The influence we cast in the near term becomes our legacy in the long term. We all have influence on those closest to us. The writings over the last few weeks have focused on some key principles on the pathway to having a positive influence on others.
Here is a brief summary of the prior weeks:
Part # 1 Intent: We need our intent to be aligned with a desire to help others and not focused on our own self-interest.
Open Communication: Part #2 & #3 enable a door to be opened for more effective communication.
Part #2 Listen: We need to increase our focus on listening and lessen our efforts on responding.
Part #3 Empathy: We need to build our empathy to better understand one another and try to “walk in their shoes,” see experiences from their lens, understand their perspective, and feel what they feel.
Create Connection: Part #4 & #5 create more effective personal connection with others.
Part #4 Common Experience: We all can find some areas of common experience with others. Sharing those experiences and the emotions that accompany them can create a strong personal connection with others.
Part #5 Common Learnings: Imparting wisdom based on learnings across some of our common life experiences is at the heart of positive influence and has its greatest opportunity to impact the lives of others.
As we look to close out these writings on the pathway to positive influence, the one principle-based action that is woven throughout the pathway from start to finish is to Serve & Give; To serve others, not ourselves and to give ourselves to a cause greater than us continually strengthens the bond of relationships that are vital to a healthy, fulfilling life.
When we consistently act in the service of others and give our talents and energies to a cause greater than ourselves we set an encouraging example for others to follow. The quiet servant, far from the headlines, focused on consistently moving the cause forward through the dark uncertain valleys will more times than not, cast a positive influence on those around them.
All of those with incredible intelligence, those with a loud voice, and those well-polished speakers eventually lose their luster through time and distance, but those who remain steadfast to serve and give leave a legacy of positive impact that we would all cherish.
It is important that we acknowledge the truth that close relationships are not easy. Life is complicated and often messy. Our ability to have a positive influence throughout life’s ups and downs can be most assured when we aim to serve and give. Below are some universal truths around the importance of serving and giving:
- Life is hard and we could all use some help (help in tough times and help to push us to reach our full potential). By serving others we can be best positioned to help those in need who often may be hesitant to admit and accept some assistance.
- It is a greater blessing to give than receive. When we focus on giving to a cause greater than ourselves, we realize the true joy of giving.
- We find our purpose, meaning, and lasting joy when we look to serve and give to others as opposed to continually searching for our own happiness.
When we can consistently serve and give, we foster strong relationships over time which helps us to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to have a positive influence on those we care about most.