SOURCE: Shawn Anderson

Shawn Anderson

October 29, 2014 12:11 ET

Motivational Guru Shawn Anderson Shares Vision Behind Extra Mile Day

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2014) - On November 1st, over 520 cities across America will proclaim Extra Mile Day... a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change in ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile. Starting with 23 cities in 2009, this passionate movement acknowledges local volunteer heroes and organizations who are "going the extra mile" for their community and others.

"In 2009, bad news dominated our attention," recalls Extra Mile Day Founder Shawn Anderson. "People were losing their jobs and homes... it was a tough time. Because of this, I felt a 'what are you doing to help me?' dependency was developing. So I decided to use my voice and remind others that the power to create positive change in life does not rest with a government program, boss or spouse, but rather with the person standing in front of the mirror."

Acting on his passion, Anderson created the Extra Mile America Tour and pedaled a bike solo 4,000 miles, ocean-to-ocean, and held motivational events in 21 cities over 90 days. At the events, he interviewed over 200 people who had been pre-identified as having gone the extra mile in either overcoming tragedy or in accomplishing something inspirational. Extra Mile Day emerged as a part of that cross-country tour.

"The idea for Extra Mile Day was evolving in the back of my mind before the tour began," remembers Anderson, a 47-year-old non-bicyclist at the time. "But while pedaling east on Highway 80 across Nevada on a long stretch of miles without a rest-stop, I knew I needed to go for the idea big time. No shade and 110 degree heat set fire to the vision," chuckles Anderson. "Grinding it out on that stretch of highway reminded me that if you're going to commit to an idea, go big or go home."

This year, over 520 mayors and city leaders from Anchorage to Boston will join Anderson to declare Extra Mile Day and recognize those "going the extra mile" in volunteerism and service in their communities.

"We complain about all the things we don't like in our lives, but all the complaining and wishing in the world won't change things. When we wait for change to happen, we're wasting our breath and time," Anderson shares. "But when we get away from the status quo and commit to doing more and giving more, our whole life can change into becoming the sort of life we really want to live."

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