What Difference Can One Degree Make?

What Difference Can One Degree Make?

As an insurance agent trainer I love motivational stories, inspirational quotes and videos. One of my favorite comes from Sam Parker and Mac Anderson of the Simple Truths. This is one of the most powerful videos I seen in the last 8 years. The difference of what one degree can make by taking water at 211 degrees and 212 degrees is very powerful. It truly is the difference between being good and being great. I would encourage every insurance agent or outside salesperson to add this link http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/212-the-extra-degree/ to their motivational moment every week.

The premise behind the video is that at 211 degrees water is hot, but at 212 degrees it boils creating steam. That one degree in temperature change, is the difference in being able to run a locomotive or a boiler to supply a factory or nothing at all. The real message is pushing yourself just a little bit harder and a little bit farther than your competition is willing to go. Let’s look at an example of a man who pushed through perseverance for the extra one degree.

Let’s take the story of Dr. Judah Folkman. You may or may not have heard of him, but you are certainly familiar with his work. In the early 1970s, Folkman proposed an idea in cancer research that did not fit what scientists knew to be true: that tumors did not generate new blood vessels to feed themselves and grow. He was convinced that they did. But colleagues kept telling him, you’re studying dirt, meaning his project was futile science. He was scoffed at and ridiculed by his colleagues who in truth weren’t willing to give an extra one degree.

Folkman disregarded the catcalls of the research community. For two decades, he met with disinterest or hostility as he pursued his work in angiogenesis, the study of the growth of new blood vessels. At one research convention, half the audience walked out. He’s only a surgeon, he heard someone say.

But he always believed that his work might help stop the growth of tumors, and might help find ways to grow blood vessels where they were needed — like around clogged arteries in the heart. Folkman and his colleagues discovered the first angiogenesis inhibitors in the 1980s. Today more than 100,000 cancer patients are benefiting from the research he pioneered. His work is now recognized as being on the forefront in the fight to cure cancer. There is a fine line between persistence and obstinacy, Folkman says. I have come to realize the key is to choose a problem that is worth persistent effort.

Because Dr. Folkman pushed farther than other doctors were willing to give to achieve the extra one degree, hundreds of thousands of people have been saved with possibly millions more to come. The next time you look at an obstacle just remember the difference one degree can make to achieve greatness in your life or business.

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.”S.L. Parker

Image courtesy of Tom Curtis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Story of Dr. Judah Folkman courtesy of Readers Digest


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 26 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

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