Influence: The Magical Well of Life
Did you know, the Greek root of influence is ‘influere,’ which means ‘to flow into, stream, or to pour in.’ Imagine influence is like an ocean. The ocean has waves, these waves can be small and beautiful from a distance while other waves can cause massive damage to all of the lives and homes near the shore. Watching them from afar can create inspiration while the very same waves can pull you under the water.
1. Influence is a powerful tool.
Like waves, you will have times in your life when some influences are stronger than others. You have the ability to influence and others ability to influence you. Influence can sweep you up in its pull and drag you under its waves without you even realizing what is happening.
Two examples of polar opposite sides of the same coin:
Mr. Luther King Jr vs. Adolf Hitler
Mr. Luther King Jr 'had a dream' of equality. He moved a nation and through that movement has affected how generations think. I would dare say that his movement lives on in the hearts and minds of those fighting against modern slavery and injustices around the world today.
Adolf Hilter also influenced the minds and beliefs of a nation. No matter the evil and unjust things he had done to people, the fact that he convinced an entire nation to believe his warped ideas is incredible.
Influence can be a great tool, one that can be used to change generations, nations, and even the world for the better... Or the worse... You have the power to choose how you will use your own influence on others and how you will allow others to influence you.
2. Influence can move one person to the next.
When it rains, the little water drops pool and run off into rivers, rivers feed into the ocean, and the water off of the top of the ocean evaporates into the air, creating rain clouds. Bringing it all full circle, influence starts as tiny thoughts of what to do, buy, act, etc. When we make those choices we shape how others around us make choices. Those community choices become how the entire world makes choices and then the choices of humankind as a whole influence the little decisions you will make tomorrow. Just like rain to river to ocean back to rain, influence comes full circle.
Knowing that we can shape the small choices of the people closest to us, shouldn't we choose to make choices that better everyone's lives? If I decide today because I woke up late that I am going to cut off a car on the freeway, steal someone's parking spot or be rude to someone in the grocery store, how will that affect the people around me?
Zig Ziglar tells it best here:
"A man is angry because he got a late start for the office, so he drives like a maniac and cuts off Frank. This ticks Frank off so when he gets to his office, he snaps at his assistant about a report that is late. His assistant is now upset that the person responsible for the report, Joe, is making her look bad to her boss so when she calls Joe, she takes out her anger on him. Joe gets the report but is upset all day. He’s still upset when he gets home. His cat, who’s has nothing to do with Joe’s day, bumps the door and Joe, in his anger, ends up kicking the cat."
What if we chose to act out of love to others? To be forgiving, compassionate, loving, and want only the best for all? Sounds a little woo-woo, I know, but what if it were possible? Don't you think we could enact change around us just by being the most loving person we can be, in the same that we would create a chain reaction of anger by lashing out at others?
3. Influence, is it a cup half full or half empty?
Our bodies are made up of 60% water. That means that most health experts recommend the average person needs to drink eight glasses of 8oz of water per day. If we don't drink the amount of water our bodies need, our organs aren't able to function at their optimal levels. The human body can only go seven days without water before your organs can no longer function and you die.
Just like how our bodies are made up 60% water, how we think is 100% made up of the things we surround ourselves with. Leaving out the nurture vs. nature debate for the moment, we can almost all agree that how we were raised has affected how we think about others and ourselves, for better or worse. We can also agree that how we think is also comprised of the things we currently have feeding into our lives, right?
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
- Zig Ziglar
All podcasts, music, books, tv shows, movies, friends, lovers, parents, and co-workers have their own beliefs. Some of these align with our own and some don't. Have you ever known someone who believed something for the longest time, started dating someone with a different view, and then suddenly they believed the same as their partner?
We must be cautious of what kinds of influences we are pouring into our bodies daily because over time they do shape how we think. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks of people that challenge you for the better. Surround yourself with people who want to better themselves. Get a coach to help keep you on track. And most of all, watch the things you're saying to yourself and about yourself.
Every person has the power to influence generations, nations, and the world. We also can influence the direct actions of those closest to us. But first, we have to be aware of the influences in our own lives. You are loved, accepted, and adored. Go out there and influence for the better! I believe in you!
Casey Nicole Fox is an author, speaker, podcaster, and serial entrepreneur. Casey is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of Life By Design Entrepreneur Lifestyle Magazine, San Diego’s ONLY print entrepreneurship magazine. She has four for-purpose businesses while also being the COO of the 8 figure empire of Stegela Partners International Incorporated, the umbrella company of Stegela Success Mastery.