Episode 54: Our Thermostats Are Set Too Low

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“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure...

Unfortunately, our thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood, before we can think for ourselves. Once programmed, our Upper Limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance, and creativity that’s rightfully ours. It keeps us in our Zone of Competence or at best our Zone of Excellence. It prevents us from living in the ultimate destination of the journey—our Zone of Genius.” ~ Gay Hendricks from The Big Leap

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Our Thermostats Are Set Too Low

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure...

Unfortunately, our thermostat setting usually gets programmed in early childhood, before we can think for ourselves. Once programmed, our Upper Limit thermostat setting holds us back from enjoying all the love, financial abundance, and creativity that’s rightfully ours. It keeps us in our Zone of Competence or at best our Zone of Excellence. It prevents us from living in the ultimate destination of the journey—our Zone of Genius.” ~ Gay Hendricks from The Big Leap

The coolest way to imagine our Upper Limits we need to Leap beyond: Think of it like a thermostat. If you have a thermostat in your house set to 60 degrees, the moment your house starts to get a little warmer--creeping up to 62, 64 degrees, what happens? The air conditioner kicks in and brings the temperature back to a chilly 60, yah?

Same thing with the level of happiness, love, financial abundance, success, and creativity we experience in our lives. If our thermostats are set low, we’re gonna constantly sabotage ourselves as we bump up against our Upper Limits. Psychologists call this our “Happiness Set Point” and a we talk about this idea in a couple other Notes.

In her great book Happy for No Reason (see Notes), Marci Shimoff says: “Researchers have found that no matter what happens to you in life, you tend to return to a fixed range of happiness. Like your weight set-point, which keeps the scale hovering around the same number, your happiness set-point will remain the same unless you make a concerted effort to change it.... “In fact, there was a famous study conducted that tracked people who’d won the lottery--what many people think of as the ticket to the magic kingdom of joy. Within a year, these lucky winners returned to approximately the same level of happiness they’d experienced before their windfall. Surprisingly, the same was true for people who became paraplegic. Within a year or so of being disabled, they also returned to their original happiness level.”

So, we have a thermostat that’ll Upper Limit us we expand. Good news is we can learn to become more and more aware of the behaviors we’ve adopted that sabotage us when we’re “heating” up more than our set point is comfie with.

The book is ALL about making the BIG LEAP *beyond* these unnecessarily low set points into a state of ever expanding success, love, and abundance. (And, if this is resonating with you, I *highly* recommend you get it and rock out with your journal as you discover the behaviors you’re employing to cool yourself off.)

This is one of the 1,000+ Big Ideas we share in our 6-page PDF and 20-minute MP3 PhilosophersNotes on 100 of the greatest self-development books. Get 100 Notes for only 47 bucks!