Water is a very important element in our lives. We need water to drink, to wash our bodies, for plants, cleaning and many other things. Healthy people can live up to eight weeks, and sometimes more, without food but even the fittest person in great shape and in ideal weather conditions, is only able to survive 3-5 days on average without water.
About 60% of our body weight is composed of water. Muscle is made up of nearly 75% water. Fat is made up of about 50% water and bones are composed of about 50% water.
From 33 degrees Fahrenheit to 211 degrees, water is simply water, in a calm state and fairly boring. But the minute water hits 212 degrees things begin to happen. As water heats up, its vapor pressure reaches the pressure of the surrounding air, the rate of evaporation increases and water transforms to a gas. You can see steam rising from a pot of water as its temperature rises.
The bubbles that are formed by this rapid evaporation in the interior of the liquid grow larger in size until they can no longer be suppressed. They rise to the surface and release their vapor into the air. This is the boiling point! And from pasteurization to the steam engine to your dishwasher, boiling water has changed the world.
Are You Merely Simmering?
Many people are content to live in that safe zone between 33 degrees and 211 degrees. They travel through their lives doing just enough to graduate from school, just enough to get by at work, just enough to have a decent relationship and just enough to have a reasonable life.
Don’t get me wrong, most of them are perfectly nice people with an average amount of talent and drive. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members and your friends. They don’t necessarily live bad lives but they’ve never figured out how to get that spark out of life. They do okay but they don’t excel at anything. They are liked but they come just shy of being admired. They are faces in the crowd but they never stand out from the crowd. They live their lives without ever making a real impact ON life! They haven’t reached 212 degrees!
I have a friend who has been in business for more than 35 years. Over that time, he has been in the financial industry, large scale property development. He’s written books, owns a catering company, a nightclub and has a goat meat business that supplies 50 Kroger stores in the South. Over the years, he’s had a few failures and a great many successes. He even has been bestowed honors for his skills in Grav Maga: a form of self-defense and physical training first developed by the Israeli army.
He has a son named Solomon. When I first met Solomon he was a cute, bright kid but nothing really stood out about him. He was mediocre in school; mediocre in sports; just an average ordinary kid with nothing particularly exceptional about him. Solomon was hanging in Life at about 190 degrees. He was simply getting by.
This drove his over-achieving father crazy. He wanted more for his son! He wanted HIS son conquer the world just like he had. He forced him into karate. Solomon hated karate. He grounded him when he did not bring home at least a B on a paper. He forced him into football; basketball and as a last resort, soccer. But, Solomon was never a standout athlete. In fact, Solomon was bored with everything his father tried to force him to do. He could not rise above 190 degrees.
And then one day, Solomon’s middle school teacher asked him to be a substitute in a school play. He wasn’t really interested but he knew the extra credit would help his grades. As practice went on, he discovered he loved acting. In fact, he began to look forward to the end of the school day to attend rehearsals. He was simmering at 200 degrees.
By the night of the play, Solomon had his lines down and he was ready. He took the stage and delivered a flawless performance. His Dad watched his son in awe as he confidently moved across the stage like he owned it. He received a standing ovation that brought tears to his father’s eyes.
Solomon is in high school now. He attends acting classes; is on the debate team and has managed to bring those grades up to honor roll levels. He has a part in almost every school production and auditions locally for plays, advertising and television. Acting is his 212 in effect!
The more you can do to set yourself apart; the more skills you can master; the more you can do for on your job, at home, in school and in life, you increase your value.
You too must find something that makes you distinctive! The difference between a first place sprinter and a second place sprinter are mere tenths of a second. The difference between a NASCAR winner and the guy coming in behind him can be a split second.
If you are a business owner or the leader of anything, you have to identify YOUR distinguishing factor! You not only have to think about quality but you have to invoke the 212 Effect. In business, if you don’t have a boiling point that you continually define and redefine, at best your competitors will outshine you; at worst, you will go out of business.
Borders have become obsolete in the business world. The game is bigger and the players are more in tune. The internet and mobile technology have leveled the playing field in so many areas that you have to find a way to turn it up a notch!
You are not only competing with businesses in your local area, you are now competing with companies in other states, on the other side of the country and around the world. You have to get to your boiling point instead of lying flat or merely steaming!
For another great example, let’s look at business again. Companies are outsourcing around the world and your competition could be a 17 year old in Bali. It’s no longer enough to be the best and the brightest in your hometown and good at delivering a sale. You have to have that hustle and drive because businesses are looking for that extra something in a worker.
Even churches cannot escape the 212 effect. These days congregations want to feel a close connection not only with God but with the person sitting next to them on a pew. Recently, I heard Andy Stanley preach on how the church has become “resistable” to the world and that most of the things that the world “resists” about the church, the church itself should be resisting. When I apply the 212 effect to churches, most are simmering at about 199 degrees right now and they too need to turn up the fire of the Holy Spirit and become irresistible again!
Businesses are looking for that extra something in workers. Consumers are looking for that extra something in a product. Members are looking for that extra something in a church. Clients are looking for that something extra in a consultant. People are looking for that extra something in everything they do and in everyone they meet.
It’s the same in all aspects of your life. The more you bring to the table, the more you get to eat. It’s time to start turn up the heat and get on with your own 212 Effect! Reach that boiling point and release your greatness to the world!