Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you
So I’ve been thinking a lot over the past week or so about influences, and God’s been doing that thing where He throws things right in front of me to point it out even more. So I thought I’d write a post!
Summer school especially always makes me realise who the biggest influences on my life are – God, family, friends – whether they realise it or not, certain people in my life are a huge influence on the person I am. The way they lead their lives greatly influences the way I live mine. And I guess that influence can be both positive and negative. And this year I was also painfully aware of the scary, scary thought that I might in fact be an influence on others too.
I’ve started using this ‘Bible in one year’ app on my phone, which gives little devotional readings and a few bible passages to read every day for a year. I’d done today’s and was flicking through the titles for some of the days over the past couple of weeks and found one called ‘Maximising your Influence’, so decided to give it a quick glance.
“Everyone influences someone….. Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted individual will influence 10,000 other people during his or her lifetime.”
Now whether that statement is accurate or not, it’s a pretty daunting prospect. The reading goes on to talk about how no matter how small and insignificant you may think yourself to be, you are always influencing someone, and how that influence can be used for good or evil.
Now I’m a relatively introverted person, and the thought that I may be influencing even a handful of people makes me excruciatingly aware and conscious of my behaviour and how I come across to well, everyone!
As I’m sure my friends (who have to put up with listening to me all the time) will agree, I am good at moaning. I don’t mean to moan, and it’s generally all trivial stuff, but I do it quite a lot. And though it’s not necessarily evil, it’s negative, and my negative attitude about, well, life, I guess, could easily have an effect and influence on someone else’s day, or even on their attitudes or opinions.
And this scares me! I’m not necessarily a negative person, but I don’t have much confidence which makes me see all things relating to myself pretty negatively, and I’m always scared that being quiet (and being quite content with quietness and pondering in general) might come across as just plain miserable!!
And without wanting to sound too cheesy – I love cheering people up and making people feel better (maybe psychology is the right path after all?).. And I want to make a difference to people’s days and peoples lives…in a good way!! So the thought that my negative outlook could be influencing them for the worse makes me determined to change that!
Some of my closest friends are a good few years older than me, and they are a huge, huge influence on my life. (And I sincerely hope they know this!!!!) I don’t know if it’s because they’ve already been through the stages I’m at now, or if it’s just because they’re genuinely lovely people and I’d be inspired and influenced by them at any age (or maybe a bit of both!) but their morals and their take on the world, and on God, definitely influences me.
So, the thought that I may be a similar influence on some of my other closest friends who are maybe that same age gap younger than me? Well that’s scary. As I said, I don’t have any confidence in myself and find it truly difficult to believe that anyone could be influenced by me at all – for good or bad. But even if it’s just one person, it still makes me want to strive to be the best possible version of myself that I can be. At all times. Which is hard!!! But I think it’s worth trying hard to do. I’d be delighted to think I had been half of the positive influence on someone that certain people have been on my life!
So my encouragement of the day is: Be yourself. Be the best possible version of yourself. Be Happy.
Because you never know who you might be influencing!!