Earlier this month, we talked about how meditation is the first step to reducing distractions. You have to be calm inside your brain to face the onslaught of issues you’ll encounter each day.

But in the spirit of continuing our focus on focus, here's another thought: my morning meditation enables me to be the thermostat, not the thermometer. This was important advice given to me by a friend when I had my second child. She said, “your life is getting increasingly complex, which means there will be unexpected issues all the time. You can decide if they control you, or if you control your reaction to them. I’d recommend you choose to be the thermostat, not the thermometer." 

What she means is that I can be thrown for a loop every time something unexpected comes my way, or I can be prepared for the unexpected and take those random, often outside of my control events in stride. My response also influences how the other people in my life (including my young children) view those events. I should be setting the temperature, rather than letting my mercury burst through the glass when something goes wrong for the umpteenth time that day, or being blown down to freezing when I don’t get my way.

I need to set the thermostat for a comfortable 70 degrees (74 in summer, and 68 in winter to save some money, of course! But for the sake of simplicity, let's say 70 degrees).

If I’ve done my meditation, and I know my priorities, I can focus on what is most important instead of being tossed around by life's sneaker waves. When I am committed to being the thermostat, I can take interruptions in stride and restore focus sooner. By looking to see what the distraction or challenge have to teach me about life, delegating them to someone else, or deciding they aren’t worth my time, I stay in control of whatever comes my way.

The world is coming at you fast, and if you don’t set your own temperature, you’ll always be at risk of boiling over. By adjusting your thermostat accordingly, you maintain control over your time and energy, allowing you to focus better and work smarter.