Everything’s relative… setting your life thermostat

Today in my little corner of south eastern Florida – it’s 60 degrees today.


I don’t expect you to cry me a river – especially if you’re living in the path of the bitter cold that is blanketing much of the northern United States. However let me assure  you that temperatures in the 60’s feel positively FRIGID when you’ve spent a few summers surviving “surface of the sun” heat indexes in the mid to upper 120’s.

Meanwhile, a check of the weather back in my hometown in Indiana reveals that the current AIR temperature is currently -11 and the wind makes it feels like -29 … and those temps are °F by the way!   It’s even worse where my in-laws live.  It’s -20 and it feels like it’s -40 below just an hour north!  (Yes, I’m deeply concerned about the state of the plumbing in my Indiana property!)

But this whole weather thing has got me thinking about how where we are (and who we’re with) affects us and how our experiences shape our view.  In other words – there’s more than one setting on your life thermostat.

For example, I know that the weather today at my house would have felt positively tropical in January when I was living in Indiana five years ago.  Unfortunately, KNOWING that doesn’t make it FEEL any more tropical today.  Living down here for four short years has reset my thermostat – without my “permission” I might add.

That’s right.  I didn’t make a conscious decision to TRY to reset my body’s  thermostat.   I didn’t attempt to use “positive thinking” to change my body’s physical reaction to temperature so 60 degrees would feel cold to me.   As a matter of fact,  the opposite is true.  I desperately didn’t WANT to be a “Flor-idiot” who complains about being cold when it’s 60 degrees outside.

It didn’t matter what I desired, by moving to southern Florida, I changed my physical environment and as a result, my body’s physical responses have been altered.

Setting your Life Thermostat

However, there are other aspects to setting and regulating your life thermostat – beyond that of your physical perceptions of hot and cold.  Call it self help, call it self awareness, call it authentic expression or call it creative productivity –  the input you allow into your mind greatly affects your life thermostat settings.  (Oh, and if you think you can separate your “business” from your “life” ….. good luck with that.)

Just as your body will get “adjusted” to your physical environment – your mind will also get “adjusted” to the environment you create there as well.

Way back in 1997, I taught myself to code in HTML.  When word got out around town that I had acquired this skill, local business people started hiring me to create websites for their businesses.  One day about a year later, a very progressive woman who called herself a “life coach”  hired me to create a website for her business.  This turned out to be a significant “life thermostat altering” event.

What you read – what you watch – and the people you choose to accompany you on this journey called life – all have a dramatic effect on where your “life thermostat” is set.

Because I started working with forwarding thinking, successful people, my life thermostat settings changed… to the point where I find it difficult to relate to people from my “previous” life.

I recently was contacted by a co-worker from my past.  She was laid off from a subsequent employer and worrying about what she would do when her unemployment ran out in a few weeks.  She contacted me in hopes of landing a “J-O-B”.  However, her passions don’t lie in administrative work – and as much as I would have LOVED to have a passionate virtual assistant, it was easy to see that she was not that person.  So, in the course of the conversation (which lasted less than 40 minutes), we came up with a plan for her to start her own business based on the very things she was passionately devoting her time to during her unemployment.

I was surprised at how blatantly OBVIOUS what she SHOULD be doing was – and then I realized that my life thermostat settings have changed DRAMATICALLY since we last worked together.  She’s been punching a time clock, rubbing elbows with other “wage slaves” over the past decade.  Meanwhile, I’ve been spending the last decade connecting with other people who breath “rarified air” on a daily basis.

I am honored and feel privileged to be surrounded by such an amazing group of successful business owners.

Don’t underestimate the power of your surroundings to impact your perceptions and thinking.   What changes have you made (or do you need to make) to change your life thermostat?


  1. Reset your life thermostat – what a “cool” idea.

    Sorry ’bout the 60s over there. 😉

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..Ukulele Me!

  2. Hi Kathy. Brrr. That picture gives me chills. This is a timely post for this day. With my financial resources dwindling I’m still intent on remaining self-employed. However, I have to pull out all the stops now. I had an appt with a government agency to “hopefully” make some connections to increase my opportunities for part-time and contract editing work.

    Well, I couldn’t get outta there fast enough! I’ve been “unemployed” for almost 2 years so I can relate to how these people were feeling. But, the energy in that room was DEAD!

    My case manager was looking at me with compassion (or was that fear), about my situation and trying to “comfort” me. I was surprised though because I didn’t feel I needed comforting. I felt confident. Knew what I was there to do and that was it. I looked at the kleenex box on the table beside my chair, remembering my visit to that office a year ago. I needed the kleenex then. Not now! My thermostat is at a different setting.

    I don’t know what the future holds, but I keep trusting and moving forward. Great post Kathy! And, thanks for the link too! 🙂

    Davinas last blog post..Self Help Me

  3. Hi Kathy,
    What a wonderful post – I love this idea of a life thermostat! We do adjust to our environment, whether we like it or not. So, if we want to change, sometimes I guess that means changing our environment. As hard as that can be – it can be just the adjustment our thermostat needs sometimes…

    Lances last blog post..This Is A Day Of Joy

  4. Jannie – 😉

    Davina- Sounds like you had a first hand look at room full of people whose life thermostat was set WAY lower than yours! You’ll make it!

    Lance – I love the “whether we like it or not” phrase. SO TRUE!

  5. I have made so many changes to my “life thermostat” it’s tiring! But to your point, noticing when you are not surrounded by people at least moving in a similar direction is difficult. Making necessary changes is even more difficult, but so rewarding when you do.

    Thank you for the link!

  6. Wow!
    Fantastic post. Great advice.
    I have tried 3 times to start my own business and I am planing to try once more this year – one of my new year resolutions.
    My problem is that I am making a lot of money on my current job and readjusting that thermostat is my biggest problem.
    I’ll have to come up with some very creative plan.
    Thank you for your inspirational post.
    Be loved!

    Buddha of Hollywwods last blog post..Enlightenment 103

  7. This is so inspiring! I have never thought of my life as a “life thermostat” We do have control over the temperature, don’t we?! It’s so true what you say about relating to those from your ‘previous’ life. I to have had that problem with my life changing experiences. Finding what makes us happy is so important and altering our thermostat every once in awhile is essential. Thanks for this lovely post!