I think it is well known in most aspects of life that positivity is better than negativity, even though, humans are a habitual species. What I mean is, if we consistently think of positive actions or thoughts then by golly our lives are going to be more than likely positive. This theory needs to be adopted by most individuals and even myself. In other words, these last few weeks I tended to get into a lot these days negative mindsets; as a person may have read from my previous posts. As a TBI survivor, many may think, “you should be lucky,” or, “luck is on your side.” Please do not misunderstand that everything about a brain is crucial to anyone. It is by far the worst or scariest diagnosis in the medical community, but I want to break out of this funk and talk about positive news.
I was talking with a really good friend about my recent negative being and he asked, “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?” I was taken aback by this preposterous question and gave a ridiculous response. He replies, “A thermometer reflects the temperature of an environment. It is a device that simply reacts to what is happening around it. If the temperature is hot, it will tell you so. If it is cold, the thermometer reflects that reality as well.” It is a dumb instrument in the sense that it does not have the capability of intelligent or multipurpose functionality. It has one purpose and gives only one purpose.
A thermostat, on the other hand, regulates the temperature of the environment. It sets the desired temperature of the room and actively works to maintain it within a given range. If the temperature rises above the goal, the thermostat signals the air-conditioner to start working and cools the room down. If the temperature falls below the desired goal, the thermostat causes the heater to activate to warm the room. The thermostat is intelligent; it is always monitoring the environment, and if the temperature rises or falls, it decides to correct the situation. A thermostat type of person reacts to his or her surroundings.
A thermometer personality type will react to the negativity with more pessimistic thoughts or actions. When the tension gets high in a situation; these persons start to become easily irritated. The man or woman may become harsh, demanding, critical, impatient, and maybe even lose one’s own temper and yell or curse. The feeling in the room is not of trust or commitment. This type of person erodes the positiveness out of any room. The chemistry within a thermometer personality person depletes trust and does not build up one’s confidence.
A thermostat personality type will consistently have a pulse on the morale, productivity, stress level, and environmental conditions of the group. When the temperature gets hot because the team is under pressure from a heavy workload, event, or situation; he or she will bring everyone’s emotions down to start cooling off. The person will take time to listen to the concerns of members and provide the necessary direction and support that is needed to complete the desired activity. A thermostat person will also advocate pressure among others in some lighthearted fun at appropriate times.
Likewise, when work is slow and a person is more likely to just go through the motions, a thermostat person will refocus the vision, purpose, and goals of the group. The person is actively monitoring the environment and is cognizant when a person needs to be challenged with new goals and priorities or needs more incentive to achieve the desired goals. A thermostat personality type builds trust and confidence among her or his followers. When times get wild and crazy, people want to see this thermostat personality person react with calm, focused- driven, and determination. The tone will be set for how the other individuals should react to strenuous times and navigate the rough seas ahead. The challenge is tough because this type is often held to a higher standard and is subjected to higher scrutiny.
Applying the thermostat and thermometer to positive psychology is a very practical and important idea. I personally like to think that I am a thermostat. No matter where I am at in life I will always monitor the environment. I do, however, realize that I do have certain biases that will impede my judgment. I also recognize that I have more wisdom than most as a result of my TBI. I care more about the little things in life but am not oblivious to care for things in life like love, truth, and hope that make a person whole.
I leave you with this thought, what type of leader or personality type are you? Are you a thermometer type who does not build others up to be a greater or a thermostat type who is consistently monitoring the surroundings of a group, family, or community? I think if we had more thermometers type people in this world; it would be a better place for all to live.
What do you think about my post? How can you apply some of these ideas to everyday life? Please connect with me…