Power & Influence? Here's How!

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”. – Albert Einstein

Have you ever wanted to be perceived as powerful and influential? You’re in luck! The answers lie below…

The easiest and most efficient way to be perceived as powerful and influential is through the deposits you make through your daily actions. Think it’s cliché? Too simple?  Give it a try!

In the new HBO Documentary, “Meet the Donors: Does Money Talk?”, a film by the Emmy-winning filmmaker, Alexandra Pelosi, there are two quotes made by Cardiologist, Bruce Charash that allude to the perceived power of influence. They are as follows: “Never underestimate the projection of power.” and “Power is what people think you have”. So, why are these quotes important? Several reasons:

·         “Never underestimate the projection of power.” | “Power is what people think you have.”  - There is a certain perception given from those who observe a giving person; no matter the amount, type or consistency of the giving. This is because it is almost impossible for a person to form an accurate judgement about the acts of another without first gaining insight on or having a reference to the other person’s given circumstances.

On the other side of that, there’s an even greater appreciation given to the giver from the person receiving the gift. In many cases a giver is not giving for recognition, they are giving because it is within their hearts to do so, they believe it is the correct action and/or because it is the appropriate time (meaning their present circumstances align with the opportunity). Givers who fit this description often understand that all things are mutually connected and bonded, that they have a right to perform their perceived duties and are not entitled to or expectant of results or reciprocity stemming from their actions. They never consider themselves as the cause of the results of their actions; they simply act because they are moved to do so.

“It made a difference to that one!”

A quote from “The Star Thrower”, by Loren Eiseley

Ask yourself, how can any act be successful if failure is on the mind at the moment the thought was conceived? In the story of “The Star Thrower”, an old man walked along a beach as a part of his daily routine. One morning, after a storm had passed he noticed the beach was covered with thousands of starfish that washed up on the beach as the result of the storm. Along his walk he recognized a boy off in the distance, walking along the same path but stopping to bend over every few feet or so. As the boy walked closer, the old man asked the boy what he was doing even though it was pretty obvious. The boy replied he was throwing starfish back into the water. The old man replied to the boy that there were tens of thousands of beached starfish and that he could never make a real difference. At that moment, the boy bent down, picked up, and tossed another starfish back into the ocean. Then he turned to the old man and said, “It made a difference to that one!” 

This story personifies several things like the importance of acting with the kind of compassion towards others that we’d seek for ourselves, thinking in terms of what will happen vs. what could happen, and the power of acting with intention and without expectation. Imagine the amount of perceived influence the young boy gained from the old man at that moment of realization and everyday thereafter. This story also makes the case for not getting lost in the details or stuck on the what if scenarios because the truth is there will not be an answer without first having an experience. What this boils down to is the significance of living in the present and taking what the future brings as is and without opinion.

Lastly, power and influence can grow out of acting subjectively and without judgment. When you allow yourself to get rid of judgment and act subjectively, your giving nature will grow. For instance, you see a homeless man asking for money.

·         Some may look at the man as a person who squandered away all of his opportunities (no real way to make that conclusion)

·         Some may look at the man as an addict looking for his next fix (possible to recognize the signs but there’s a +50% chance that you could still be wrong)

·         Some may look at the man as a person in need (that’s it and nothing more)

It’s the latter response that when used throughout your life consistently that allows for power and influence to surge exponentially. The truth that lies within this given scenario is that we’ve all made bad choices and decisions and that no man is different than the next even if you were able to resist the faults that others may have fallen victim to. The fact is, it is within all of our natures to fall to the same vices. Even more true to this example, the judgment others are creating to justify not acting, in many cases are not even made towards the actions the homeless man may or may not commit, it is simply opinion that is causing the disturbance.  Be in control of your opinions and realize they are typically self-serving, according to your own interest and recognize that the mind allows for ample reasoning to support your position.

In closing, power and influence is often the creation of the observer or receiver. You want to build power and influence then treat the task like a bank account and start making small deposits daily. Every action made gains immediate interest and the value of your account never depreciates. So pay it forward!  

 “Your present opinion founded on understanding, and your present conduct directed to social good, and your present disposition of contentment with everything that happens—that is enough”. – Marcus Aurelius