Being influenced and becoming influential
In my junior year in high school (2002) I spent a lot of time ditching school and participating in online gaming. Deductive reasoning can lead you to the possibility that I might not have been a popular student. However, online gaming gave me an outlet to meet others with common interest and build strong bonds. During the after hours of hardcore gaming I came across a discussion board dominated by east coast gamer’s. It was a forum dedicated to a top-tier clan from the NYC area. At the time of my browsing there was a popular discussion called “Do you believe in God” in the “Thought Provoking Forum”
I had no idea that me sharing my thoughts about God publicly would change my life forever, and I seriously mean that. Lets just say I was blind in my faith and didn’t feel I needed to support my claims what so ever. On that very day, I got my ass handed to me. It was defeat. I felt humiliated. But it was a blessing in disguise. For you to truly appreciate the good in life you need to experience the bad. I was being influenced by a person who was clearly capable of experiencing life on a higher intellectual plane.
That didn’t keep me from experiencing life on that level though. I was determined to not be portrayed as someone who is “dumb” or “stupid”. Along with that feeling, I also have an innate need to display value and leadership to others. I feel deeply fulfilled when I know deep down in my heart that I have been of service to society. We all participate in being influenced by others and influencing those around us. It just depends on what level of the spectrum.
In all professional fields such as recruiting and even in life in general we’re taking part in a giving and taking relationship. It’s like the circle of life. Simply speaking, the universe and the human species as a whole operate in this fashion. In my opinion, those who “succeed” best in this process are those who take time being influenced by others good and bad and then share that experience and knowledge to others and specifically the next generation.
This blog post is directed to those who KNOW deep down who/what they want to become and to push them to be the best in that specific area. Whether it be in the recruiting field, music industry, acting field and so on. Let this bring to light the process to a conscious level in your mind. Also, understand that the end result does not happen over night. But, you will be able to notice results right away depending on how much you act upon your desire. Let us begin.
It is in my belief, that there is a list of passive and active interests that allows a person to move from talented to influential in a particular area of interest(s). Passive talents consist of reading, observing, and listening. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in the active category there is writing, speaking and acting. Allow me to elaborate.
There is a saying among aspiring writers, to keep them on the path to becoming a better writer, that is “when a good writer is not writing, he reads”. I think that’s simple to understand. In our case, sticking with the theme of bettering yourself in your career we are looking to experience others by being passive and vulnerable. This allows learning to take place. Anyone can write, but a person who is influential builds an audience through his writing. To do that, he has to have spent a substantial amount of time experiencing life’s lessons and taking part in passive actions. The more reading you do the more knowledge you can consume, and the more knowledge you consume the better your chances are at providing value to others.
A smart student/pupil spends time gathering information such as video programs, audio recording, or positioning himself in areas where he can potentially meet and speak to those who are influential in his field. He then can spend time soaking up this knowledge while also having reading materials in his weaponry. The more he spends time studying, the better his confidence will be when he goes out into the field to experience what it’s all about. Life itself, is the best teacher. As long as the student is willing to learn from his mistakes. To many human beings go through life being close minded, and eventually grow old and can not escape detrimental behavior. Once you have spent time building up your own thoughts and opinions you then can move along the spectrum and participate in speaking events. This really begins to build your persona as a person of great value.
You may be thinking to yourself that both of these terms seem to stick out like a swore thumb. I agree. But I am going to try to stick with them anyway. I will start by explaining the semantics behind the usage of “acting”. When I say act, I don’t mean on the stage or on a movie set. I mean your daily life. What you do as a person, who you talk to, what you eat, the information you consume, and how you act, and above all, how others portray you.
By explaining this, now you should get the gist of the term “observing”. Like I said earlier, a student needs to play a passive role and be vulnerable to the process of learning for the sake of consuming knowledge. This last part is about him or her spending time and stalking/lurking others who seem to play that influence role, and they try to understand that person at a deeper level. Even the psychology of that given person. This circumstance only takes place if the person really wants to be come that spotlight character that others can go to for valuable content. If that’s the case, expect to shift your lifestyle to fit your calling. If you are an actor, you need to be watching movies of great actors, watching bravo’s the actors studio, watching behind the scenes features on DVD’s, reading blogs and forums, and networking with other actors/actresses. Not to mention your close eye on your physical features. Taking care of your face, maintaining a specific body weight( plus size, petite, medium etc) and so.
Remember any person can play any role on these spectrum. There is no good or bad in this situation. It just “is”. If you want to be a person of influence some day, remember you can’t start being an effective influencer without doing your do’s. That means you can’t skip steps. You HAVE to be building passive interest in things like reading, writing, and watching in order to move along the scale. Stick with it and create realistic achievable goals.
Last advice, when taking interests in to others who influence you, remember its okay to have role models, but at the same time, limit them to role models, because you deserve the right to shine like a star just as much as they did. If you put in the time, I guarantee you one day your time will come.