Most people have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just a loose idea of how they would like things to be.
You carry it around with you wherever you go, it influences the choices you make.
You say yes to doing that thing that will help you progress and hopefully make things easier in the long run. You say no to things that are fun, exciting and interesting because you consider them a distraction.
But then sometimes something or someone comes along and disrupts the plans you made.
It could be someone that makes you realise that you’re settling, a listing for an amazing kind of job that you didn’t even know existed or meeting someone that went down a non-traditional route and has managed to make a great life for themselves.
Your eyes become open to the possibilities of life. You realise that the plan you made was created to give you a safe and stable life rather than being something you were truly passionate about.
You might be under the impression that the media you consume has no influence over you.
But one day you might find yourself saying, doing or buying something that doesn’t quite feel like you.
For example, on a podcast a woman spoke about how she noticed that when watching a particular reality tv show she was more argumentative.
I think it’s impossible to not be influenced whatsoever and it’s important to be aware of how you’re influenced by the things you consume.
Some examples of the things we consume are: YouTube, blogs, TV, music and social media.
Consumption of those things can influence your career choice, how you spend your money, what you value, your self esteem, how you communicate, the way you view life and so on.
I can openly admit that I’m aware of how I’m influenced by things. An easy example is music because I have playlists for when I’m feeling blue and for when I need a pick me up.
Something I unconsciously started doing from a young age is thinking about the way I want to feel or the kind of person I want to be and consuming things that align with that.
If that’s not something you already do, I think it’s worth a try.
It’s hard to balance tense and triggered aspects of self with the softer more malleable bits.
My anxiety makes me tense and rigid but it also deeply influences the way I write. But my softer more malleable side deeply influences my writing too.
It is often through writing that my anxieties subside and I am able to go with the flow, follow the words and not worry about the order or things making perfect sense but to instead stay inflow allowing the words to pour.
To be able to follow the flow no matter how brief or specific is something worth cherishing. When you’re tense and rigid or feeling overwhelmed by life it seems impossible that there’s any other way, but there is.
The flow is always there whether you choose that path or not. You can go back to it at any point because the moment you realise that what you’re doing isn’t working or should be different is the moment the solution becomes available.
Like books, podcasts, talks etc
If someone asks for a recommendation when your interests aren’t mainstream, it’s easy to hold back. It’s easy to be reluctant to share that local band who are heavily influenced by 80s synth pop.
You might skip over that book you read a while back by a neurologist purely out of curiosity.
That podcast with a spiritual/holistic focus won’t even get a mention.
But I think those things are worth passing on. If you were lucky enough to find something you enjoy that people you’re around might not be aware of, why not tell them about it?
It’s easy to be put off by the thought of blank or uninterested faces.
But at least you were willing to share something about yourself.
Plus, you might even find someone else who is interested in the same things as you.
Whatever is going on in my life will be woven through the words I write.
At times, I’m like a floatie being pulled and swayed in all kinds of directions. But I’m easily influenced and inspired.
From the ages of 16-18 I studied textiles, discovered Seth Godin and read a few books by Dickens.
That trio of things heavily influenced my writing at the time through the language in used. I can see it now but I was also aware of it at the time.
And as time has passed new things have influenced the way I write things like music, nature, relationships etc.
I still have my core style but my choice of words and what I want them to evoke has developed and grown with along with me.
For this blog my writing is heavily inspired by my themes of overcoming fear, self exploration, dream life etc
But I’m also still influenced by Seth Godin after all these years (I’m now in my twenties). I’m also influenced by things that move me emotionally, I’m a feelings person, who has kept a journal for more than a decade so it’s a big part of who I am. I can’t help but let that part of me pour out when I write.
I’d like to think that my influences and inspirations come through but it’s not down to me if they show or not.
That’s for you to decide.
People make careers out of their ability to influence others.
There’s whole branches of psychology and sections of NLP about how to influence and sway people in whatever direction you desire.
In fact people have the ability to make us feel as though we desire the very thing they have to offer and we believe it so much that we follow that feeling.
We spend money on things we’ve been influenced to buy. We follow the lives of strangers who influence the way we live our lives, the places we go, the way we dress and the products we use.
And sometimes it all seems calculated and sleazy.
You start to question if you really want anything at all.
But I can’t help but wonder, is it so wrong to be influenced?
I think the answer is no.
Of course if you’re spending all your money trying to be like someone else buying things you have no use for and generally have no sense of self you might need to take a step back.
But if you were influenced to read a book that taught you something new or opened your mind up to a new perspective, I think it’s okay.
Once I started earning enough money to buy my own things I realised that my purchases were heavily influenced by a variety of factors, not just people.
Often it’s about how we want to feel or be perceived and the person we are influenced by is likely to resonate that.
That’s how the story of how I discovered the person who would become one of my biggest life inspirations begins. This person would go on to help influence the words I wrote, the person I’ve become and the things that I chose to do.
At 17 I liked to think that I was someone who didn’t fall for marketing ploys. I liked to think that I was a girl unswayed by the things that surrounded me.
Mostly because marketing sometimes seemed like you were being tricked into wanting or buying things by people who wanted your money, like a sort of elaborate scam.
I wanted to believe that I was above that sort of thing but I can now admit that the perception I held of myself wasn’t true.
I was wrong.
Wrong because I felt myself pulled to pick up a book called ‘Free Prize Inside’. Turns out there was no actual free prize inside the book but it did change my life which is even better.