The result of unintentional influence:
You never know how your waves
wash over someone else.
Have you ever thought about your influence? How about your circle of influence? We all have influence over others to varying degrees. Your influence is the essentially the effect you have on someone’s character, development, or behavior. It’s something that causes them to think or act in a specific manner.
Influence is a funny thing. You just never know what may or may not be the spark that lights someone else’s fire. And something else… you may not always realize it, but your influence can have a much greater sprawl than your intention – in either a positive or negative way. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of how the things you do and say are received. Remember, it’s your responsibility to be responsible in this regard.
The ramifications of unintentional influence can be far-reaching. Unintentional influence is when there is an unplanned cause and effect. Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other. This is a combination of action and reaction.
This has been on my mind recently as I’ve been thinking about how I need to build a bigger platform from which to reach a few of my goals. These include building an audience for my upcoming book and speaking engagements related to the content. For me, it’s about the impact I can have through my message. This impact is spread through influence created by importance. It’s like this in all situations. If someone feels you have given them something important, they are influenced by your impact.
Unintended influence is a two-way street. You can have a positive reach when you didn’t necessarily mean to or you can have an adverse effect by having an impact stir about the unfavorable.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
– Proverbs 13:20
Proverbs 13:20 tells us if you are with the wise, you become wise, but if you are surrounding yourself with idiots, you will suffer such idiocy through proximity. You see, we influence each other. Whoever crosses your path and whoever’s path you cross – the opportunity is there to influence the other. Therein lies the power of obligation that says you should do your best to be a positive influence. Why? Because you just don’t know what someone will take from you and apply to their life. Your waves wash over others. It may be a faint drizzle, but it could be a full-blown tsunami. You never know what little thing may strike a chord with someone else.
I’ve been told years later how one itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, seemingly insignificant thing I said to someone had a profound impact on their life. In fact, it changed their trajectory and helped lead them to being a Christ-follower. I share this not to boast, but to show how one little, tiny suggestion made a world of difference to a young lady who had been lost because of her upbringing. I’m also sure I’ve said other things that have had the opposite effect. Those are the things I’ve tried to strike from coming out of my mouth. I want to be a person of impact for others, a builder. It’s easy to say things that tear down others or change their way of thinking. Too easy. And we do it all the time… unintentionally.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What would the world look like if we were more conscious about what we said and how we said it?
- What would your life look like it you spent more time with the wise and less with fools?
- What would your impact be if you were less foolish yourself and a little more wise?