I discovered that too many people dislike or even resent the concept of Influence.
It’s interesting, because Influence it’s something that happens all the time – although randomly, more often than not. However, we influence and we Are influenced all the time. To dislike and resent something that ‘happens all the time’ it’s an interesting way of living life…
I got curious and I asked those persons Why are they resenting Influence. They told me that, for them, Influence meant “to Force someone to adopt your way.”
But is that, really, Influence?
Influence comes from ‘influere’ (lat.), composed of ‘in’ and ‘fluere’ – basically, means “in the flow”. How can be “in the flow” when forcing somebody to do something they don’t want to do? How can They be “in the flow” in that situation?
That’s Forcing. And, indeed, when you see Influence as equal with Forcing, that’s not appealing.
However, when you come to contemplate Influence as a natural process of life – like planting a seed, and that growing into a tree… or not…., knowing that you have no control over the result (IF the tree will grow, or HOW the tree will look like), and not even setting yourself for frustration, by trying to control that – you become free to start influencing everything around you, because you’re not “forcing” anything and anybody.
You just ARE. Your job is to “do the doing”, to put the seed in the ground. Then you allow the Nature, the Universe, to take over and to bring the tree into existence – to the extent that this will not affect the Harmony, the Natural Order of Things, the Dao. This is the “doing without doing”, as the Book of the Way says.
Then you may start to see Influence simply as “having an impact” on your environment, including on the way other people behave around you.
How would you go about Influencing others, from this perspective? You offer options to the person in front of you, on top of the alternatives they already have, fully allowing their liberty to choose, according to their own wisdom.
When you Force somebody to do something They Don’t Want, when you Force something into Existence – like cutting a forest, or detouring the course of a river – you break the Harmony of the world, and you may expect secondary effects lashing back. We are All connected, just as if we are parts of a huge organism. When one of the parts starts to do things on its own, disregarding the harmony of the organism they are part of, that’s like cancer.
So, if Influence means ‘having an impact’ by ‘planting a seed’, then Deliberate Influence means ‘planting the seeds you’d like to see growing in your life’.
I watched a child playing with a ball, the other day. She wanted to get the ball through two sticks, so she threw the ball in the air, towards those sticks, but it didn’t get through the first time. Then, she picked it up, from wherever the ball fell, and threw it again, without any resentment, any grudge, just enjoying the ‘throwing of the ball up in the air’.
I remembered that, ever since December of last year, I had this idea of creating a workshop – but I got caught under my own thinking: What If this happens, What If the other thing happens, or What If that Doesn’t happen? I realized that I was trying to Control the outcome, I was actually Forcing things to happen! I wasn’t doing Exactly what I am teaching!
Then I had this insight – Create the workshop for its own sake; just “do the doing”, and stop this compulsion to Control the result. Create it just like “throwing the ball up in the air”, ‘planting the seed’, putting things in motion – without Forcing things, without Attachment to a particular outcome.
It’s not my job to control the outcome. My job is to ‘throw the ball in the air’, and allow the Universe’s Wisdom to decide where the ball will fall; then, pick it up from there and throw it up again.
I decided to create this workshop. Actually, I’m calling it a Playshop, because it will not be ‘about work’, but about this attitude of Playfulness. My intention is to inspire for you this state of “I AM and I CAN”, of ‘throwing the ball in the air’, of ‘planting a seed’, and feel the joy of doing that. I want for you to Have an Experience of this way of looking at your world, so you can have a reference experience and remember it when you are facing a new start.
How many things could You get started, if you were to see your job solely as ‘planting the seed’, letting go of the compulsion to Control the results of what you do? That would be a place of Authenticity, because you’re not succumbing to the Ego’s need to control things. And, you’ll finally be able to feel good about starting that project that you put out for so long….
Start to Deliberately Influence your world – it doesn’t mean that you “go and have it your way, while stepping on other people’s throats”; it only means that you plant the seeds of what you want to have happen, and trusting that Life WILL bring that creation into existence – IF that will be possible while maintaining the Natural Order of Things.