I recently read “212 The Extra Degree : Extraordinary Results Begin With One Small Change” by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. (It’s a small, short book you can easily read on a bus or train ride to work). The premise of this book is that the difference of just one degree – 211F to to 212F – can make a huge difference. The back cover states:
At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.
It’s a good idea.
The idea of just doing a tiny bit more can make huge differences. Applying this and the authors’ examples to our lives as safety professionals could have huge rewards. Consider adding an hour a week (12 minutes a workday) to studying a topic that particularly interests you. At the end of the year you will have added an equivalent of a full week of dedicated study to that area. When volunteering your time, if you gave 15 minutes more per week, that’s about another full day and a half of service you are providing to an organization that likely really needs it. If you are a runner/jogger, going an extra .5 mile everyday would mean you ran 183 more miles in a year – that’s the distance between New York and Baltimore and more than the horizontal distance across all of Ireland. If you got into the office 30 minutes earlier than you already do, that’s 2.5 extra hours of time per week you could use to work on your career, your side hustle, your professional development, your book – whatever. Think about it. If someone came to you and said you could leave work 2.5 hours early every Friday, what could you get done with that newly found time?
In my role as Vice-Chair for the American Society of Safety Engineers Foundation, I always wonder why some safety professionals donate and some do not. If every ASSE member just gave a little more (that one extra degree), that would mean $37,000 more dollars for scholarships, professional development grants for our peers and funding for research – and this could all happen if members gave ONE extra dollar, even if their current giving is zero.
I think it’s hard for us to see how seemingly insignificant actions, such as giving a dollar here or there, can add up. If everyone did a little extra, whether it be in volunteering, studying, exercising or donating to good causes, the benefits would be remarkable.