“He who influences the thoughts of his times, influences all the times that follow. He has made his impress on eternity.”
“Deep down, we all want to be important. We want our life to have meaning and significance. I can imagine no worse a death than to think my life didn’t matter.”
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Am I significant?
This one question will consume every human being at some point in his lifetime. In order to be significant, a person or object must have value, must be important in some way, needs to be worth something.
Tony Robbins, one of the more successful motivational speakers in the last 30 years, routinely spoke about people’s need to be significant while finding ways to enjoy life more. In fact, he listed this desire as being 1 of 6 human needs; the other 5 being certainty, uncertainty, connection, growth and contribution. Robbins affirmed that we all go through cycles of needs and sometimes these needs work together and sometimes they are at odds. Significance, derived from having a purpose in life, is unique because it synergizes with all of the 5 other needs.
As people increase their significance they also improve self confidence and, as a result, are better able to create connections with other people while experiencing growth learning how to enjoy life. The problem is that the average person will spend her entire life pondering whether or not her life is significant but she will never ask herself what exactly would make his life significant.
The answer is influence.
Your influence is your value. Without influence, a person lacks value. This is because influence measures significance. Influence is defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something (including yourself). Influence can be further broken down into an individual’s leadership influence and internal influences.
Do not mistake influence for power. Power is very easily corrupted and is most often maintained by force. In contrast, a person’s leadership influence and internal influences are always fair and just because they rely on freewill.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had influence, Joseph Stalin had power. A person’s power comes down to his or her ability to control a person, group or a situation. Most commonly, this control is applied through pressure or unjust manipulation – by hook or by crook.
Power is dead. In today’s world, corrupt power is being exposed at an exponential rate. Authority is not inspiring, which is why influence, not power, determines your value. Influence is a great measure of significance because in order to be influential, you must be effective at accomplishing your purpose in life.
Your purpose of living is up to you and you alone. This purpose is some vain attempt to increase happiness, it is your grand campaign, an overall goal for your life. However, achieving your goal relies on your ability to generate influence.
Those with more influence have bigger hammers. Imagine putting together the frame of a house piece by piece by nailing together different lengths of wood. If your overall purpose in life is the wooden frame and if your individual goals are the nails, then your influence is the hammer driving the nails into the wood.
Influence comes down to inspiration and no one can be forced to be inspired. Generate influence by mastering your emotions, expanding your overall knowledge base, establishing a greater number of connections, and increasing your levels of physical, mental, financial and spiritual wealth. As a result, you will be better able to achieve your goals and shape your overall purpose of living.