The topic of power and influence tends to attract the narcissistic and sociopathic at first glance.
The individuals who sail shallow seas only read the headlines and always have the most to say. They need things simplified, short, and easily digestible. They view challenges to their patterns of thinking as trivialities to avoid. To them, the less fortunate are barriers. Their fellow man is competitor first, and an ally second.
There are others who take a moment to sift through the details and appreciate the exhaustive complexities with which the life around them operates. They aren’t afraid to connect and seem vulnerable. They are tuned into an intuitive appreciation for fellow humans, and never look past the feelings of just how rich existence on this planet is.
It doesn’t take long for those who are serious about the study of power and influence to understand that success depends on authenticity, respect, appreciation, honestly, and integrity. Those who will be most successful in these domains will be the most empathetic, and most understanding; as navigating these poignant realms of human interaction strictly depends on one’s uninhibited ability to bask in its reality.
This article hopes to be a pillar you lean against when you find yourself succumbing to Machiavellian desires, envious ploys, and the tendency to only tread in the shallow end of life’s pool.
Influence is the spreading of your truth.
Whether your ideas are explicit and visible to all who listen, or are covert tactics to make people behave exactly how you want them to; the goal of interpersonal influence is for your honest thoughts to have their desired effect on the world around you.
A single word can influence, so can a single glance. The combinations of methods which universally exist for influencing others are countless, if not unlimited. The ultimate goal of influence, as a concept, is for your ideas to out-spread the ideas of others in their adoption.
Each and every one of us partakes in the game of influence, whether we know it or not.
We strive to grow, we strive to sell, and we strive to make an impact in our own ways. The only aspect that changes from individual to individual is the scope influence, not the fact of its existence. Even the most secluded man on earth, for just a moment, influences the timid fox as he hikes lonesomely through the forest. His truth would entail hiking over to his favorite fishing spot – an act which would be documented by the pair of crows watching from a treetop.
A wolf influences its prey’s last moments, the sun influences life on earth, and your brake-lights influence those behind your car to stop.
So what happens after you influence your dog, your partner, and perhaps a group of people with your speech? Where does this game of influence come to rest?
The answer to this question seems to hint at the end-game of influence being control over everything: the wolf, the planet, the sun, and universe itself. This sounds unnerving, and it is. However, every organism is trying to influence the universe in its own way, making attaining absolute control over everything (very) difficult to achieve. Those ahead in the race of influence are constantly replaced by those hungrier and more fit to win. With each exchange of responsibility, the responsibilities grow. Future generations will influence more than we can comprehend.
Many people will go on to achieve control over their careers, over their finances, and over certain groups of people. Very few go on to influence a country, a continent, and the world. So far, nobody has been able to influence the universe directly.
Do not underestimate the goals of influence however, and do not misjudge your ability in influencing whatever you choose. Only in understanding the power you wield in shaping life will you grow to respect your own fragility.
Be Willing To Live With Your Creations
A question you’ll frequently ask yourself is whether it’s worth using the skills of influencing others to deliver pain on those you perceive to be painful to the world.
- Is it worth birthing malicious ideas which seek to destroy our opponents?
- Is it worth retaliating against our enemies?
- Is it worth getting into online wars, employing psychological attacks, and damaging reputations?
Your answers to these questions will be right, whatever they turn out to state.
Remember one thing however: your creations can become more influential than yourself.
Your ideas can work to influence others in their own specific ways, with no regard for your intentions early on. Your odds of cracking a simple combination lock are low. Even lower are your chances in guessing the particular effects of what you say or do with accurate precision.
Be ready to live with whatever you give birth to, and don’t expect to influence the resulting chain reaction after pressing the big red button.
Whether it is an idea, an action you commit, or the decisions that you make. They will now flow freely and will influence independently without your control. The possibility exists for ideas to be so powerful that they engulf everything in their path. Be careful how you interact with the world around you. Your meticulous attempts to shape the right aesthetic can crack the perfect sculpture down the middle.