How to Go Above and Beyond in a "Do Less" World

Let’s face it. No one has ever achieved their dreams by doing the bare minimum. Our parents, mentors and teachers have always shared inspirations like, “No one starts out with their dream job,” “You have to work hard to make your way to the top,” and my personal favorite, “You get out of life what you put in.” This last phrase especially resonates with me, and I’ve learned that taking the time to go the extra mile is always more fulfilling than performing the bare minimum. 


The “do less” phenomenon

According to the Urban Dictionary, do less is a phrase someone uses when a person is “doing too much, trying too hard, being a little over sincere or enthusiastic. Something you would say to a person who is normally cool, but for whatever reason acting too much like a try-hard.”

When did this phrase become a glorified popular term? In recent years, I’ve noticed when someone posted a personal achievement on social media, friends will utter the words do less as they roll their eyes at their “gunner” drive.

When did our own jealousy of others’ achievements become a hindrance for how high anyone should perform when it comes to our health, work and personal lives? When did we start to settle for less than exceptional?


How to “do more”

We all have accomplishments we strive to achieve, so let’s build one another up with positive affirmations instead of shaming motivated people to do less.

I’ll avoid outlining a cheesy “how to” guide for your professional journey, and instead share some of my favorite quotes that inspire me to look beyond the “do less” phenomenon, and hopefully offer positive inspiration in your future goal setting.

“What you put into life is what you get out of it.” – Clint Eastwood

The more work you put into a project, the better the outcome will be – always. Even if you make a lot of mistakes along the way, you will learn problem solving solutions and come out stronger. 

“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.” – Babe Ruth and “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

These are both self-explanatory, but inspirational nonetheless. Have you ever experienced a moment of envy of a friend or coworker’s success because you knew you were capable of accomplishing something similar, but then realized you never asked for the opportunity to pursue that passion? Start taking more chances on projects you want to be a part of. If you let fear get in the way, you will never achieve your goals and grow through your vulnerabilities.

“The most dangerous phrase in the English language is ‘We’ve always done it this way before.’” – Grace Hopper

Sometimes it’s easier to maintain a longstanding protocol and not reinvent the wheel. However, looking at things from a fresh perspective can lead to growth and positive change in your company or career. Always think of ways you can improve, and speak up when you have a great idea.

“The more you do stuff, the better you get at dealing with how you still fail at it a lot of the time.” – John Mulaney

I’m a cheerleader for experience. Trying new things teaches us more about ourselves as we step outside of our comfort zone. Even if you fail – and you will – use it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Learning how to fail and what didn’t work is a step closer to success.

My PUBLISHED by Peritus takeaway is this:

Hard work ALWAYS pays off in the end. Going above and beyond > doing less.

, IndustrySally Immel