A thermstat verses a thermometer, which one are you? Obviously I am not speaking literally. Both of those devices are inanimate objects and could not be reading this article. In a more figurative sense, each one of us is either a thermostat or a thermometer. Usually we are a little bit of both. In order to better understand what I mean let us look at each device and the service they perform.

We will start with a thermometer. What is the function of a thermometer? It matters little difference if it is used for meat or medicine. The main purpose of a thermometer is to measure the temperature of its surroundings and read accordingly. It is what we would call a reactionary device. If the temperature is hot the thermometer will read accordingly. If the temperature is cold it will show that. The thermometer has little effect, if any, on what is is measuring. We all know people like this, don’t we? If they find themselves in a room full of people who are productive and happy, they will be productive and happy. If they are in a room full of people who would rather stand around and gossip than work, that is what they will tend to do. These people, much like a thermometer, have little or any impact on their surroundings. If you are looking for a leader you would not want a thermometer. If you are looking to be productive you would not wat to rely on a thermometer.

This is not to say there are not times when adapting your behavior to the situation is appropriate. You certainly would not want to wear a tuxedo to the corner tavern any more than you would want to show up at the opera in ripped jeans and a flannel shirt. There is a big difference between adjusting to the current social situation and changing the very essence of who you are. Let us look at our above example of being in a room filled with individuals more content to discuss the actions of others than to take any action themselves. In this case it would not be a good idea to adopt the current culture. What should we do if we find ourselves in just such a situation? That will bring us to our next point.

A thermostat. That funny shaped device on the wall that regulates our inner enviroment. How does a thermostat work? Simply put, if we set a desired temperature it will utilze the heating and cooling systems to acheive that temperature. Should the room drop to far below the set temperature the thermostat will engage the heating systems to warm the room to the desired condition. Should the temperature rise too far above the set number it will utilize the air-conditioning to bring it back down. The thermostat not only has a great impact on its enviroment, it actually sets the enviroment.

We all know people like this too, don’t we? There are people who can light up a room as soon as they walk in. There are also people who can bring everyone down with a simple conversation. In other words these people set their enviroments. I know a person who never seems to have a bad day. I asked him his secret and he told me quite simply, “I just decide to have a good day.” Much like the thermostat, he adjusts as the day goes along. If things start to go bad he kicks in his ‘heating system’ to bring the level of joy up. If he finds himself getting upset over traffic, the acts of a rude cowoker or anything else he turns on his ‘air-conditioning’ to relax and cool himself down. Thermostat people are action people. If they see a situation that does not suite them, they take actions to change the situation.

Ask yourself today if you are a thermostat controling your enviroment, or are you a thermometer just reacting to whatever the world is handing you. If the sun is out and traffic is great you are happy. If it is raining and the car won’t start you are unhappy. Why put control of your emotional well-being in the hands of other people and things. Be like my friend and decide to have a good day. If challenges do come up as they always will, ask yourself two very important questions, “What else can this mean?” and “How can I use this?” These two questions will allow you to be in control of your enviroment.


“Be the thermostat instead of the thermometer! Set the atmosphere you want to work in instead of working in other people’s expectations”

-from the website

This is similar to the post I had entitled “waking up in Neutral” Ask yourself to you respond to your environment or do you create the environment you choose to have? It can be the difference between merely looking at the thermometer or setting the thermostat. Notice one is passive, one is active. If you do not take action to change your life you will be at the mercy of others and circumstances beyond your control. If you take focused and determined action you are guaranteed to succeed. It may not be in the time frame you hoped for and may not be in exactly the way you expected, but it will happen. Of course you must check how you set your thermostat. What do I mean? Let’s look at the way a thermostat works. The temperature gets so cold and then the thermostat kicks the heat on. Some people are the same. They wait until their life gets so far out of control to take action. The idea here is to set your temperature so that your heat turns on well before your life is too crazy. Take action consistently.  Now let us look at the opposite way this can operate. The other function of a thermostat is to not let things get to hot. When the temperature gets so high the air conditioning turns on to cool things off. How does this relate to your life? Have you ever been in a situation, a relationship perhaps, where things are going so well you start to get a little uncomfortable? Perhaps you say or do something to sabotage your own success? Why on earth would we do something like that? There are truly a million reasons. Some people are fatalistic. Some people are very uncomfortable with their own success. Have you ever heard someone say “Well it’s good now, but it can’t last”? My reply is always why the hell not? Why can’t it get better? Set your thermostat higher. Become comfortable with your own success. You wouldn’t sit in a house that is too cold or hot without doing something about it. Don’t settle for the same in your life. Stop staring at the thermometer and get up and change the thermostat!