A New Way To Think About Your Influences

Do you remember that children’s song that goes something like, “be careful little eyes what you see”? What about being careful with our adult eyes?

We're all influenced by outside sources. In fact, thanks to technology, our exposure to outside influences is greater now than it has ever been. If you open up your Facebook page, you’re going to have multiple opportunities to be influenced. How many of you are on Twitter, Instagram, or the internet in general? We cannot completely avoid what it placed in front of us.

Isn't this why parents are so mindful of what their children are exposed to seeing and hearing? As adults, do we plan or prevent our own influences?

Who or What Are Your Biggest Influences?

You may have heard me talk about the fact that we are who we hang around. “Birds of a feather flock together.” Or, you may have heard that we’re the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. We are failing to recognize that if we’re hanging out with our iPhones more than humans—this becomes one of the top five people we’re the sum total of. Are you with me on this? In other words, who or what we’re hanging around within technology will become the five people we’re most influenced by.

If I follow certain people on social media, I’m going to learn from them and it will inevitably start to shape my mind—if I’m not mindful of filtering them.

Listening to a certain genre of music will start to influence us. By the way, I use this to my advantage. If I need to get in a certain mood, similar to athletes prior to a big game, I will play a specific style of music to influence my mind and body. It can help build adrenaline, and on the flip side, music can help calm and soothe.

There have been shows I’ve started and had to discontinue because I was getting hooked on the lives of the people in the show—how embarrassing! It would impact the way I spoke, how I responded to people, and eventually it impacted decisions I made. I’m grateful to have recognized this sooner than later.

Now, I have a list of shows that I love to watch on Hulu each week. These are escape from reality shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Once I’m caught up on those, I’m done with TV for the week. It’s time to get away from the couch and do other things. Because if I search hard enough, I’ll find something mind-numbing that will not add any value to my life. And trust me, as much as you may need to read this, I need to write this. I have had periods in life when I’ve been completely enthralled with a show and watching it was all I wanted to do. I would binge watch every episode, season after season. It can be very addicting! Now, I have those allotted shows for a reason. They’re entertaining and fictional. But there’s a handful, and that’s it.

What if you developed rules that you were to abide by, as if you were parenting your teenage self? For example, I will listen to positive podcasts that offer personal and professional development as well as reading similar books.

What About Your Time?

It’s really about recognizing the value of our time. What do you want to do with your time? How will seeing, listening, or reading, whatever it is, going to affect your life? Is it bringing you closer to who you want to be? Or distracting you from all that you could accomplish?

I once saw this social media post and it said, “We have the same 24 hours a day that Beyoncé has.” And that my friends, is true. Let’s filter out the crap and proactively pour in the purposeful.

Comment below and let me know your takeaways; what you have—or will apply to your life!