#66 Thermostat or Thermometer?

A thermometer measures temperature. It can measure the temperature of your body, meat on a BBQ, and even the weather. 

A thermostat on the other hand regulates temperature. If it’s too hot in your home, you can use this device to cool your dwelling. If it’s too cold, then you can use it to warm your home. 

If I was a betting man, I could safely assume that the statements above are common sense. However, common sense isn’t always common practice. 

In this journey we call life, most people resemble a thermometer. When an unsettling thought creeps into their mind, they allow the emotions behind the thought soak in without the slightest regard of questioning it. They go through life reacting to whatever they are confronted with. 

If sadness knocks on the doorstep, they become sad. If it’s anger, they become angry, and so forth. 

I say this with a heavy heart because I see it happening to more and more people near and dear in my life. Life throws us cannonballs constantly. One day of joy and happiness can be replaced and tarnished with heartache and despair, but it does not have to be this way. You can live your life like a thermostat. You hold the power of regulating the temperature of your life as you wish. 

I’ve learned that with matters of the mind and heart, there is no one size fits all. Over the past 35 years of existence, I have noticed some patterns that have led me to share the following points:

  1. Life doesn’t have problems, it has puzzles. Become a student to every challenging event in your life. See it as a puzzle. All knowledge is self-knowledge. What is difficult, isn’t really difficult. Rather, it’s a chance to learn something about yourself and the world around you.  
  2. Acknowledge all thoughts, but react to only those that will benefit you in helping progress your spirit. The average person has about 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, only 5% are new, fresh, and original. This means that the average person thinks the exact same thoughts they did yesterday, thereby living almost the same life as yesterday as well. If you want to live a new life, acknowledge the patterns, and learn to break them. 
  3. Release expectations. Having expectations is like living in a fairytale land. If you want another to treat you a certain way, I’m sorry, that decision is not up to you. Find acceptance in what is and understand that it’s a learning experience. You have absolutely no responsibility to be who you were yesterday. Just like the sky, every day is a new painting. Your life starts now. 
  4. Meditate. This doesn’t have to be some long, drawn-out, esoteric type of meditation. Give yourself 10-minutes a day to sit in one place with your eyes closed. Let your mind obey you. When you find yourself wandering along with a stray thought, recognize it, and bring it back. Every time you bring it back, you have done a mental push up. Your mind will get stronger and you will have more control over the wandering mind.
  5. Gratitude. I can’t say this enough but be thankful for what you have in life, not just when it’s convenient, but every day. When you are thankful for what you have in life, you invite the feeling of abundance. When your heart is full in this manner, you invite others to feel the same way. Gratitude is infectious and creates an avalanche of love. 

To truly embrace life, it helps to put urgency towards it. We don’t have tomorrow to be present, to love, and to find peace. We must do it now. Remain steadfast in the virtues of love and give some of the ideas I presented a chance. 

With Love,

Anand Swamy

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