I was at a conference once and the presenter said, “I want you to be a thermostat. Not a thermometer.”
He then stopped talking. The room was quiet as everyone tried to digest what in the heck this guy was talking about.
We were pretty sure he wasn’t crazy. He was a Harvard graduate that worked with celebrities, presidents, and ultra-successful business owners.
It seemed like a long time passed before he started talking again. He gave us a hint and said, “What does a thermometer do?”
“A thermometer takes the temperature of the room,” we proudly said – feeling all smart again.
It merely goes up and down based on the outside environment. Said another way, if the temperature suddenly dropped then the mercury level in the thermometer would go down.
He then went on to tell us that a thermostat controls the environment. In other words if we set the thermostat to 70 degrees, then the environment changes to meet the request of the thermostat.
The thermometer has no say.
The thermostat is the one in charge.
See the difference?
I loved this little analogy for many reasons and decided to share it with you because getting healthy is tough for many people.
They try, and fail.
They try again, and fail.
Over time they lose hope.
They get frustrated. They feel like a failure. They think that it’s out of their reach. They think there’s a secret pill that will come out one day.
And there is a secret – kind of. It’s to be a thermostat.
I have be honest, I never thought I’d tell someone that!
A huge part of permanent weight loss is a mind shift from what you’ve done before, to what is proven to work. And what’s proven to work isn’t sexy and flashy.
Believe me, I wish I could just sell you a pill that made you drop all the extra fat that you don’t want and relieve all aches and pains. But that’s just not reality.
Part of the mind shift is made easier when you have someone to help you on the journey. Someone to carefully guide you through the mine fields of self-doubt, confusion, frustration, and giving up when things don’t seem to be going as you want.
Leaders, a more reasonable term for thermostats, set goals, follow through, and get the support they need to reach those goals efficiently.
So which will you be from now on a thermometer or a thermostat?