by A.C. Clark
"Early Saturday morning, I woke up refreshed and ready to go for the day. Why all this energy? Not a normal occurrence for me, especially on a day off. I started a pot of coffee, threw in a load of laundry, made a fire, sat down in my favorite chair, and decided to read a short, motivational book that had been sent to me in the mail. My life was about to change forever. Wow! What an inspiring read!
212 The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson, intrigues the mind while making perfect sense. At the core is the notion that water is hot at 211 degrees. Then, at 212 degrees, it boils. With boiling water comes steam, and steam can power a locomotive. Think of that … what a statement. Just simply raising the temperature of water one extra degree means the difference between something that is very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. Point made: Small things can make major differences.
Parker and Anderson challenge the reader to take risks and think about comfort. Both are enjoyable. One we strive to create … comfort. One we try to minimize … risk. One can make us lazy. One can make us stronger. When did you last risk failure? When did you last leave your comfort zone? Step out of your comfort zone at least once each week and create over fifty additional opportunities for excitement, challenge, and possibility each year. This is what life is all about: risk, attempt, fail, and/or succeed. By taking risks, we assure ourselves that life isn’t wasted.
Finally, this inspirational story of a man who truly understands what leadership is all about should make you think about your daily life, whether at work, home, or sitting at a poker table.
Someone once said, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
One morning, while eating breakfast, I turned on the television. Charles Gibson of Good Morning America was interviewing General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command. The general was with his troops just a few miles off the border of Iraq. They were waiting to go to war. By the way, General Hailston is the only general in the armed forces who has had the experience of enlisting and coming up through the ranks. As he spoke, I was impressed by his humble and caring attitude.
Toward the end of the interview, his answer to a question touched me deeply. When Charles asked him if he had any hobbies outside his work, the general replied, “Yes, I love photography-especially taking photos of my men.” He shared that while he had been waiting for the past few days, he would take photos of his men, and at night he would email the pictures to their mothers back in the United States with a brief note. Charles asked if he could see a sample of a letter, so the general walked into his tent and turned on his computer:
Dear Mrs. Johnson,
I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son. He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job of raising him. You must be very proud. I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him in the U.S. Marines.
General Earl Hailston
Best of luck in all your endeavors, and maybe something from this book can inspire you in your life, or your next big tournament.
All-in tip: Read it—212 The Extra Degree—by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson.
Andy Clark is in charge of Poker Player’s Northwest advertising sales. He’s an accomplished high school teacher, coach and avid poker player. Father of four, he enjoys travelling with his family. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.