The Sphere of Influence

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Influence means day to day shared human interactions whereby change occurs.  It is the molecules that are so minuscule that it can’t be seen; yet, it has the power to change one’s mood like pheromones that can either attract or repulse another human being.  Guiding words are another form of influence which is mostly experienced as a child: how your parents disciplined you, how you responded to that discipline, and how these cumulative factors impacted your decision on how to discipline your child(ren). Influence, to me, means absorbing and practicing an intentional act of receiving and responding.

For example, I still can remember hearing the disappointment in my father’s voice when he talked about his career aspiration of being a physician and how those dreams would never be realized because of the socioeconomic and racial barriers he faced. Even though my father was a Vietnam Veteran, he did not have access to professional role models, financial means, or a network of legacies for admissions. In essence, discriminatory practices of admissions into professional graduate schools influenced his decision not to proceed with his dreams, which in turn, fueled my career aspirations of becoming a first generation physician. Though I was the first in my family to earn a medical degree, I still followed in my father’s footsteps as we both earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and served in the military.


The contemporary converging influences of yesterday and today continuously impacts who I am.  My morals, values, and faith-based core that stemmed from life experiences nurtured my spirituality!  My spiritual belief is the only continuous influence more significant than my parental influence. It provides me a lens to process my thoughts, guide my decisions and ultimately impacts my everyday intentional choices. As recently as two months ago, I decided to end my fabulous job as a corporate clinician where I felt stuck because too many others had control over the actions and results I implemented. Desiring not to answer directly to anyone with an endless feeling of being unfulfilled no matter how much I performed was the “last straw” for me to ‘step out on faith’ and begin my entrepreneurial journey.

The decision to allow the things I hear, the things I see, and the things I think are quietly filtered through my spiritual being which subsequently drives how I influence others.  My gift is to believe in others as my father believed in me at both the global and spiritual level. One of my many life mantras is “What is done for me, and I wish to do unto others.”  As simple as greeting each person with a smile and with intentional eye contact, I connect with them at the spiritual level where I often receive an intimate, engaging response that empowers both of us. Ultimately many of the day to day actions I deliberately carryout results in an inspiration to others, an influence to change and develop their current situation.


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A former three-time Ship Board Medical Director and U.S. Marine Corps Medical Officer, founder of “Dr. Heather Knows” concierge medical consulting she serves as primary care physician to a select population.  As a proud Navy Veteran and medical mogul, she is currently building a vocational medical school to satisfy her goal of serving Corpsman, Military Spouses, and Veterans with their various transitions. You can contact her by email at Dr.HeatherFLewis@outlook.com