Influence. It’s a word associated with loads of social media followers, political power or some X-factor that allows you to seize the pararazzi camera’s eye and the imagination of a culture for long enough to become a tastemaker. Trendsetter. Opinion Leader. Or my least favorite terms: Thought Leader.
As much as I would like to believe that no one can influence me, the truth is, we are all influenced by the people around us…profoundly. I am. I can say that with certainty. I am willing to bet that you are influenced by others, too.
If you want to make some big life shifts into the lighter, happier and more expansive, the people you surround yourself with are a big factor to consider.
This isn’t a condemnation of anyone. But, we do have choices. I would rather spend time with people who are happy, open-minded and engaged in their dreams than people who are on a self-destructive streak and partying like its a profession. It used to be quite the opposite! And my life, also, was the opposite.
Do you think you are influenced by the people around you?
I love going to Japan in part because I want to be like so many of the people who have been going for years to Taisekiji and practicing Buddhisim in profound ways that move me.
Community is undeniably vital.
It is probably the reason I have never done well in an office environment working with people with wholly conflicting views and lifestyles and ethic levels. There’s a choice to become more like that or to leave… and inevidably I’d leave.
The power of the people closest to you, though, is far more far-reaching…
Your People Landcape Influences Your Success
THIS article in Lifehacker is a big revelation on the ways that the people you see constantly actually influence your success.
“It doesn’t matter how smart you are. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, which skills you have, where you are born, or which family you came from. All that counts if you want to be successful in life is the people you surround yourself with.
It’s a notion so simple, yet so difficult to get started with. Something I tried to do very specifically is this exercise:
Who are the 5 people in your life that you spend time with? As in, if your day has 24 hours, how many of those hours are spent with which people. (I’m guessing amongst people will be some members of your family, your spouse, co-workers and some close friends.)
Write those 5 people on a piece of paper. (It’s ok if they are less than 5.)
Once you have a list of those 3-5 people, ask yourself this: Who are they? What do they do with their lives? How ambitious are they, how successful have they been, how happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic are they?
Evaluate carefully if those people will really be those that will help you get to the next level you want to get to. Do they push you forward when you come to them with new ideas, no matter what? Or do they tell you that what you have in mind won’t work? Will they keep you going once the birds pick up your seeds, once your seeds fall on shallow or thorny ground?”
How The Energy Of Others Influences You
Here’s an alternative perspective on how others influence us from the realm of energy medicine, a form of healing perhaps more “woo” than others but yet very sensible:
“When our energy fields brush past each other, touch or stand within each other we affect each other by sheer magnetic force. Our very endocrine glands release hormones and pheromones in reaction to others’ energy fields. Healthy people – whether they are ‘psychic’ or not feel the difference in the way their body reacts to other people’s energy fields. It is our primal survival instinct to be aware of the affect of energies in our bodies and following this instinct goes a long way in keeping us healthy and strong for life. The more aware we are of how our bodies feel, the stronger we really are.
If a person, food, or place makes our bodies to feel weak, causes sudden pains in our back, arms, neck, hair, feet and so on, makes us feel tense, strained and so on, it isn’t vibrating according to our body’s frequency. This doesn’t mean it is good or bad. It just means it is strong and it is different. The choice we have is to either withdraw to a place that is more harmonious with us at this moment, or stay and adapt to this new energy field. If we withdraw, we keep our energy field as it is, if we stay we are opening ourselves to change. Only you know if you want to do that or not, and its your right to make the choice. Just be aware through the process.” (whole article HERE)
Of course, there’s the science-backed idea that emotions are contagious. I will support anyone in a crisis, but I will not support anyone who chooses crisis and willingly creates crisis. Not everyone is happy all the time, but you can’t be near people who are chronically miserable and expect to thrive. You will lose your energy in the process of infuencing all that misery.
While I imagine it’s easy to read this stuff and think… “I better watch out for other people”, the way I started working with these ideas was sort of the inverse. I asked myself: ” given all the ways that influence can affect people, would awesome people want to hang out with me right now?!” And when I first asked that question while in chaos and working my way out of a miserable rock-bottom place, I realized I needed more time to get my life together before I’d be able to be a good friend. A few months of alone time and lots of clutter-clearing and I was able to reconnect to my awesome people and be there for them.
Influence: its another level of energy moving through space. It’s a powerful force. And it may be the key to a new form of space clearing for you.
So, all things considered, do you think you are influenced by the people around you?
How can this help you be a better… you & a better friend, too?!
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