by. And most people will never achieve much of anything, because they simply don’t care to.
In a world where the majority are OK with being anonymous, sitting still, and never growing, it’s actually very easy to stand out.
So why be like most people, when doing just a little bit extra makes you stand out so much?