Every second of our lives, either we are being influenced by someone or something or we are the ones’ who are influencing someone! Join me here as we travel down this route and understand how Influence plays such a acritical role and what are the aspects that make it work for us or against us! So here we go!
Humanity is but a story of Human Influence! Whether the influence is a positive reinforcement or a regressive one, that is not really the question- simply because a singular event can mean a thousand different things to the different people who are witnessing it or are part of it! Influence perhaps is what has empowered human thinking more then anything else ever! It has enabled humans settle across continents, innovate and experiment, fail and succeed within reasonable margins.Influence can operate at different levels- Individually we are influencing every member of our family and friend circle that we have around us and those who seek us, when we expand that radius of influence a further outward- we are then in company of the chosen professional or creative pursuits which pull us, push us and eventually play a great role in shaping us- to become who we become and come to be known as with regards to – not the person who we are- but rather by virtue of what we are good or great at doing and undoing! Move a step further out and now you have expanded your radius far and wide enough to Influence and get Influenced by the major headwinds that shape aspects of the society that you are a part of- whether as a constituent- as an enabler or as the one who wields the power to alter the narrative and usher in a new chapter! So you see, from your own individual self to the big broad world all around you- everything is but a sum total of Influence- how much and who is pulling and pushing around and about what- is what the connected stories of the world really are all about!
Influence is by nature contagious- infectious if that’s the word you like more! Something really sublime and people will fall for it- how much and for how long- that depends on what is at stake, who is influencing, and whom and for what – what is there in it for everyone who is a part of it! the human mind is always seeking the elixir to an easy life and one way that the mind has come to think of as an answer around this – is lapping up Influence and for some reason- more vocal the Influence is- the easier it gets sold! Think around it- se the examples around the world- even as we know and would pretty much agree upon- religious heads, pastors, evangelists have far more less followers and practitioners- then politicians, bureaucrats and corporate founders! What does this tell you about Influence itself? Whether you are a believer or an atheist- you are bound to be Influenced by something that urges you to take a stand between those two extremes- but even that Influence pales in front of the Influence that Leaders (Political and Corporate) have- this is simply because what they do and undo- straightway impacts on how well you live or survive or exist! You see, when it comes to crunch time where your mind is making fast and rapid decisions to ensure you live to stay another day- it is also calibrating the Influence that you must receive and what is that you should do with it, This space around dealing with the diverse Influence that our lives are subject to is the essence of the Influence Collective and our Lives more often then not resemble, reflect and eventually end up becoming what they do based on which of the prevailing Influences get an upper hand over our mind!
There is nothing like a grading system or a ranking system when it comes to Influence- you see, you don’t get sold to be influenced by a Pastor or a Writer- simply because their marketing collateral says that they have touched a million lives and a million best sellers have been sold! You buy into their influence, only and only If , that Influence stays meaningful, relevant and of value to you in the contextual settings that you are in, as long as an Influence promises to provide answers for the questions of your today and fast approaching tomorrow, you will tag along- the moment you sense that the potency of the Influence is waning and it is unable to provide you clarity on the bends ahead, you will begin to seek alternative sources to stay Influenced, Inspired and to ensure that you stay aligned to your chosen path to achieve what you have set out for!
The journey of Influence begins with our childhood and ends up with us in our graves! Our lives are modelled and shaped by forces of competing and perhaps at times of conflicting Influences- when people are able to soak them up and improvise them to serve them- these people often end up as magical beings, seemingly rock solid and with amazing clarity of mind and soul, and yet at other times when people tend to succumb to Influences- they end up just living a life at their lowest potential- completely broken or faltered for no fault of theirs!
Influence is what has moulded, shaped and nourished human minds through time in memorial, whether it is about the potent minds of the scientists, engineers, creative wizards or whether it is the case of minds gone wrong-who have shown others- the not so accepted path to achieve fame, all of them have been stories of Influence- stories where conflicting and competing Influences have come to shape human minds- their thinking and what’s more interesting is that, what Influences the mind today, may not necessarily Influence the mind the next time around- hence the mad scramble to sustain and uphold one ideology- one thought- no matter what it takes- just to ensure that the fleeting mind does not get even a tiny window to explore or taste some other Influence- which may end up creating new and more racemic outcomes- which may or may not be helpful!
Another interesting facet of Influence is that it shows up the way we You and I behave and engage with the world- all those serving and un-serving Influences whether played out openly (like Politicians do) or shared like a select deck of cards (like what the corporate world does) all go to reflect and make a statement about who and what we have ended up becoming as a net result of the Influences that we have been exposed to or in some cases what others and people around us end up becoming because of what we end up serving to them as part of the Influence legacy that we wish to further!
You have all seen the flowing waters of a river- the name of the river never changes, but the waters are never the same! Likewise the concept of Influence is paramount and fundamental to the story of humanity- all the highs and lows included- what is worthwhile to remember is the fact that every Influence, no matter how similar it may seem, is always new, fresh and original simply because the minds that are engaged with are dynamic, ever evolving and the contextual stories around too are always on the move! This is what makes Influence even more trickier in that context! Just think- religions and belief systems have persisted for close to 10-20,000 years for now- across different cultures, civilizations by one name or the other , yet even till this day- there are divergent views, converging ideas, conflicting assertions and competing narratives for almost every space around these subjects! Add to this the cladding of Influence- the greater the Influence, better it gets for a specific narrative to be furthers over the others and the journey goes on!
Sure enough, this does not have to be the realm of philosophers and seers, even when it comes to the routines of our mundane lives, you will almost feel the pressures of conflicting and competing Influence and how that goes on to play havoc with your mind and as your mind gets more and more compelled to make those choices day in and day out on an ongoing basis- it eventually starts to act bizarre and begins to choose what suits it and what is convenient – completely overriding and overlooking the contents part of the Influences coming its way- the result- you have nations wondering, “how the hell they ended up electing the people they did and how did they end up being the society they have become!”
So what’s the wise way? Well it all starts and ends with You! As long as you are able to use and deploy your self-awareness as a pivot to discern the world around you and know what your pursuit is and then go on to align the Influences in a way that they provide required value to your pursuits; you will be safe, wise and well on your way empowered by the meaningful and serving Influences, even if they are competing or conflicting! The moment you fail to know yourself and what is the purpose of your life’s journey- even the most potent of Influences will become completely meaningless and un-serving!
I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to take some time off, grab that coffee and try to appreciate the two fundamental aspects of your life- what is Influencing you and what is that you Influence and in all of this what is that you are ending up becoming for better or worse!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe and stay wise!