The extra degree will change your life
Below 32 degrees, water is solid.
Above 32 degrees, water is liquid.
At 212 degrees, water turns into steam; and
Steam powers machines that enhance productivity.
Change in your life is dependent upon the level of heat you choose to apply.
In the book 212°, the Extra Degree, Sam Parker and Mac Anderson convey that your continued application of heat (effort) to whatever activity you undertake will empower you to reap exponential rewards. At 211°, water is simply hot, while at 212°, it boils. In life and work, you are underestimating your true potential without the extra degree. The number 212 serves as a powerful metaphor to guide and shape the way you think, plan and act.
You grow as a direct result of your habits, and changing habits begins with a pre-determined goal in mind. Often, your effort to change does not reap immediate rewards. It is the consistent application of effort—the extra degree—that takes you out of your comfort zone to achieve extraordinary outcomes. If you remove heat from water, the temperature starts to drop. You have to start over as the momentum is lost. Heat has to be reapplied to get back to the boiling point. The more consistently you apply the heat, the faster you will reach and maintain 212°.
Where to start
To achieve a specific goal, you have to define your 212° outcome. Unlike water, each person has a different boiling point. Visualize what 212° looks like in a specific area of your life, and once you determine what you want to achieve, put it down in writing and revisit it every single day. Assign a deadline(s) as to when you want to reach 212°.
Highly successful people have mastered the art of 212°. While they do not have a thermometer to let them know how close they are to 212°, their mind, body, and spirit sense that a major breakthrough is one step away and will be missed without the one extra degree of effort.
Is achieving 212° easy? No. If it were, everyone would be doing it. It requires commitment, self-reflection, positive attitude, motivation, visualization, perseverance, and goal setting. It begins with making a pact with yourself to achieve what you are capable of. You also must be able to answer the following questions:
How is achieving the extra degree going to positively impact my life?
What will it take to get to 212°?
Am I committed to making the necessary sacrifices to get there?
When and how do I begin?
Possible applications for 212º
Throughout my professional career, I have taken great pride in living each day with a 212° mentality. It is core to the teachings of Beyond Insurance as well as the success of each agency within the Beyond Insurance Global Network (BIGN).
That being said, I would like to share examples of how 212° may help you advance your skills in a variety of ways.
Attitude—Your attitude influences how you act and feel. Attitude is a choice that will have a profound impact on your performance. A positive attitude gives you a competitive edge, while a negative attitude impairs your ability to grow. As Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz said, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”
Commitment—Great achievements in life don’t just happen. They are the result of dedication, determination and sacrifice. Commitment starts in your heart and soul. You must be prepared for obstacles and opposition. Commitment gives you the inspiration to carry forward even when confronted with tremendous challenges and turbulence.
Mental toughness—Your ability to handle pressure is essential to the achievement of 212°. Pressure can be both a positive and negative force. Pressure affects each person differently. Confronted with pressure, people weigh both the benefits of success and the pains of failure at the same time. When you are mentally tough, you stay focused and, most important, deal with adversity.
Motivation—Your desire to succeed must be stronger than your fear of failure. Motivation starts with a sense of purpose. It is rooted within your DNA. People find motivation in different ways. For some it is a mission to be accomplished. For others, it is fulfilling a lifelong dream. Often, this dream turns into a burning desire to reach a specific goal.
Gratitude—Gratitude is an internally generated capability that enables you to create and discover meaning and value in every situation and relationship in life. Simply put, gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. Behavioral and psychological research give evidence that life improvements stem from an attitude of gratitude. Giving thanks makes you more resilient, improves your health, reduces stress, and strengthens relationships.
Relationships—Your ability to build deep, long-lasting relationships is a key ingredient to your success. Quality relationships consist of a blend of mutual trust, respect, and shared values. A 212° mentality allows you to create relational capital—credibility, integrity and authenticity. Credibility is the quality that makes others believe in you, your words and actions. It is the outgrowth of professional competence. Integrity is being trustworthy in actions and character. It is the quality of having honest and truthful motivations.Authenticity is the quality of being genuine. It is about being who you are.
Creativity and innovation—Creativity is the act of producing new ideas, approaches, or actions while innovation is the process of putting an idea into action. Creativity is always the starting point for innovation. Creative people do best in an environment that allows them to invent, imagine, problem-solve, and create fresh ideas and concepts. Creative ideas emerge when preconceived assumptions are discarded and attempts at new methods that seem odd or unthinkable to others are explored.
Empathy—Empathy is best defined by the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of others. Henry Ford once said, “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” An extra degree of empathy will enable you to become a better decision-maker, co-worker, and leader. Empathy will also give you a competitive edge over your competition.
Value proposition—Your value proposition is your reason for your professional existence. It describes how you create value for others. Your ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to your customers’ strongest decision-making drivers. It is an irresistible offer, an invitation that is so compelling and attractive that the customer would be out of his or her mind to refuse your offer. The added heat you apply in creating your value proposition has unparalleled applications in determining your future success.
Work/life balance—Are the demands of work infringing upon the quality and quantity of time you have with friends, hobbies and community? Are you feeling persistent stress as evidenced by fatigue, frequent illness, eating disorders, headaches, forgetfulness, sleep deprivation and irritability with colleagues, family, and friends? If so, consider a 212° wellness plan to create equilibrium among all priorities in your life. Your 212° work/life focus may include, but is not limited to, nutrition, exercise, sleep, rearranging priorities and time management.
In every aspect of life, one degree makes a difference. Just one.
Take a look at your life right now. No matter what you are doing, there is always room for that extra degree, the one that takes you from hot to steaming. Take a look at the results you are getting out of life. Where can you add that extra degree and turn up the heat?
Scott Addis is CEO of Beyond Insurance, a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development. Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.