Have you ever walked into a stadium full of cheering fans? Or into a room full of chatter? Or into a restaurant where the customers are waiting for their orders to arrive? Or a bus that is running late and the passengers are getting impatient? We can all agree that there is a certain atmosphere in each of these settings. The anticipation, the wait, and the temperature in these settings reflect the social climate of the their gathering.

Most people that I’ve met are either of the two: a) they’ll either be an Influencer or b) the one being influenced.

Picture with me: A thermometer and a thermostat. One of these measures the temperature, and the other sets the temperature. It’s a very simple idea, but it can go as deep as you let it.

Most of us have difficulty crossing the line from Thermometers to Thermostats. What do I mean by this? We’re just reflecting the climate around us. In fact, nearly all of the seven billion people living on planet earth have been a Thermometer at some point in their lives. They say what others say, buy what others buy, wear what others wear, watch what others watch and do what others do. They don’t even give a thought to being a trendsetter or a pacesetter. They are just reflecting on what’s going on around them. Sometimes, they are not even thinking for themselves and are merely mimicking the culture, instead of creating it.

We’ve all heard the old adage:

“Everyone has influence.”

Every one of us has influence – whether you believe it or not. Sociologists will tell us that: The most introverted people will influence 10,000 others in their lifetime. Thermostat people are influencers. They set the climate or the temperature of their surrounding.

I believe, Jesus was a Thermostat. When the mob brought a woman accused of wrong and was at the verge of stoning her to death (John 8:1-11). Jesus sets the temperature like a thermostat. Jesus calmly set the tone and temperature and everyone walked away.

I believe that the people who decide on being a Thermostat are making two very important decisions.

1) They Decided to Live by a Set of Values

In other words, not reflecting what everyone else is doing around them, they don’t even care. But what they do care about is coming out with a set of standards.

It’s a set of core values that they are living by. They raise the bar for everyone else by living by those standards. What’s amazing to me is that companies have core values, teams have core values, so why not people?

Thermostat people live by a set of values.

But the second decision they make is…

2) They Add Value to Other People.

Through every interaction that they have, they’re always saying something or doing something that adds value to the people around them. Maybe it’s an encouraging word, maybe a gift, they’re offering help and assistance, going beyond the call of duty to add value to others. The other person walks away being glad to have met that thermostat personality.

What would happen if you choose to live by these two decisions?

Every one of us is a thermostat, we rub off on others whether we like it or not.

Leverage your influence for a cause greater than yourself. Identify yourself as an influencer. Don’t be a thermometer, be a thermostat instead.

Action Steps:

  • Make a list of your core values and picture the person you would like to become by reaching up for these core values.
  • In every interaction you have, even if it is for a moment or two, do or say something that adds value to another person. It can be your friends, your co-workers, your family or even people you meet at public places.
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