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President's Message - The Difference Between 211F and 212F

by Keith Walker, CFSP, OFDA President

Thanksgiving is past and Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner. It truly is the time to be thankful. We all have much for which to be thankful. Please plan to block off some time to think about this and come up with a list of the blessings that have been bestowed upon you. It will do your heart and soul good.

I have just done this and my list is long. It includes first of all my Lord and Savior; my wonderful wife, Katy; my awesome four boys, Henry, Teddy, Louie and Charlie. Also my career, OFDA, friends, the list goes on. In doing this I began to ask myself, "With all I have to be thankful for, am I doing all I can do to be the best I can be in each of the roles I fill in life?" The answer is no. I can do better, everywhere.

At the NFDA convention in Las Vegas, I picked up a little book by one of the speakers called 212: The Extra Degree. As I was going through the above exercise, that book came to mind. It is short and has a lot of pictures (criteria for a
good book), but more importantly, the book had a simple and profound message if taken to heart and applied to each role in my life would make me a better person. I hope it would also be interesting for you.

The author, Mac Anderson, builds the book around the fact that at 211 degrees, water is hot. But at 212 degrees water boils, transforming into steam, giving off enough power to move a locomotive, heat a building, etc. He takes this fact and uses it as a metaphor for business and any other endeavor we may undertake. The extra degree is symbolic of the extra effort that is required if we are to become great at what we do. Keeping this one number in the forefront of our minds as we begin or continue in any role we fill can give us the insight and motivation to go the extra mile to rise above mediocrity and truly make a difference in our own unique ways, the
best ways possible.

Are there areas in your role as a funeral director in which you would be able to truly excel with a little more intense effort? In your family? In your civic or social organizations? In your faith? If so, why not commit to putting that extra degree of effort into what is important to you in 2008. It will be fun and exciting to see what happens.

My outlook has been broadened by the little book 212: The Extra Degree. I am thinking over my roles and how I could be better at each of them. I encourage you to pick up this book and apply it to your career, your interests, your family, and your community. It can only be purchased at or by calling 800-900-3427.

Thank you, have a great holiday and get ready for 2008.

Keith Walker

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