Are You a Thermostat or Thermometer?

The message from Sunday’s sermon on Conviction and Compassion inspired this post. Your perspective determines the path you will take. A thermometer reflects the temperature around you. A thermostat changes the temperature around you. Will you change the world (be a thermostat) or let the world change you (be a thermometer)?

When I was serving in the Army for 37 years, and then as an Army civilian attorney for another 7 years before retiring, I was conforming to what society taught me was the path to success – go to school, get a degree and then become an attorney and work hard at a firm. I got my Bachelor’s in Business Admin, my Law degree and then a Masters of Law degree. During my last 20 years in the Army, I had a good career as an Army JAG (lawyer) before I retired and then a good 7-year career as an Army civilian attorney. I was very good and helped a lot of people. When I finally retired I had a military pension and a decent IRA. I conformed to what society taught and was pretty much on auto-pilot – get up, go to work, come home, deploy sometimes and move every 3 years, spend time with my family, or alone (a couple of divorces) , and then rinse and repeat. Sound familiar?

As an attorney, I did my job with conviction and was a zealous advocate, either as defense counsel or prosecutor. I was a Type A, ISTJ (Myers-Briggs: Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging). I hated to lose, and always did my best. However, I eventually got tired of working full-time and having to conform to all the changing rules and polices, especially after 2020. I had enough of conforming and chose a different path. I retired and was much happier mentally, but I also quit a good paying job. That’s life. For every decision we make, there are consequences. That was my cost of not conforming. I have no regrets. Are you at a stage where you are tired of conforming and wonder if there is anything better out there, but hesitant to take the chance?

When I retired, I suddenly had every day free. No more work commitments. While my retirement pension was nice, it was not enough for me to live the dream life I wanted. I had a choice – conform to society’s expectation of retiring and spend my life with that pension and the retirement savings I accumulated and have my Dash say I lived a nice, conforming life; or dare to dream, take a chance as an affiliate marketer under Dean Holland’s mentorship and funnel my conviction and compassion into building my own business and reaping the rewards of being paid what I am worth, and have my Dash say I truly lived life and helped as many people and animals as I could.

If you don’t know what a Dash is, my fellow blogger, Sarah, has an excellent post – The Dash Not The Cash.

When I retired as a Type A, ISTJ, I reached a fork in the road; would I be a thermometer and let society change me to settling for a “regular” retired life, or would I be a thermostat and change the world around me and dare to work hard to achieve my dreams? I chose to be a thermostat. I always had an optimistic perspective and set high goals for myself. I have no intention of changing who I am. Yes, I have suffered loss, experienced a lot of physical and mental pain in life, and lived through incredible disappointment and depression, but I refused to quit, knowing God had a reason and I have not yet fulfilled his plans for my life. “But did you die”? (The Hangover Part II) No I didn’t, though I came very close, twice (1989, 2017).

This is my Voyage as a thermostat to learn affiliate marketing, become good at it, trust the process and focus on achieving success and realizing my goals and dreams. Do I know how it will turn out? No, but I believe in myself and Dean Holland. I know who I am. I will not compromise who I am or my values. And I will pursue my entrepreneurial ambition with conviction and compassion. As Yogi Berra said – I came to a fork in the road and I took it.

What about you? Are you retired or about to retire? What is your perspective? That will determine the path you will take. Will you be a thermometer or a thermostat? Remember who you are. Refuse to compromise. Respond with conviction and compassion. Come with me on my Voyage and let’s take the fork together.

18 thoughts on “Are You a Thermostat or Thermometer?”

  1. This is such an inspirational post. Being a thermometer or a thermostat for me depends on the situation but I am always the one that wants to affect change for the good. I am in that chapter of my life where I do want to retire but just can’t quite do it now. I look forward, like you, to not having to worry about how the bills will be paid. So, I chose affiliate marketing to make this happen. Onward! And, BTW, thank you for your service!

    1. Thanks, Ernie. This was a post where the idea occurred spontaneously after the sermon and so applied to me. I was hoping it would help others look at themselves and decide what they want to be. You made the right choice with affiliate marketing. I wish you all the best and success as you trust the process and stay focused.

  2. Jordan, your post is incredibly thought-provoking and inspiring! The analogy between being a thermometer or a thermostat truly resonates. It’s a powerful reminder that we have the choice to impact our surroundings actively or passively conform. Your journey of embracing change and pursuing affiliate marketing with conviction is highly motivating. It highlights the importance of daring to dream and staying true to oneself. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging us to take control of our paths with purpose and determination.

    1. Thanks, Alison. When I heard that sermon, it struck me as well. Dean has emphasized we have the choice to make a change, and it is up to us to actually change and apply ourselves to be successful, or not doing anything and just flounder and then wonder why nothing is happening. If we don’t dream, how can we ever live the life we want? Playing catch up with the BA, I take a lot of inspiration from your Blog and the great lessons and advice you give. We have to stay true to ourselves otherwise people will see we are not genuine and will not trust us.

  3. A very thought provoking subject. I think I have decided that I want to be a thermostat now that I’m retired. However, wanting it and doing it are two different things. I’m slowly getting there. What an interesting life you’ve had. it’s fascinating for me to discover the lives of my fellow certified partners.

    1. Thanks, Andy. Wanting it and doing it are two very different things. You absolutely have to want it for the genuine desire to succeed. However, doing it is harder than I thought, but that’s because it is new to me and something I have never done before. The fear of the unknown and failure. Dean talked about FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) and I like what he said. I am committed to my business and am trusting the process. It’s a slow process but I am confident it will be worth it.

  4. Hi, Jordan!
    I see myself as a thermostat! I love to encourage people and make people happier. Whether it’s birthdays or teaching, I thrive on it. In business, I’m like you. I hope to help others as I begin mine and help others.
    Let’s do this together!

    1. Hi Nakina. Helping others is why I created my Blog. After learning it was essential to have my own owned asset from the BA course. I was so frustrated starting out. My hope is to help others who were just like me, though I am still starting my journey.

  5. I love these analogies you draw upon here. I was wondering- will your niche be veterans or retired veterans? I concur- much better to retire, which is what I did, too. Now I have to create an abundance and flow of income! Working on it!!

    1. Hi Kate. I learned this week that my niche is what I am most comfortable with and most relate to. So my niche is Veterans, retired Veterans and retired civilians. I certainly know about being retired and also retired as a Veteran. I know a lot of people who are Veterans but a long way from retirement working at a civilian job. Veterans are a brotherhood and we know about commitment, dedication and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. I will always have a special place in my heart for Veterans because we are such an underrepresented group who gave so much for our Country. Especially those wounded and disabled Veterans.

  6. Jordan, your story is truly inspiring. It takes great courage to leave a secure career and pursue a new path. Your dedication to living with conviction and compassion is commendable. I admire how you chose to be a thermostat and change the world around you. Your journey is a powerful reminder to stay true to ourselves and our values. Thanks, Atif

    1. Thanks, Atif. Everyone here in our Blog and Beginner’s Advantage and Certified Partner communities had the courage to get out of their comfort zone and pursue success. It isn’t easy but it is worth it. I so admire those who are much farther along in the BA program and their Blog than I. You are a prime example. I take inspiration from your success, both on your Blog and social media.

  7. Very inspirational! Thanks for sharing. Your story as an attorney is remarkable. There is always a moment in life where we reach a fork and have to take a difficult decision, whatever the career we might have. We realized then it’s time to regain control of our life. Thermometer or thermostat? You finally decided to install your thermostat and this decision has the potential to raise the heat to your dream life. I want the same, me too I want to be the thermostat of my life. I know I will succeed because I’m on a proven plan afterall.

    1. Thanks, Martin. I chose the traditional path to success and eventually got tired of it. It may have been a little easier for me being single when I retired (divorced) and thus my decision to quit a good paying job did not affect me as much as it would have if I had a family. I can understand those who are married have a tough choice to take a chance and pursue their own business.. Though on the flip side, It would be nice to have the support and encouragement of a life partner. I take such inspiration from everyone here in our Blog community, both single and married, pursuing and achieving success. It just shows this IS for everyone.

  8. First and foremost, MANY THANKS for your service.

    Secondly, I admire your determination. Many of my friends and family are beginning to retire – most in their late 50’s. My question to them is always the same, “what are you going to do for the next 30 years?”

    I, like you, believe the best is still ahead of me and am also on a path to master affiliate marketing.

    1. Thanks, Micheal. On several occasions, especially after I hear of a friend about my age passing, I have wondered how much time I have left. I choose to be optimistic that I will live for at least as long as my mom (currently 87) and thus I have at least 25 good years ahead of me, and hopefully more. I want to make a difference in that remaining time and enjoy the rest of my life. So I chose to start my own business and take control of my future (as much as I can).I am committed to mastering affiliate marketing, like you.

  9. Sarah Goulding

    Your journey is truly remarkable. Serving in the Army for 37 years and as an Army civilian attorney is an incredible achievement. Transitioning to retirement and choosing a new path in affiliate marketing shows your determination and drive. It’s not easy to step away from the norm and pursue something different, but it’s clear you’re doing it with conviction and compassion.
    Your story resonates with me, especially about choosing to be a thermostat. It’s a great reminder that we have the power to shape our lives and make a difference. I am beyond grateful that you mentioned my previous blog in yours. That’s extremely kind of you, It made me smile a lot! Thank you

    1. Hi Sarah. When I see an inspirational post or recognize greatness, I will highlight that. Your Dash post really resonated. This isn’t about me, it’s about helping others just starting out and if other Bloggers have great things they have said or explained, why not share that? Stepping away from the norm isn’t easy, which is why not many people do. I am not average, and neither are you or the other BA bloggers. We are willing to do what the 90% are unwilling to do so we can achieve the success of that top 10%.

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