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!”
But 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!