Whilst working out on the eliptical machine this morning, flicking channels, I happened upon Joel Osteen‘s service from Lakewood, the church with the biggest congregation in the USA. I don’t consider myself a ‘religious’ person, however, I find that there
are often some really powerful messages to be gleaned from opening my mind and letting the information in. Funny how that works, eh?
There were a couple of different themes to this service today, one of which was that you have a choice to be a thermometer or a thermostat. A thermometer just measures the temperature in the environment, whereas a thermostat sets the temperature. Well, that got my mind workin’, for sure.
You see, I was always a thermometer, listening to the bellyaching around me, joining in on everyone’s pity-parties, and being a negative-nelly. It can sometimes be lonely if you choose not to be like everyone else.
As different forces have influenced my life over the years, I have come to see that the life of a thermometer is not something I want to live. There were some defining moments, probably starting with my wife and I attending T. Harv Eker’s Millionaire Mind weekend event the first time (we’ve been to 8 of them now). Another defining moment would have to have been when I read Marci Shimoff‘s book ‘Happy For No Reason‘ – a really powerful work that is described perfectly by the title.
Further influences would be having studied and led a group on the book ‘A Complaint-Free World‘, reading the book ‘The Dream Manager‘ many times, and really getting into Dr. Wayne Dyer’s writings. There have been many other influences over the last few years, especially my involvement with leadership at Keller Williams Real Estate.
Joel Osteen made some comments about how you can walk into a room sometimes and feel the toxicity in the air from all the negative people in there. He said that, at that moment, you have a choice; you can join in or you can choose to not let them get to you because you live from a different spirit. This was something I heard from T. Harv Eker some years ago, and I had translated it into my saying to people ‘Thank you for showing me how I do not want to be’. In February 2009, thanks to the excellent man Clint Swindall, I became aware of the ‘Tell Me Something GOOD!’ movement, and adopted that as my response for when people choose to dump their misery at my doorstep.
It’s amazing how, when you say “Tell me something good” to people, the vast majority cannot think of anything to say without a struggle, and then they’ll come up with stuff like ‘I woke up today’, or ‘I have a roof over my head’. Now, don’t get me wrong, those are good things indeed, but what about the really great things that happen in your life every day that you don’t even notice?
Clint also talked about celebrating the small things in life; I’d heard that before, and have been keeping a daily Successes journal, where I write down many of my successes from the day before. It doesn’t matter how trivial they may seem; they are a success, so I acknowledge them. And, over time, the things I get to celebrate as successes become different; they become more powerful, more meaningful. It is so cool!
My journey from thermometer to thermostat is moving along just fine. I know, and accept, the influence I have on others via my teaching, my mentoring and coaching. I know that when I walk into a room, I have a direct impact on the atmosphere of the room. Everyone does; as a person of influence, it is ever-more important that I not waste the gift I have been given.
As I have grown in myself, a big change that has happened is that I now look forward to people asking me ‘How are you?’. I used to hate the question, because it is rarely something asked out of genuine care or concern, but more of a societal norm, something people are trained to do. And so, if someone asked, they would get the answer they never expected to hear. If I felt lousy, I’d tell them, in great detail I’d tell them.
Now, I have a different answer, and it changes the atmosphere in any room I walk into. I put a smile on the faces of everyone in the room, every time, without fail. My answer now is either “AMAZING!” or “THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD!!!” or a variation of those. I say it fairly loudly, making sure that others around me can hear (which doesn’t actually matter, because if I say it quietly, people’s radar picks it up anyway). And I ALWAYS follow it up with “TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD!”
That is fun! I often have to explain to younger people what I mean by ‘Tell me something good’, but I’m getting ‘em trained and they remember me. I walked into a store yesterday, to be greeted by “Hey Chris, Tell me something good!” I remembered the young girl working there, because she was noticably polite and happy last time I visited the store a month ago. We had a chat yesterday, and she said that she remembered me because last time I was there it was her first day and lots of people were grouchy because she was slow. Now, this is a bulk food store where things don’t have labels and staff have to learn to recognize what people have in the containers – how could you be upset at someone just starting out there? Anyway, I told her that I was glad that I had caused her to remember me, and hoped that she would pass it along to other customers. Boy, I sure was a thermostat for that young girl’s life!
So tell me, are you a thermometer or a THERMOSTAT!?