At 211 degrees fahrenheit water is hot, but it does remarkably little by way of achieving anything for the world in this state.
However, if you turn the heat up by just one degree until it hits 212 degrees, then it hits boiling point.
Boiling water creates steam. And steam can drive a train across a continent or light up a city.
One degree is the small difference that makes all the difference. Small things make a big difference. It just depends on how you harness them.
That one degree extra effort is what separates champions from also-rans and leaders from losers.
So 2017 could see marvellous change in you if you find that one degree extra of effort in your pursuit of your goals.
The Olympic margin of victory in the 2004 men’s 800 metres was 0.71 seconds. Often fractions separate a gold medal from a ‘no medal.’
That extra degree of effort is so often what achieves victory and separates the good from the great.
Al Pacino in his role as Coach Tony D’Amato understood the power of those small steps in the film ‘Any Given Sunday.’
“Inch by inch, play by play, till we’re finished … you find out that life is just a game of inches … the inches we need are everywhere around us.”
It’s the same for your mental state. You can stay the way you are or you can decide to improve yourself in a small way and see huge results. Just look at what happens at boiling point, that one degree extra, your tipping point. You’ll take off.
Triumph is always nearest when defeat seems inescapable. It’s all down to that extra degree of vigorous effort at the last moment. You dig deep. You think there’s nothing left until you just dig deeper. You empty the tank.
Imagine if you spent all your life just that little degree or two below your best. Imagine you were a rose that forgot to bloom.
That could be any of us right now. So use today to consider the choice you have to tap into the magnificent doctor that you were born to be.
There is an old Chinese proverb that says: “It is better to make many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only then to stumble backwards.”
So take those small steps today because pretty soon they will add up to something substantially new for you.
Many small, private victories precede the large public victories. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” If you want different results in your life, you need to start doing different things than you normally do.
If that’s not working, then don’t be afraid to change that as well. And if you find the newer approach still not working, be brave enough to change again. But don’t work harder at what’s not working.
To get what you’ve never had, you must do something that you’ve never done before. To succeed at a new level you must start with ‘one degree extra’ of effort.
A slight change in a golfer’s grip can make a huge difference in a shot, never mind in 18 holes.
Take small steps in the direction of your dream, but don’t get caught up in destination addiction. Have a dream, a goal or an outcome. Then detach from it, and enjoy every single step of the journey, no matter how small. The joy is in the journey.
Those inches are all around you. As Andy said to Red in the film The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
It just takes a slight change in your own determination to bring you to the next level as a sports achiever, a family person or as an employer or employee.
If you cross that one degree threshold to creating ‘steam’ in your life, just watch how that vortex of energy that will be at your disposal to propel you forward on a joyous and rewarding journey.
Red Platform: Small improvements make no difference. Forget the inches. What’s the point? Stop at 211 degrees.
Green Platform: One degree extra makes all the difference. Create the ‘steam’ breakthrough. Find the inches everywhere. By the yard it’s hard, by the inch it’s a cinch.
Declan Coyle is an international motivational speaker and author of two best-selling self-help books, Then Green Platform and Living The Green Platform