Dear Destiny friends,
We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why – Stephen King
As human beings, we are endowed with several powers; powers to make choices, take decisions, lead, love among others. The ones we allow are the ones that have control over us. These powers operate in several ways all in a bid to get humans to act in a certain way. However, one of the greatest human powers is the power to influence. When you can influence a human or animal, you will not only be revered and respected, but you will also be adored.
It should be noted that power and influence might sound relative, but they are different. Power is the ability to impose your will or make others act in the way you want based on your authority. Influence on the other hand is the ability to change how someone else behaves or thinks based on persuasion instead of authority. Influence refers to the ability to have a positive impact on others, to persuade or convince them to gain their support.
The world needs people with positive influence. The power of influence is in dire need in life whether you are working as a student, politician, professional, parent, supervisor, coach, mentor, religious leader or even an employee, you have the power to influence people to act in certain ways. Influence can be negative or positive. When it is positive, it is for the common or public good, but when it is negative, it’s manipulative.
I have personally been influenced by the lives of great people who are not only wealthy, but extremely humble. I have also been inspired and influenced by intelligent people who are very humble. I have also been influenced by selfless people who share their time with the world even when it is not convenient for them to do so. Having said that, nothing humbles and influences me more than humility.
Influence works in several ways. You don’t really have to have political or institutional power to have influence. Influence is a currency if you know how to apply it. If you have a rich network, you have influence, if you have money, you have influence, if you are intelligent, you have influence, if you are handsome or beautiful, you have influence.
A typical example of how influence works is by examining the human body, all the parts of the human body are very important. No human part is less important than the other part of the body. Every single part of the human body needs the other parts to function well. If the anus no matter how little it is says you won’t be able to defecate, you will feel uncomfortable, if the little pinky or thumb finger says you can’t use them, it will be hard for you to hold any object comfortably.
The reason I shared this insight is to let you know how powerful you are to the extent you feel you are not relevant in the equation or scheme of things. To buttress this point once more, imagine during elections politicians are always looking for votes, especially in the swing areas to coast home to victory. In such a scenario, they will be glad to have any vote they can grab. So, do you see how powerful and influential you are? According to Richelle E. Goodrich, “All human beings wield influence – a powerful sword granted at birth. Wield your sword with care.”
In every sphere of life, we need influence to make things work. Whether in relationship, business, academic, family, school or church gatherings, the ability to influence people will be the game changer. This is because to influence someone, you must build a connection with that person.
To influence people, you need to listen to them and that entails using emotional intelligence which entails being able to understand what matters to them, their perspective, and using the insight to communicate with them. According to Richelle Goodrich, “we are more likely to influence people if we are willing to minister with kindness and patience to their needs.
Below are three ways to influence people:
To influence people, you need to persuade them by using rational, logical arguments to explain your point. This entails showing them how beneficial the idea will be useful to them. Politicians and entrepreneurs are best advocates for this form of influence.
Another way to influence people is by collaborating with them. When you work with people, they feel comfortable to relate and share with you. Managers, supervisors, and associations use this medium of influence to achieve their goal, vision or purpose because they all commit to do a task together. As a leader when you collaborate with people, your subordinates see a committed leader who gives them more reason to commit on their own.
Do you know you can influence someone with the way you live your life? Most times, people are inspired by the works of other people more than their words. Great leaders, athletes, children, mentees, and progressive model people who have done great work in the society. According to David McKay, “Children are more influenced by sermons you act than by sermons you preach”.
In conclusion, do you want to be a man of influence? If yes, you can decide the legacy you want the world to reckon with you. According to Jack Robison, “A life isn’t significant except for its impact on other lives”.
The question you need to ask yourself is what impact are you making in society. When you decide the change what you want to see in the society, pick one cause or area of life you are passionate about which you would like to see a change in the society and be the change you want the world to see. To do that, I have shared some inspiring quotes to inspire you on this journey.
It is more important to influence people than to impress them.
– Adrian Rogers
If you try to influence everyone, you won’t influence anyone.
– Josh Steimle
A life without influence is a life without meaning.
– Josh Steimle
Family and impact come first, income and influence come second as a supporting role.
– Richie Norton
Nothing has a greater influence over your life than your thoughts whether they are negative or positive. – Tasha Hoggatt
The influential man is the successful man, whether he be rich or poor.
– Orison Swett Marden
Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s a Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org