Stay Well-Tempered

If a steel sword is to exhibit the right balance between hardness and flexibility — to be well-tempered, as a blacksmith might call it — it must be heated to the right degree, then allowed to cool. Depending on the tool being made, the process might even be repeated multiple times. Crank up the temperature too much, and you’ve ruined your previous work. Heat it too little at the wrong end, and your sword might break upon first use.

The human body works in equally fickle ways. Walk outside when it’s -10 Celsius wearing only one glove, and even if just your right hand is freezing, you’ll shiver from head to toe. It only takes a single, ill-tempered part for the whole system to shut down — including your brain. Hold your icy hand under warm water, however, and within seconds, everything will recalibrate into equilibrium. This, too, is a process we must repeat many times.

Temperature is an underrated tool because we can’t see it, but if you’ve ever tried to sleep in a room that’s too hot or work in an office where your fingers are frozen to the keyboard, you’ve already witnessed its power to make or break our day. Stay well-temperatured, stay well-tempered. Adjust your clothes, drinks, and the thermostat, and you, too, shall maintain the right harmony between toughness and pliability.