By Goke Ilesanmi
In my motivational talk at the seminar we organised on Friday, October 1, 2010 in Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate Nigeria’s independence anniversary, a golden jubilee for that matter, I asked the audience this question: “How would you describe yourself – a thermostat or thermometer?” I asked this question because, in addition to celebrating national independence, we also needed (and need) to be celebrating personal independence. And one’s choice between a thermometer and thermostat will determine to a great extent, achievement of his or her personal independence. A period of dead silence followed my question in the hall. Then the hall came alive again in minutes as argument over proper metaphoric interpretation of the two electronic items ensued among the audience members. Some said the better choice was thermometer while others argued in favour of thermostat.
Despite the fact that both thermometer and thermostat have something in common, that is, they both deal with temperature, they are functionally different. A thermometer simply tells the temperature but a thermostat regulates the internal environment. A thermometer only reflects what the temperature is but a thermostat sets the temperature. Those who take prompt action, embrace change and make necessary adjustments where and when necessary, are metaphorically regarded as thermostat. While those who are mediocre, static, bothering more about achievements of others or waiting to be dragged into action instead of taking action themselves are regarded as thermometer. If you have potential but fail to realise, release and maximise it, you are a thermometer. Those who are thermometer merely express the opinions of other people and suppress their own. But those who are thermostat respect and voice their own opinions. They are naturally confident. This is because they have positive mental attitude and strong self-image.
The first major attribute of those who are thermostat is that they are energetic self-starters. While thermostat is a proactive instrument, thermometer is a reactive one. To become a thermostat and achieve your purpose in life, you need to be an energetic self-starter. One success secret is to start from the scratch and be persistent with the scratch until you can scratch something meaningful into existence. You need to motivate yourself into action instead of being forced into action by someone else. Remember that the weak-minded and procrastinators are pushed through life instead of going through themselves. While losers let it happen, winners make it happen. Are you always waiting for other people to start the engine of the car of your life or you do it yourself?
Paradoxically, more harm has been done by weak people than by wicked people. If you want to achieve in life, you need to constantly recharge your inner batteries, think positively and take action. Nobody can achieve success in any endeavour by waiting for the “right” and “perfect” time. Winning begins with starting and small opportunities are often the beginning of great achievements. John Mason, an international motivational speaker says, “‘Someday’ is not a day of the week. Doing nothing is the most tiresome job in the world. When you won’t start, your difficulties won’t stop. Tackle difficulty now – the longer you wait the bigger it grows. Procrastinators never have small problems because they always wait until their problems grow up.”
Another thing that distinguishes between people who are mere thermometer and those who are thermostat is the willingness to embrace change. Thermometer gives a reading of the atmospheric conditions. When it is low, the reading is low. When it is warm, it will reflect a commensurate reading. However, the fact that thermometer is in a constant state of fluctuation does not make it a symbol of positive change. Rather, it symbolises inconsistency especially that the fluctuation is a routine task. You see, you cannot just live a stagnant and redundant life like thermometer and expect miracles. You must move forwards and make adjustments that will bring about tremendous success in your life.
The saddest human beings on earth are those that have shut their door to change. Many people fail to grow in life simply because they fail to make changes. Human beings are actively categorised into three classes: those who are changeable; those who are unchangeable and those who cause change. Growth comes with change. It is like a grain of wheat that goes through series of growth change such as decomposition, germination, maturation, etc. until it multiplies itself. There is a maxim that it is not possible to make an omelet without breaking eggs, which nutritionally symbolises positive change. Achievements naturally result in change. One change is a pathway to the next one. But do not let the next change be diversion of your vehicle from the normal lane to BRT lane! Lagosians understand this message. Is it funny?
Determination is another trademark that differentiates those that are thermostat from people symbolised by thermometer. Nobody can achieve success without determination. Bill Newman, a renowned motivational speaker says there is a trend that he notices today. The trend, according to him, is that many people succumb to failure by static motion because they lack the will and determination to develop fresh ideas and action plan with which to effect positive changes. Hanging on one second longer than your competitors makes you a winner. As Harold W. Ruoff would say, in the presence of trouble, some people grow wings, others buy crutches.
The major concern of success-minded people symbolised by thermostat is to gauge their own success with their own parameter. Those who are mere thermometer prefer to measure their success with parameter of others. Take action today and be successful. Do not let others determine your pathway to success and push you through railway. Discard your thermometer and get yourself a thermostat. You are a success.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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