Influence Is Not An Option

by Lee Buford on May 13, 2011

Much is made these days about the subject of influence. Bookstores are packed with volumes of “how to” wisdom on being a better influencer. Talk shows are filled with discussions on how influence affects our lives, and social media tools and platforms are designed around the concepts (with the intention) of increasing your level of influence in the world around you.

Unfortunately, the increasing focus and number of available resources has also convinced some folks that participation is optional. It’s not.

Ironically, and mistakenly I might add, some people don’t realize the impact or the application in their own lives…they are oblivious to the reality that influence is not a choice for any one of us. You and I were created to influence, and thus are shaping and molding the opinions, impressions, and behaviors of others with every word we speak and every move we make. Likewise, we are constantly being influenced by what goes on around us.

Everyone around you is watching, listening, and ultimately forming opinions about what they are seeing and hearing. You are revealing something to them with everything you say and do. You are influencing them with your appearance, your attire, your speech, your actions, your reactions, and your responses. Simply put, the manner in which you live your life impacts and influences the way others live theirs.

As a result the question becomes, not whether or not you will have any influence on those around you, but rather whether or not your influence be good or bad. Will others be better or worse as a result of having had some part or exposure to some aspect of your life?

Will you be a positive or negative influence on others? It’s really the only choice you have in the matter.

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