The Right Circle
The people (positive or negative) who get the highest percentage of your attention have the greatest influence on you. Who are those people, and why do they hold such prestigious positions in your life? Your circle of influence charts the direction of your life more than your education level, expertise and experiences. Therefore, you owe it to yourself and your future to identify the personal influences in your life and to prioritize them based on your goals. You must take control of the people who get the honor of your attention.
An influence is a person or thing that has the ability to affect the way you think and behave. Consequently, anything that has your attention for an extended period of time can influence you. We’d all like to say that we’re influenced by the best and the greatest—the “who’s who” in our industries and families. Your true influencers are the people and things that get the bulk of your time. Think about your days and your weeks—what or who gets the most of your attention? Is it the people closest to you? Is it celebrities, television and radio shows? Is it the folks on social media? Is it people you don’t like? Is it a few people from your past who keep popping in your mind?
You must be strategic about how you spend your time and the people you allow to hold your attention. There are three categories of influence:
Motivators/Teachers/Mentors/Pastors – These are people who have already obtained goals that you wish to achieve. You may not have personal relationships with these people, but you have access to their wisdom via books, videos, church, seminars, courses and similar platforms. These people influence you to get better by setting examples for you to follow and walking ahead of you.
Friends/Family/Peers – These are people with whom you have personal relationships and purposefully choose to lend your time. These people are in a similar place in life, and you learn from one another. They influence you by walking with you and cheering you along the way.
Mentees/Students/Clients/Younger Family Members – These are people who look up to you and follow your leadership. You have personal relationships with some people in this category, and yet others are following your example from afar. These are the people who influence you from behind by pushing you to get better.
Creating and maintaining a positive circle of influence will drive your life in the right direction. I encourage you to take a monthly inventory of who is influencing you and be bold enough to make adjustments, as needed. Be sure that you have people who influence you by walking ahead of you, beside you and behind you. The right circle of influence can change your life.