The Power of Influence

By David Nzyma

The principle of influence has a two fold application since people can have a negative effect on us as well as a positive effect. On your journey to achieve your goals, you will stir up both those who want to help you and those who want to hinder you.

We often underestimate the influence of others in our lives. Often, you do not know you are being influenced until it is too late. Whether you realize it or not, however, the influence of those you spend time with has a powerful effect on how you will end up in life, on whether you will succeed or fail.

I have learnt that people have the potential to create your environment. Your environment then determines your mind-set, and your mind-set determines your future. Therefore you must choose your friends wisely, selecting those who are with you and not against you. You should choose friends who are going in the same direction and want to obtain the same things as you so that you can reinforce one another. You can ask yourself these questions to find what your friends really have you doing: What are these people doing to me? In other words, what do they have me listening to, reading, thinking, doing, going to? What do they have me saying? How do they have me feeling and what do they have me settling for? And most importantly, what is being around these people causing me to become? Solomon the wise said, “He who walks with the wise grows wise but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Priority requires that there be people and places you have to disassociate yourself from it you’re going to make it to your dream. Disassociation is not an easy action to take, but a very important one in life. You may not want to completely disassociate yourself from some of the people in your life however it is important that you thoughtfully and prayerfully determine how much time you spend with them. You must protect your mental environment and one way to do so is to spend more time with positive influence and less time with negative influence. If you are going to be successful you have to spend more time with the right people; people who have the same philosophy and discipline as you, people who exhibit the kind of character that you want to have.

Attending the means of formation has really helped me. The personal and social ethics taught there have had a big impact on my life. I have since tried to achieve virtues as opposed to vices. I have also got to know those whom I want to emulate. The means of formation will certainly have positive influence on you and I would encourage you to attend one.

David is a 2nd year BSc. (Electrical Engineering) student at the University of Nairobi.

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