The 1 Degree Difference

Sometimes, just a little difference makes all the difference.

At 211 degrees water is hot— at 212 degrees water boils. This may not seem like a big difference but the difference between just hot water and steam is significant.*

A steam powered locomotive with the water in the boiler at 211 degrees sits there on the tracks and is totally ineffective. At 212 degrees, the same locomotive will start to move and eventually get up to full speed, climb hills, cross the country and pull tons of freight.


Riding a 3-wheeled trike on the Oregon coast

And how is this relevant?

After more than two years of being in a perpetual repair-recovery-repair-recovery loop, it’s time to get this work train moving again. Getting up to speed and engaging in productive and fruitful work has been challenging! My body has handled the pace well but since my work involves networking, lead time to enroll clients, coaching people and groups – it is taking time to get the locomotive going again.

I’ve felt stuck at 211 degrees. Good intentions and considerable effort but limited power and movement.

The good news is I’m starting to see what will make the 1 degree difference. I’m realizing how my attitude and approach needs to change in order for movement and momentum to become more significant.

I’m learning to stop asking the question SHOULD I? – a question filled with doubt and apprehension keeping you at 211 degrees.

I’m learning to start asking the question HOW WILL I? a question filled with commitment and action that increases the temperature to 212 degrees!  (see Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs for more on this).

211 degree living says – “I can’t give myself whole heartedly to my work because I’ll just have to stop working again in 3 months to have surgery #9 – why bother!”

212 degree living says – “Opportunities to help people and make a difference through coaching and supporting people will come my way right now!”

211 degree living is a breeding ground for a negatude (a new word I learned this week meaning “a negative attitude”). A negatude says: “Poor me, I can’t walk more than a block. Poor me, I have another surgery coming up. Poor me, I went on a road trip and couldn’t go for a hike. Poor me, I can only work for three months then I have to stop again.”

212 degree living is a breeding ground for a positude (a new work I just invented meaning “a positive attitude). A positude says: “I’m so excited because I got to ride a three wheeled bike on the sand of the Oregon coast (see the above picture)! I’m so excited because I was able to drive and enjoy some amazing scenery on our road trip last weekend. I’m so excited because I have a window in time when I can connect with people, engage in some coaching which I love to do. I’m so thankful (I wouldn’t say excited in this case) for my next surgery because it will give me greater quality of life and mobility in the future.”

1 degree makes all the difference!

Where are you stuck at 211 degrees?

  • Fallen prey to a negatude?
  • Adopted a poor me mindset?
  • Stuck at looking at what’s lost versus what’s left?
  • Feeling sorry for yourself because of your circumstances?
  • Don’t believe you can make a difference with your life the way things are?

What will turn up the heat to 212 degrees?

  • Look at what you have in your hand right now
  • Set realistic goals to help give you focus on what you can do
  • Stop listening to the little voice in your head (You are in a bad way! Your life sucks! If only!) and start letting the real you do the talking (I can do this! I can make a difference!)
  • Read or listen to something that will turn up the heat in your life and fuel a positude

Did I say going from 211 to 212 degrees was easy? No I didn’t because it’s not. What I am saying is I’d rather put in the effort to increase the temperature in my life because of the power and impact I will be able to have if I do!

How about you?
What do you need to do to turn up the heat in your life?

*To watch a YouTube video called 212 created by Mac Anderson and Sam Parker click here.

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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Abundance, Attitude, Change, choice, dreams, Endurance, failure, gratitude, Growth, Heart, Hope, learning, motivation, Opportunity, Optimism, Perspective, purpose, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The 1 Degree Difference

  1. ljjohnston says:

    Hi Cam,
    This was one of your best! I forwarded it to my kids J See you tomorrow! Lorna
    Lorna Johnston

  2. Shirlene Henning. says:

    Negatude…I like that word, but..positude is even better!!

  3. Rich OBrian says:

    Hi Cam, Having come to know you and the battle you are fighting has given Dianne and me an appreciation for every word of your posts. I remember an old black and white western movie in which a man was hanged for his crime, but lived to talk about it. The hangman had rigged the rope just one inch too long and when the man bounced up and down after his horse was struck out from under him, he discovered that his boots touched the ground… kinda like your 1 degree difference. My late mother, although not well-educated, was a woman of words. She would combine words. I remember when she wanted to put forth a definitive positive response, she would say “absidently,’ and “posilutely.” Close to your word, huh? God bless and give you daily victory in your recovery. Rich

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Rich for your comment – I love your two examples. That movie illustration is perfect for how much 1 degree (inch) makes all the difference! And your Mother sounds like she was a wonderful lady. So glad to have you & Dianne in my life.

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