Sunday, April 10, 2011

Curious about Influence: How Important Is It? How Much Do You Have and Use?


  • Definition of Influence: The bringing about of an effect, physical or moral, by a gradual process; controlling power quietly exerted; agency, force, or tendency of any kind which the sun exerts on animal and vegetable life; the influence of education on the mind; the influence, according to astrologers, of the stars over affairs. Power or authority arising from elevated station, excellence of character or intellect, wealth, etc.; reputation; acknowledged ascendency; as, he is a man of influence in the community. To control or move by power, physical or moral; to affect by gentle action; to exert an influence upon; to modify, bias, or sway; to move; to persuade; to induce.

  • You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady

  • I chose “Influence” for this week’s blog, because recently there have been several books and articles written about it. I also am interested in what has influenced us in our lives to become who we are. I just experienced a TED talk by Caroline Casey at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyBk55G7Keo . I suggest that if you have 20 minutes, you will find this no limits talk incredible.

  • I found many thought-provoking quotations. I know you will love them. A couple that I want to share right away are:

  • Influence is like a savings account. The less you use it, the more you've got.” - Andrew Young, American clergyman

  • And, “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” - Wilma Rudolph, American athlete

Ready for more? I am:



  • The forbidden things were a great influence on my life. I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.” - Amy Tan, American novelist

  • I think maybe the rural influence in my life helped me in a sense, of knowing how to get close to people and talk to them and get my work done.” - Gordon Parks, American photographer

  • I have been trying to point out that in our lives chance may have an astonishing influence and, if I may offer advice to the young laboratory worker, it would be this - never to neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening.” - Alexander Fleming, English scientist

  • If you examine this, I think that you will find that it's the mechanics of Japanese architecture that have been thought of as the direct influence upon our architecture.” - Minoru Yamasaki, American architect

  • Another cause for the increase in alienation and cynicism is a feeling that too many policy decisions that affect individuals have been taken out of any system that has accountability or that they can influence.” – Robert Teeter, American politician

  • Ted Turner is still a leader. And he sets a great example. His ability financially has been reduced, but his influence and his example still is an important asset to the whole environmental movement.” - Maurice Strong, Canadian businessman

  • There is no influence like the influence of habit.” - Gilbert Parker, British politician

  • I really do believe in the influence of your surroundings.” - Matt Sharp, American musician

And just a few more – they are so good!



  • The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.” - John Hancock, American politician

  • Our chief justices have probably had more profound and lasting influence on their times and on the direction of the nation than most presidents.” - Richard M. Nixon, American President

  • The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret.” - Salvador Dali, Spanish artist

  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” - Mark Twain, American author

  • Whatever we do or fail to do will influence the course of history.” - Arthur Henderson, British politician

  • Picasso's always been such a huge influence that I thought when I started the cartoon paintings that I was getting away from Picasso, and even my cartoons of Picasso were done almost to rid myself of his influence.” - Roy Lichtenstein, American artist

  • Dreams have as much influence as actions.” - Stephane Mallarme, French poet

So, what has been a big influence in your life? And who, how, and when have you influenced? Remember, I would love to hear your feedback.

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