I’ve been researching this so called Above and Beyond trait, if we can call it that, and I’m leaning towards putting it in the same category as other more identifiable traits such as eye-hand coordination and common sense. Let me explain.
For those of us who have been blessed with exceptional eye-hand coordination, hitting a tennis ball, ping pong ball, or simply catching an object thrown at you without fully turning your head or following the object into your hands, it just comes naturally.
I’m one of those that gets shooed away at a carnival’s basketball booth because I’m making too many shots, clearing the shelves of stuffed animals, and handing them to kids as they walk by. True story, by the way. It happened at a jambalaya festival in Gonzales, Louisiana, many moons ago.
And so I think for those who always seem to go above and beyond, whether the task is big or small, it just comes naturally. For many who go above and beyond, it is actually a little awkward that it is pointed out because they didn’t take on a task and say to themselves, “Wow! For this task I’m going to do more than I’ve ever done before!” It just doesn’t happen that way.
Unless it’s an employee who’s trying to save his job, sarcastically speaking…
Anyway, see what I mean? It’s like saying, “Today I’m going to have more common sense than I did yesterday.” I think you either have it in you, or you don’t.
So then, how do you know when someone is one of those “above and beyond” persons?
One way of course is to ask. And it’s okay for a person to list some examples of when he or she went above and beyond, but if the person tries to explain how or why, just stop them. It can’t be explained. It’s just in you.
However, as with other human skills, you can always work on improving yourself, but just the fact that you have to work towards making yourself better in one area means you aren’t quite there. Right? It’s like asking a historically lazy person not to be lazy anymore. Yeah, right…
So like eye-hand coordination and common sense, I think you either have Above and Beyondness, or you don’t.
No? I’d like to hear from other folks about this. And if this is the first time you’ve thought about this subject, let me know. It’ll help my research. Not that I want to go above and beyond…