Influence. You Already Have It.

“You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.” - Scott Adams

Our lives matter. This is indeed life-giving news to each of us. Deep down, we all want to live lives that make a difference, create an impact, and change the world around us. We were designed to live for something greater than ourselves. And each of us were born with an ingrained desire to accomplish that.

As a result, our world cares about influence. We pay for itfight for it, and study how to get more of it. Our world measures it, ranks it, and ascribes it to people for foolish reasons. But in our constant struggle to attain influence, we often miss out on one very important truth:

We already have it. Each of us is already an influencer of others.

In fact, to live is to influence. If our lives interact in any way with other people (at home, at work, on-line, or in our community), we have influence. We change lives. We affect people every single day with every word we say and every action we choose. In short, our lives already matter.

And it would be wise for us to stop always asking how to acquire more and instead, start asking what to do with the influence we already have.

Because the influence we already have in this world is both a great and challenging opportunity. After all, it can be positive or negative. It can add value to the lives of others or it can take value away. Our influence can become an important agent for change or it can further cement the status quo. It can make our world a better place to be or a crummier place to endure. There are no neutral contributors in this world.

So let’s make a special effort to be a positive influence in the lives of others by…

  • Modeling for others - living exemplary lives of character, integrity, and morality.
  • Celebrating others - affirming their uniqueness and motivating them to celebrate it too.
  • Encouraging others - steering others towards true life and convincing them to receive it. 
  • Inviting others - offering a better way to live life and giving them the tools to embrace it.
  • Challenging others - pushing others towards positive life change. 
  • Mentoring others - intentional relationships of life-change giving our lives to another.
Because the sooner we stop spending all our time trying to earn influence, the sooner we can start taking full advantage of the influence we already have.
Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great post! Now that my wife and I have a child it puts this into a whole new perspective. Knowing that everything I do and how I act is being watched and mimicked by our son, it greatly encourages and forces me to be more aware that I do have an influence on those around me.

  2. says

    Love this! I think that sometimes I overdue the challenging with my husband – so thanks for the reminder to celebrate the wonderful person he is. We are both working on embracing our vocations and allowing our vocations to “refine” us. Our daughter is a great reminder, as mentioned above, of how the delicate human nature is so easily impressed and influenced.

  3. says

    “And it would be wise for us to stop always asking how to acquire more [influence] and instead, start asking what to do with the influence we already have.”

    Thanks for the reality check, Joshua.

    If we’re not doing well with the influence we already have, how will it benefit us (or others) to have more?

  4. says

    Thank you for this reminder, Joshua! You are so right about this. I receive this message, and I will celebrate the ears and eyes that are already here, now. Much gratitude to you!

  5. Janet says

    Years ago, I was working full time and getting my degree by attending night school and weekend college. I used to talk with a woman in my company on a regular basis who lived in a different state who also wanted to change her life and her job. I lost touch with her when I graduated and got a new job.

    A few years later, my phone rang one night and it was her! She had just graduated with her degree and had gotten the job she wanted. She told me that she called me to let me know that it was our conversations that inspired her to pursue her goals.

    I never spoke with her again but I think of her often. It reminds me how often we affect other peoples’ lives without realizing it.

  6. says

    How inspiring. I love this. It’s so easy to feel small and insignificant, especially when dealing with the online world. It’s amazing how quickly this post refocused my thinking.

  7. says

    Thank you for these words of wisdom. I think this is especially true of parents influencing the next generation through their children. I know that my father has been the single most influential person in my life, and he consistently influenced me for the good. Now I want to do that with my own children!

  8. says

    What a wonderful post, I’m so pleased I took the time to sit down and enjoy it. We are all more influential than we realise and as Spiderman’s Dad once said “With great power comes great responsibility”.

    Thanks for reminding me of the ways we influence, I’m going to remember to share this with a few people I know who forget they matter already :)

  9. says

    Thank you for this wonderful post Josh. In the world of Klout’s and measuring both our influence online and offline, we so often forget about the footprint we have on others.
    I hope this post is a reminder to all of us.

  10. Arlo R. Hansen says

    An act need not be done before its major consequences can be known; but every act has unknown consequences; therefore, beware!

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