Influenced : To be or not to be?


I recently had the opportunity to take part in a survey being conducted by a gentleman working on his Master’s thesis. To put it simply, the topic of the survey and his study was influence.

During the survey I was asked many thought-provoking questions and was challenged to think about influence in ways that I hadn’t thought about it before. I walked away enlightened and possibly with a better understanding of how I am (and have been) influenced.

I think it’s extremely important for you to understand how you’re influenced, which is why I want to share three areas of influence that you should be thinking about, along with examples of how you might be influenced in each area.


  1. Thoughts/Feelings
  • Be it politics, religion or your personal history, the way you think and feel has a specific foundation. What are the building blocks of that foundation? What created your method of thinking? Or why is it you feel so strongly about certain subjects?


  1. Decisions
  • Have you seen a really good commercial lately? Have you accepted somebody’s suggestion about a new restaurant? Countless factors shape the way we make decisions. Consumer-based decisions are easy to point out, but decisions, travel, time management or group association are also highly influenced.


  1. Behaviors
  • Have you ever caught yourself using the latest trending word or phrase? Did you visit a local hot spot just because a celebrity endorsed it? Someone or something influences almost everything we do. It’s pretty tough to be original these days. Think about what you’re currently doing and why you’re doing it. You’re obviously reading this blog post because I wrote it, right?


By now you’ve caught on that each of these areas of influence are entwined together. Think about the next decision you have to make about what you’re going to do next. See how it works?

I can still hear my mom saying, “You can’t hang out with those older boys. They’re bad influences.” Did your parents ever say something like that? My mom said that because knowing what influences make an impact on you is part of being a responsible adult. Be sure to take some time to think about what has influenced you lately, or even how you might influence somebody else.

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