Influence is all around us and most of us are blind to it. Hence, the title of this blog.
In reflecting on this I was amazed to see how far reaching influence is in our lives. With the boom in social media this is becoming more and more obvious as people who were “nobodies” yesterday are using tools to influence, and be influenced by, thousands or tens of thousands of others from around the globe. Learning and growing together and from each other is a beautiful thing.
On Twitter I am following people varying in age from 12 to over 70 who live small towns in America and cosmopolitan cities in Australia with a wide range in between. I learn amazing, entertaining and helpful things from them all.
But to back up a minute from the new-fangled online world of communication tools and kick it back old school to mother nature, lets see how there’s nothing new in this.
I’m on my annual holiday family visit right now. At my brothers house he has a 7 year old dog, Jake, that’s wonderful and has always been a little bit excitable and strong willed at doing his own thing. This year he’s a different dog.
What changed? He now has a little brother to influence. After growing up with 3 boys this shouldn’t matter. But, since this new brother is Gunner, a Golden Retriever 8 month old puppy it seems to matter a lot.
It’s amazing to watch how better behaved Jake is as he’s become a leader and an influencer to a puppy looking up to him for cues on what to do and how to behave.
We do the same thing. We find deeper and more powerful aspects of ourselves the more we share ourselves and spread our influence.
In many spiritual texts the remedy given to someone feeling depressed is “Go do something helpful for someone else.” At first this is counter-intuitive because if you’re depressed you think you need someone to pick up your spirits. But it’s not.
Think about why people love being parents and owning animals and giving to causes. It’s because they are extending themselves to contribute to someone beyond themselves or a cause greater than themselves. A great example of how big this can be is the Global Hug Tour.
Have you given of yourself to someone and not felt better afterwords? Probably not. The phrase, “The more you give, the more you get” is a truism.
This is a great time of year to be aware of how influential you are. I invite you to look for opportunities to extend yourself, your knowledge, your talents and gifts to influence others. Not in an arrogant way, but in a humble and helpful way. ‘Tis the season, you’ll make someone else happy and you may even feel a little more expansive and joyful yourself.