212: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker
I must admit that I was a little disappointed when 212, by Sam Parker, arrived at my home and I learned that it was nothing more than a very short story in a very small book. Three-by-three to be exact. I had heard such great things about it and I was hungry to sink my teeth into it, but I learned that this book didn’t offer much meat. Less than 100 pages in length, with quotes and statistics that take up an entire page or two, this motivational book is centered around one key phrase, “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.” As powerful as this message is, I use it often with body composition/weight loss clients, I had heard it before. Since I had already spent my money on the book and it was a short read, I decided to continue reading to see what else I could learn.
“Same, same but different,” as the old Thai saying goes, Parker continues his theme of hot versus boiling and the drastic difference it makes by examining a few well-known sports (golf, auto racing, and horse racing). Some of his findings were quite remarkable. Did you know that over the last 25 years, first place and second place in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship has been decided by less than 3 strokes? And, in each of the four tournaments, the average value of these strokes is greater than $400K. That’s right, if you take second place in any of these tournaments you have left over $400K on the table. Or, did you know, that the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 have each been decided by less than 1 second? What about the Preakness, Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes all being decided by 2.20 lengths or less? I guess Vince Lombardi was correct when he said, “Inches make the champion.” All of these statistics further drive in Parker’s point that every little bit of effort you put into your goal can make the difference.
212 ends on a high note, in my opinion, because Parker starts talking about taking action. And, like Seattle Seahawks, running back, Marshawn Lynch likes to say, “I’m ‘bout that action boss.” My favorite is: ready, fire, aim. But, I think we’re splitting hairs here. Anyway, here are three action steps you don’t want to omit if you are interested in reaching your full potential.
As a friend. Put your phone away once more each day when you’re with someone. Add 365 more friendly and attentive moments to your year.
As a parent. Add an extra 15 minutes each day to the time you invest with your children. An equivalent of more than two weeks each year at work.
As a manager. Thank someone once more each business day and show your appreciation for others over 200 more times per year.
Always determined to find the positive in every disappointing encounter life hands me, books included, I hung in there and came away a better person because of it. I’m glad I decided to finish this book, because these lessons at the end are golden.