At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And with steam, you can power a train.
One degree. Applying one extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine – a beautifully uncomplicated metaphor that ideally should feed our every endeavor – consistently pushing us to make the extra effort in every task, action and effort we undertake.
Two-twelve serves as a forceful drill sergeant with its motivating and focused message while adhering to a scientific law – a natural law. It reminds us that seemingly small things can make tremendous differences.
So simple is the analogy, that you can stop reading right now, walk away with the opening thought firmly planted in your mind and benefit from it for the rest of your life. That's the goal of 212 – to help you internally define and take ownership of the most fundamental principle behind achieving life results beyond your expectations – a simple idea with a singular focus – an actionable focus.
You know there are no secrets to success. Success with anything, success in anything has one fundamental aspect – effort. And to achieve exponential results there must be additional effort.
Emerson said... "All great masters are chiefly distinguished by the power of adding a second, a third, and perhaps a fourth step in a continuous line. Many a man had taken the first step. With every additional step you enhance immensely the value of your first."
Vince Lombardi tightened it up with..."Inches make the champion."
212 distills it even further.
Professional golf tournaments are comprised of four rounds (games) of 18 holes played over a four-day period (72 holes total). Combining the results of the four major tournaments over the last 25 years (1982 - 2006: 100 matches), the average margin of victory was less than three strokes – less than a one stroke difference per day. From 2000 through 2006 (7 years), the winner across all tournaments took home an average of 77% more in prize dollars than the second place finisher (before endorsement and other dollars).
At NASCAR's Daytona 500 over the last 10 years (1997 - 2006), the winner took the checkered flag by an average margin of 0.175 seconds and took home $1,354,368. The second place finisher banked $509,000 less. And in those 10 years, half of the races were won "under caution" – meaning they ended early and in a way, by surprise. The winner actually became the winner because he was in the lead before the expected ending... a wonderful illustration of the importance of giving it the extra degree of effort at all moments because sometimes you don't know when it'll count.
Often in life we miss the opportunity to do more and create better results because we're not aware of the possibilities that could occur if we applied a small amount of effort beyond what we normally do. For instance, consider the impact of making an extra contact each day at work... a sales call... a customer follow up... a brief discussion with a colleague... an encouraging talk with a member of your team. With contact comes opportunity. At the end of a year you'll have opened more than 200 additional doors of possibility. On the personal side, imagine the exponentially positive results of investing an additional 15 minutes of quality time each day with your children or spouse – an equivalent of more than two weeks each year at work.
Fortunately, because you're reading this, you're now aware of "212º the extra degree". No longer will you be able to do only what is required of you, only what is expected of you. Because with awareness comes responsibility – to yourself and to others. And, again...