A word that originates "from the medieval idea that a magical liquid emanates from the stars to influence our actions on earth."* Now less about magical liquid and more about the media, influence is all around us.
But it's also in us. Through us.
"Sure," you may be thinking, "I've got a lot of influence on the planet. I can barely get my kids to listen or my husband to pick up his socks!"
Ok, while that may be true (and I can empathize!) here's what's also true: no matter how much you feel like an influencer, you ARE one.
In Time Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People issue this week, they highlight people worldwide who have impact on others. How?
They innovate.Like Salmon Kahn (kahnacademy.org) who's reinvented education by simply trying to tutor his cousin online. Or Rene Redzepi, the nordic chef who's bringing a gastronomically uninspiring area of the world to the top of culinary amazingness with his creative recipes.
They raise the bar.Like Jeremy Lin, the Asian-American basketball star who's rockin on the court and rockin his grades and lifestyle choices too. Or Raphael Saadiq, who's "brilliant... immaculately dressed... [moves] like the soul stars of old [and confirms] great black music is alive and well and not just a string of hip-hop monotony" (Time Magazine, April 30, p. 57).
They challenge our thinking.Like Henrik Scharfe, who's human-esque Geminoid-DK robot makes us consider implications of where technology is headed. Or Ali Ferzat, Syrian cartoonist who despite the government torturing him and breaking his hands, insists on speaking (or, rather, drawing) truth.
The biggest influencers do what they love.
They take risks.
Find a way.
Get things done.
They influence not because they strive to, or because they have to, but because they're being who they are. They're doing what they're wired to do. They're living their strengths.
Know what they're NOT doing?
- Wasting time wondering if they make a difference. They're just making one. Which doesn't mean they're not mulling over their next moves and how to make a bigger difference. It just means more of their energy is put to actually DOING what they're great at. BEING who they're best at. LIVING what they're wired for.
- Trying to make someone else's difference. That wastes energy and time. It spits in God's face and says, "you messed up with me and their strengths are cooler, so I'm going to do what they do and be who they are."
- Waiting for an invitation to make a difference. They're finding little opportunities every day to do what they're good at. World leaders and influencers weren't born on the world stage (most of the time :).
They take one step at a time, one opportunity at a time, with one person at a time. A thousand drops make a pretty full bucket of impact on the world.Which is where motherhood comes in.
You make a difference every day, mama.
As you live your strengths, you're doing exactly what these top most influential people in the world are doing. You're innovating in your home and with your kids. You're raising the bar as you help them succeed in school and have standards in who they date. You're challenging thinking, taking risks, helping others, finding a way, getting things done, creating, giving.
You're being you. That wonderful, amazing you God imagined as he created you. Amazing even in the scars your life's brought.
And that's the #1 thing that builds influence in life.
So don't stop being you. Don't look over the fence at your neighbor and wonder if they're making a bigger impact. Because you're the one who's living your life, with your family and friends and neighbors. You're the only one who can do it exactly like you. And God put you there for a reason.
Will you embrace that today? Because you know, you're always in God's "Top Influencers" issue. It's how he designed you, and it gives you all you need for your grandest purpose in life:
"And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - Acts 1:8-Laurie
P.S. Do you know what your areas of influence are? Do you feel confident in them? If not, I'd love to partner with you in living your strengths in dynamic ways. Email me to find out more.
*"A World of Possibilities," Time Magazine, April 30, 2012, p. 6