Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Are You a Thermostat or a Thermometer? Let's See


One of my favorite motivational teachers over the years has been the late Earl Nightingale, one of the founders of the educational resource company, Nightingale-Conant. Earl had a wonderful way with analogies in life. One of his most memorable analogies was the thermostat/thermometer question.

So let me ask you, "Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?" The importance of this question may astound you!

A thermostat type person sets their own "temperature" so to speak. They are in control of their reactions to life and realize the importance of being able to regulate the amount of energy that they put out at any one time. If they are about to get involved in a "heated" argument, they understand the importance of "cooling down" their reaction to the situation. They have a wonderful understanding that no one can make them react, that it is their choice to respond in a way they choose. While no one is perfect, the "thermostat" type person is in control of their own "temperature" most of the time. Have you figured out what type of a person you are yet? Without even explaining what type of person a "thermometer" is yet, you can probably imagine where you fit in.

The "thermometer" type reacts almost entirely to outside influences. Their quality of life, their ability to have a good or a bad day depends on the events going on around them. They react instantly to these influences. A rainy day can easily bring them down. Constructive criticism can ruin a week for them. They fluctuate like the weather in Syracuse, NY (if you don't like it, wait 30 minutes because it will change!) up, down, cold, hot. They are known as "reactors". They have very little sense of control over how they act or so they would like you to believe!

However, anyone can change! It may be an effort consisting of small steps, but it can be done. Our goal should be to react more like the thermostat, able to enjoy life more because we deal with life using a small sense of control. Follow these steps to become a thermostat vs. a thermometer in your life:

  1. Write down the one or two areas where you need to show less reaction to outside influences that you allow to "get to you".

  2. Now, watch yourself change your reaction. In the past, you would have become upset or mad but now visualize yourself reacting as a thermostat in control of your behavior.

  3. Close your eyes and see yourself in that situation (in traffic, at work with your boss/co-workers, relationship issues, etc.).

  4. OPEN your eyes and smile at this first successful step.

  5. Carry this paper with you to reinforce this change.

  6. Do this for 30 consecutive days. Do not hesitate to find a counselor to discuss this situation with. Become the person that is already inside you waiting to be set free. Being the "thermostat" in life can bring you the energy and joy you've always been missing.

If you believe this article can help someone you know, please pass it on.
Search. Grow. Love.

Love, peace, david

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