Thermostats and Thermometers

Do you the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer? A thermostat is a device that is used to set the temperature, but a thermometer is a device that is used to register the temperature. When it comes to life situations, most people are thermometers. For the most part, most people do not set the temperatures of their lives; they just merely react to the temperatures that life sets for them! They are like bubbles on the water and waves on a storm-tossed sea. To them, life is a series of events of which they feel that they have no control. They specialize in singing the Doris Day theme song: “Kai Sari, Sari! The future is not ours to see! Whatever will be will be! Kai, sari, sari!”

thermostatthermometerBut I want you to know today that you don’t have to live your life just being a thermometer, merely registering the temperatures set by people and circumstances beyond your control! You don’t have to be merely reactive; you can be proactive! You need to realize that there is a certain amount of control you can have over what happens in your life; if you would just take that control! Let me give you a simple example of what I am talking about. Have you ever heard the expression, or perhaps you have used it yourself: “He/she made me mad!” Let’s analyze that statement for a second. If that person indeed made you mad, then that means that the person in question had an undue amount of control and influence over you at that time! But the fact of the matter is this: (Read my lips!) No one can really “make” you mad! You become angry because that is how you choose to respond to stimulus provided by other people. You can choose not to get upset! You get upset and angry because that’s the way you choose to respond to the situation! But no one can “make” you mad!  Now while we, in many cases, cannot control how people may treat us, we can control how we respond to the way they treat us! When we respond to inflammatory situations with heated responses, we are just thermometers registering the temperature. But, when we choose to respond with kindness, we take control of the situation and set the temperature to a level we choose to operate in.

Even if you have been a thermometer up to this point and you would like to be a thermostat; all it takes is for you to realize and act upon the knowledge that you have a certain amount of control! As long as you are content to remain a thermometer, other people will use you to serve their own ends and will always control your life. If you don’t have a plan for your life, you can bet that someone else does and chances are, their plans for you will not serve your best interest! You say that the temperature in your life is too hot or too cold? Quit grumbling and complaining because you have the power to change the temperature! The choice is up to you: Either you live the rest of your life, being a thermometer, merely registering the temperature or you decide that, from this day forward, you are going to be the thermostat and change the temperature of your life to a setting that is more comfortable for you!

Defeated by Default

batterHave you ever watched a baseball game and noticed how many times a batter is retired by called-strikes? A called-strike occurs when the pitcher throws the ball within the strike-zone, but the batter refuses to swing at it! I have watched games in which some batters watched three good pitches go by without ever attempting to lift the bat from their shoulders! Now I know that, in the game of baseball, the batter is trained to wait for certain pitches. But it seems to be a shame to me that, all too often, the batter is defeated by default while he is waiting on the “right” pitch!

Well, many people live their lives in the same manner! They are constantly defeated by default! Some times it is because they have had so many failures in the past that the desire to compete is no longer present. They are like the blues singer I heard singing, he moaned: “I’ve been down so long that getting up don’t even cross my mind!” Some times they are just waiting for the “right pitch” (the perfect opportunity) and are afraid to swing at something they are not completely sure of. But whatever the case, they allow many of life’s opportunities to past them by without even making an attempt! So many times success would be a real possibility, if they only took a swing at it! But, they are held captive by their past casualties and/or are fooled by the false belief that everything must be exactly just right before they give it a try! They are waiting for all the traffic lights to turn green before they pull out of the driveway!

But my friend, no matter how many times you have been to the plate of life and struck out, I want to encourage you to give it another try! You might surprise yourself with a hit! By the way, in the game of baseball, did you know that if you are a .300 hitter, you are considered to be good? Just think about that for a moment! A good hitter in baseball only gets about three (3) hits out of ten! The best hitters in baseball miss the ball more times than they hit it! Babe Ruth once held the record for the most hits and home-runs, but he also held the record for the most strike-outs! Life will throw you some curves and many times you will strike out! In fact, more than likely, you will taste defeat more often than you taste victory. But, defeat is not really defeat if you learn something from the experience. Don’t let your defeats intimidate you to the point that you stop trying! Keep swinging the bat! Weight your options; calculate the risks and rewards. Then, when the pitch (the opportunity) comes; give it a swing! You may strike out, but at least you would have given it a try! If you keep swinging long enough and hard enough, sooner or later, you are bound to get a hit and it might even be a home run! But you will never know, if you never lift the bat from your shoulders! You will never get a hit if you never take a swing! And those who never swing at the ball or take risks in life always end up defeated by default!