Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘making a difference’

A Difference of 1 Degree!

Sometimes seemingly small things we do can make all the difference. There was a book published a few years ago entitled, ‘212 the extra degree,’ by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson which emphasized the importance of just going the extra mile to achieve outstanding, life transforming results.

They used the analogy of water. At 211 degrees it is hot. At 212 degrees water will boil and cause steam. The steam, ultimately can power a locomotive or serve as energy for other needs. If that one extra degree can transform an element such as water, what could it do for us? The example they used was simple, the message unbelievably powerful. It’s about adding a bit more commitment to the game, a little more effort to things we do that can change the composition, the product and ultimately, the end result.

In school we are often pushed to do our best. What happens when traditional school is over and the rest of our life begins? Do we remember that what served us well in school will also serve us well in life? Do we do our best and commit that little extra surge of energy, even when tired, to make a difference?

When I used to hear Wednesdays referred to as ‘over the hump days,’ I would question the mindset. I visualized someone with a downtrodden outlook thinking …’just two days left ’till the weekend’ rather than thinking ‘I have so much I want and need to do and ONLY have two days left in which to complete the tasks.’ The amount of work is the same but the path to getting there and the final product can be light years apart. The mindset in the first example robs us of energy and being all we can be while the second actually energizes us to be more …that one degree more that can make all the difference.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, …life is no brief candle to me but a brilliant torch that I’ve got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn brighter…

The choice is ours in life, either we choose to simply show up or bring our A game to be fully PRESENT in what we do. No one can make us happier or more successful in life, only we have the power to do that through the attitude we choose to manifest. If you were giving yourself a letter grade in life what would it be up to this point?

The next time you think about your job or the tasks before you consider adding that one extra degree of effort – you’ll be glad you did.

Have a great few days!

Ordinary or Extraordinary?

Making a living is important. My parents worked hard from the 30’s through the 60’s raising a family, buying a house, cars, furniture and were grateful to be able to afford a one week camping vacation each year at the same Michigan state park the third week of June. Dad would go fishing while Mom would cook and try to dry out the blankets on a makeshift line during the day. That was before air mattresses and other camping gear was either available or affordable. Yet, that was how they lived year after year and they were grateful that they could pay their bills and take that one week vacation. How times have changed!

Working and taking care of our families enhances our self esteem. My parents taught me the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit more that you are willing to do without being asked. Dad used to say, ‘give your employer $1.50 back in effort for every $1.00 you make and you will never be out of a job. It was good advice that I followed.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to making a difference. Some may be able to discover new scientific methods and answers that will benefit the world. We are all recipients of medical and engineering breakthroughs. Steve Jobs said he wanted to make a dent in the Universe and he consequently changed they way the world communicates. More often than not, these breakthroughs only happened when the person did more than was expected.

We all have the opportunity to make a difference in our own unique way if we choose to do so. The question is will we rise to the occasion or take the easier path. Something to think about when we are wishing, hoping and longing for an easier road in life.

Anthony Bourdain, the world traveler who discovers exotic foods and author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly wrote, “No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.”

My favorite, George Bernard Shaw said, ” My life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is a privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

Something to think about! Have a good few days!