Saturday, February 11, 2012

Do You Work for 72 Degrees?

I remember hearing this story years ago and was reminded of it tonight.

When we set a thermostat, according to many HVAC professionals, it's usually set around 72 degrees. They call this the 'dead zone'. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right in the middle.

When the system picks up that it has dropped below that temperature or goes above it, the heater or a/c kicks on and works just hard enough until the set temperature is brought back to that degree. Then the system kicks back off until it needs to adjust once again.

I was told that this is how most people go through life. We find a middle ground, no matter where it is in our life, be it relationships, work, our business, fitness levels, whatever it may be and we apply the same principle to it.

We find the 'dead zone' that requires as little work from us as possible in order to keep the system running to how we like it, and how we prefer it. Now, this doesn't mean this is a zone that serves us or others in the best possible way or it's ideal for us, it just means that it is in a place we are willing to tolerate what is going on around us.

Every now and then, however, the temperature rises or falls, and we need to act in order to bring everything back into what we think is order.

For example, relationships require a lot of work, but for many as long as we can keep it at a certain level that we find acceptable, we don't want to commit any more and energy to it than that.

At some point it's quite possible that the significant partner in the relationship starts to get a bit upset over how things are.

"You don't do this for me. We never do this. I wish we could..." and so on.

It is here we become much like the thermostat. We recognize something is not right, and we work JUST hard enough to bring that environment back into our comfort zone.

So if we, for example, have a partner that is letting us know they are not too thrilled with us at the current moment, what we wend up doing is ONLY what is necessary to get them back into OUR zone of comfort. Again, it's not about them or their level of comfort, but our own.

And we do this in so many aspects of our lives. People need to lose weight, so they get on one of those quick weight loss shake programs just long enough to drop those pounds and then go right back to eating poor food, not working out and so on, only to find themselves right back where they started.

The thermostat effect.

In order to create real change, we need to find the habit that created the reality, whatever it may be, and change that for good. Literally FOR GOOD.

So, where are you on this? Can you look at circumstances in your life where you changed or exerted extra effort just long enough to get, say, that boss or partner off your back? To get those inches off your waist? Then went right back to the old habits?

Be honest. It's when you recognize this behavior that you can start to change it.

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