Have you been watching the Olympics? If you’re like me, you enjoy tuning in to see these young, talented individuals compete for the ultimate prize – an Olympic medal! As I’ve spent the past few days watching the Games, I’ve been struck, as most of us are, by the passion and dedication of these athletes. Their steadfast determination allows them to reach farther, strive harder, and challenge themselves beyond the norm. That single-minded drive is magnetic. It draws each one of us in, and we sit in amazement at what these athletes are able to accomplish.
With the television on this weekend, I began questioning what it is that allows those top three competitors to reach the medal stand. Certainly there are differences in skill levels and talents. Certainly there are bad days and weather conditions to contend with. Yet, when it comes to the cream of the crop – the top handful of competitors who truly have a chance to win – what allows them to rise above the others and cross the line first?
It struck me as I watched the competitions this weekend, that most of the time the difference between a medal and 4th place is something infinitesimally small. Sometimes it is simply the edge of a blade or the tip of a ski. Other times it is the turn of a foot or the plant of a pole. In most cases, there is one small difference that leads to enormous results.
That reminded me of a book called 212 Degrees. Think about this:
At 211°, water is hot. At 212°, it boils. With boiling water comes steam. With steam you can power a train! A one degree change in temperature takes water from being hot to something that generates enough force to power a huge machine!
Many times, small efforts lead to significant results. For example, multi-million dollar sales are made by a single extra phone call. Lives can be changed by small acts of kindness. Olympic medals are won by hundredths of a second!!
As you continue through this week, I hope you will keep this idea in mind. Each small thing you accomplish leads to the next until you finally finish all that you set out to do. You can apply some extra ‘heat’ to any task or activity and reap the rewards of putting in that one ‘extra degree’ of effort! Give a little more time to a customer or family member. Break your ‘to do’ list down into manageable tasks. Make the phone call that needs to be made.
Although not all of us are Olympic athletes, the principle still applies. Seemingly small things can make a tremendous difference!
Have a productive week!