212

I said to Michael Tenbusch, who serves as United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Chief Impact Officer, that we are going  to “turn up the heat” on our work in early childhood development.

He said that phrase reminded him of Ralph Bland, superintendent of Detroit Edison Public School Academy. Mike said, “Ralph has posted signs reading ‘212℉’ in his schools. At 211℉, you have really hot water. At 212℉, you have boiling water, which can create steam, which can move a locomotive.”

So often we give up on things much too soon. We miss the opportunity to see what that one extra effort, that one extra degree, will do to move one’s objective forward. I am reminded of Thomas Edison’s quote:

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

We all have many things going on in our work and lives. I found that the 212℉ anecdote prompted the question: Where in my life or work will turning up the heat a little bit more, that extra one degree, help me move a locomotive?

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