Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?

I never really thought about thermometers, thermostats, or the difference between those two until I went to the first meeting that was held for my church’s youth camp a few weeks ago. One of the youth leaders kept on repeating a phrase that has stuck with me ever since – “Be a thermostat, not a thermometer, don’t just measure the temperature in the environment, but set the temperature in the environment”. For us (being camp counselors and leaders) this meant to be the one who has a positive attitude and creates a positive environment for our team or cabin members, rather than just measure everyone else’s moods and feelings and let that determine how our environment would be.

I remember another leader who would always ask young people whether they were having fun during a certain activity or youth event and whenever people complained about being bored or not enjoying themselves his reply back to them was that it was up to them to make life enjoyable and fun, rather than always wait for someone to entertain them and make things interesting and exciting for them…

I think both of these leaders shared great examples about people choosing to have positive attitudes and enjoy life. We are to actively choose to have a positive attitude and enjoy life no matter what we happen to be doing – just like the thermostat actively sets the temperature in the room. We should not be passively waiting for someone else to make us happy or enjoy our time.

My question to you (and myself) is which on are YOU? Do you choose to always have a positive attitude no matter what circumstances you are in? Do you choose to create a happy and positive environment for yourself and others around you or do you wait for someone else to do it for you?

Whenever I find myself in a place where I’m either having a negative attitude about something or I’m not enjoying myself I always remind myself that there’s only one person to blame for what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling: ME. It is me who decides how to respond to the circumstances in my life and it is me who determines whether I will be a thermometer or a thermostat.

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  ~Anthony J. D’Angelo


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