I heard about this duo in one of Bruce Lipton’s talks the other day. I realized that it was still lurking in my mind so I wanted to share it with you. Lipton basically says this: the thermometer is passive; it measures temperature. The thermostat on the other hand is active; it regulates temperature. You might say “So what? I’ve known about this since primary school.” But the simple job of these two devices is very similar to the ways we choose to use our minds. When we enter a new environment, do we choose to adapt to it or do we set our own standards?
It may not seem possible to be a thermostat in every environment. After all, many organizations, situations and people have clear boundaries and insurmountable walls. We are obliged to abide. Yet I feel that even in situations where we have to stay within the limits that others draw, we can still decide on the story we tell ourselves. It is possible to create a story of obligation, tragedy, obstruction that goes well beyond the current situation. It is also possible to create a story about the boundaries being necessary and consistent yet temporary.
Unfortunately, our minds love the negative. Threats, suffering and all sorts of bad memories are stored up in our mind’s archive in an effort to prevent us from re-living such things. The thermometer mode is always alert. In a way, the negativity in our archives is invited to come up in our lives in different scenarios. We should congratulate ourselves if we can manage to be a thermostat even for an hour a day despite our natural inclination towards the negative. Because that means we have been brave enough to be creative for one hour.