Everything we experience boils down to perspective. Everything. Everything. Everything. That’s the epicenter of your freedom and power.

My fourteen-year-old son, Will, broke his arm in his first preseason football scrimmage. He was playing tight end, went out for a pass, caught it, and ran 20 yards before his opponent grabbed his legs for the tackle. Will broke his fall with his left arm and ended up with a double fracture, ulna and radius, and a dislocation.

It looked like his arm had become a roller coaster track. It was ugly.

In the ER, looking at his forlorn expression — it wasn’t about the pain but about his belief that his first high school season of football had been shattered in a split second — I reminded him that there are no accidents. That although I felt his disappointment, everything that occurs leads us to become the best version of ourselves.

Later that evening, after he was through the excruciating pain of having his arm reset, I asked him to think about how he could shift his perspective to see this injury as an opportunity.

Was that a stretch given he just went through hell and back?

Photo by Kendra Kamp on Unsplash
Yes, but this was a wonderful opportunity to plant that seed in a challenging situation. It’s far easier to choose your perspective times of relative calm. Learning to do so in the most difficult situations, sets you up to really become the master of your experience.

This was a window for growth — another ‘teachable moment’ in which Will could further flex the muscle of perspective. To see that the lens with which we choose to see the world is EVERYTHING.

Photo by Les Jay on Unsplash


And I wanted him to work on another muscle. I wanted Will to continue to explore being the chooser of his emotions instead of allowing his experience to dictate it for him.

The ability to choose your perspective and emotion is a game changer in self-awareness and mastery.

Be the thermostat, not the thermometer.

I was just watching an Impact Theory episode where Jim Kwik — CEO of Kwik Learning and Founder of Superhero You — referred to the power of being sovereign to your perspective and emotion, as being the thermostat, rather than the thermometer.

I love metaphors as teaching tools as they interact with the brain in a way that solidifies cognition of a concept.

The idea behind this metaphor is the thermometer is not in control of the reading it provides. A thermometer is not choosing the temperature it reflects. It’s controlled by the environment. The thermostat brings in the freedom and power of choice. The thermostat “chooses” the temperature rather than the other way around.

In other words, don’t base your perspectives and emotions on the external environment. Choose them. Choose how you want to feel and see the world through the lens which makes magic happen.

This is a skill I wish I would have learned at a young age because it’s like having a magic wand at your disposal.

Which is why I look for every opportunity to help my son practice the freedom of choice. It’s more potent than straight A’s and an ivy league education.

When you choose your perspectives and emotions — rather than being at the mercy of your environment — you define your experience on your terms.

Try it. The power of this simple choice will blow your mind.

Be the thermostat, not the thermometer.


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