212 Degrees: Achieving Goals Inch-by-Inch

 “Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas Edison, American Inventor, 1847-1931

I can still remember it vividly, as if it were yesterday. It took place in 1993, and I was attending the inaugural franchise convention for Successories, Inc. (my family eventually opened the first location in Hawaii at Ward Centre in 1994). As it were, I got a chance to “corral” the company’s founder, Mac Anderson, in the atrium of a Chicago hotel. I proceeded to bombard him with all the questions a business greenhorn would be expected to typically ask. Once I came up for air, and gave Mac a chance to respond, he turned to me in a smiling, caring way and simply said, “Garrett, yard by yard, life is hard. However, inch by inch, life’s a cinch…”

Essentially, what he was saying was that, to improve the odds of success, take it one step at a time. Set several smaller goals instead of one biggie. Experts have confirmed what Mac told me nearly two decades ago. Smaller, bite-sized goals, which are implemented over time, are easier to achieve and have success rates that are much higher. Mac’s advice to me applies to all aspects of our lives. Again, the take away: Take it one step at a time.

In this excerpt from one of his newest books, 212 Degrees, Mac puts a new perspective on pushing yourself–and others–to success. At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. Raising the temperature of water by one extra degree means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine – a beautiful, uncomplicated metaphor that ideally should feed our every endeavor – consistently pushing us to make the extra effort in every task we undertake. 212 degrees serves as a forceful drill sergeant with its motivating and focused message while adhering to a scientific law – a natural law. It reminds us that seemingly small things can make tremendous differences. So simple is the analogy that you can stop reading right now, walk away with the opening thought firmly planted in your mind, and benefit from it for the rest of your life.

You now have a target for everything that you do…212 degrees. You may not always be able to turn up the heat and hit the boiling point, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the attempt. It’s what you’d advise others to do and it’s what we should teach our children.

It’s your life. You are responsible for your results. It’s time to turn up the heat.

From this day forward, commit to operating at 212 degrees in everything you do. Etch it into your thinking – into your being. Apply it to your actions. It guarantees to increase your results positively and, in so many cases, increase your results exponentially.

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