Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.
– Albert Schweitzer
You influence people. You influence people. You influence people.
In whatever circumstance and from the moment you can articulate your thoughts, you have an influence over others. I remember when I was around seven, a girl in my class spelt ‘Iceland’ wrong (Island), and she was fantastic at spelling; I never, ever, ever got that word wrong. Her reaction…welling up with tears and sobbing away influenced me. I couldn’t risk making the same mistake as she did! And yet, that girl will never realise the impact that minuscule event had on my spelling.
You see, it’s in the small things that I believe you influence people most. The way you talk to people; the way you look at people; the way you react to situations. Naturally, if you make the best and biggest decisions in the world, people will respect you but it’s in the throw-away remarks and off-the-cuff reactions that people see the real you. It’s all part of the examples you set to others.
One of the times I have been most influenced was when a friend of mine went out of his way to get to know every single new person at our youth group. The way he genuinely took interest in each individual moved me. The example he set has resonated with me ever since and whilst I still find it difficult, I always cast my mind back to that evening and try and set the same example.
How can you set an example to the people around you? Perhaps you need to think about how you talk to people, or maybe your work ethic needs a bit of a boost. Whatever it is, don’t take your influence for granted. You can literally transform lives with it!