Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Boston

Just One Degree

During a recent conversation with a good friend and mentor, Brian Sean Reid, he asked me to name the number one thing I feel holds me back from achieving more of what I desire. I promptly replied, “Just enough.” It seems that I always end up with just enough, never enough to give me sufficient comfort with things for any length of time.

He pointed out that the reason for this is that I routinely settle for just enough (while not feeling that it truly is enough). I believe that many of us share the human tendancy to settle for good enough and delay moving on to something better. We might settle for less than optimum relationships, unfulfilling jobs, financial discomforts... the list goes on.

One of Brian’s qualities that I’m most thankful for is that he never allows for excuses. It helps to have people in our lives that force us to look beyond rationalizations for current circumstances.

I love this excerpt he shared with me from Michael Larden’s book Finding Your Zone: “Activation energy is the energy required to start a chemical reaction. For example, you may not know that paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit and does not ignite at 450 degrees. Now imagine yourself lost in a forest, cold, needing warmth. You invest energy by rubbing two sticks together, causing friction in hope of igniting some paper and leaves. You create heat by your efforts and even raise the friction area’s temperature up to 450 degrees without successfully creating fire. Sadly, you quit in discouragement, not knowing that the activation energy is 451 degrees. However, if you push a little harder and create a little more heat and raise the temperature one degree, the chain reaction occurs and the fire ignites—burning without more effort, burning by itself.

Great champions know that if they push a little more and prepare better than their competitors, they will move past the threshold and consequently set the stage to enter into the Zone. The difference between good and great is immeasurably small. Sometimes all it takes is a bit more perseverance and you find yourself at the next level. This process of giving that little extra builds upon itself and forms the foundation for great performances.”

This reminds me of Sam Parker’s book 212:The Extra Degree, where he explains that at 211 degrees water is hot but at 212 degrees it boils—creating steam sufficient to power even a locomotive. That one degree changes everything. It makes me wonder how many of us are living life just below our own tipping point of explosive empowerment.

I can’t believe I’m alone in often hovering just below the critical point of transforming some aspect of life for the better. I invite you to join me in committing to seeking out and conquering the limiting beliefs that cause us to settle for less, for we’re all worthy of living the life of our dreams.


Maisie Raftery, Publisher