Influencing Culture

What if…

What you do and what you say in every situation made a difference?

Of course, you know what’s coming next.

It does!

Two things inspired me to write this today.

First, I was reading my morning devotional. It was Esther 4.

Book of Esther pictureIf you are not a person of faith before you stray away: there is a valuable lesson in here for everyone.

In the story, the Jews are facing annihilation at the hands of Haman through his influence on King Xerxes. Mordecai, a Jew, had managed to get his cousin Esther, also a Jew, placed as Queen. Mordecai sends her a message to intervene with the King on behalf of the Jews but doing so could endanger Esther’s life and she hesitates, doubting her influence.

Mordecai’s response moved her: “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?

How would that hit you?

That one moment where she doubts she has influence and doubts she can make a difference is where she ends up having a huge impact and makes the biggest difference of all!

Secondly, I read a blog post from my mentor John C. Maxwell, also talking about influence

He also says those moments when we don’t think about who or how we influence is where we can have the greatest influence. The chance encounters, the seemingly insignificant.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#culturecounts” display_mode=”box”]We think about major moments so much that we forget that minor moments count as well.[/tweetthis]

Think about those moments and think about your day so far

Image of Influence Network

Are there moments you miss? What about your family this morning as everyone woke up? The person behind the counter at the coffee shop? The security guard at the front door to the office? The co-worker you walked by this morning?

In every circumstance, our choices help create examples for others to mirror. For example, most people will smile back at you if you smile at them. By making those same choices consistently, we encourage it in others, and that helps build culture.

Therefore, culture is created, it doesn’t just evolve. We help shape culture by our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#CultureCounts #Ahhamoment”]Our daily choices influence culture in every circumstance.[/tweetthis]

What if you were in a particular time and place for such a time as this?

What if this person or group was where your influence counted the most?

What will your next choice be?

What thoughts and suggestions do you have to help others shape culture?

Proving the Law

I have made several mentions of the Law of Sacrifice over this week, but thought it might be a good idea to make that a little clearer.  See, there are actually several versions of the Law of Sacrifice and although the message differs the overall theme is the same.  At its essence, the Law of Sacrifice says that to get something you perceive of greater value, you must give up something of lesser value.  The Law is universal and there is no way around it.

Yet every day there are people who look at Get Rich Quick schemes and buy all kinds of pills and programs to lose weight without making any lifestyle changes at all.

People are always looking for ways to “break” the Law of Sacrifice.  

But you can’t actually break a law and that’s the problem.  You can only prove it.  For example, if you jump off the top of a tall building you will prove the Law of Gravity, not break it.   It is the same with the Law of Sacrifice.  No matter what you do to get around or break the law, in the end you will simply prove it.

Making the Trade

tradeoffsLet’s say, for example, that you find a scheme for getting rich quickly using a program that requires no investment from you but requires that you get money from others that they will lose permanently.  You get rich and they get poorer.  Yeah, you got rich quick, just like the advertisement said and you didn’t have to put out any money so where’s the Law of Sacrifice in that?  Well, you just traded in your moral and ethical standards and your self-esteem to get rich.  In other words, you decided that getting rich had greater value than maintaining high morals and ethics and more important than your self-image.  You decided that getting rich was more important than preserving you.

You must lose in order to gain and you must make that choice.  If I choose to watch TV, or browse the Internet, or any number of other activities other than ones that support my business making money, then I have placed a higher value on those trivial things over the success of my business.

This decision is not always made consciously and other factors weigh in.  A big one is RESISTANCE, the intangible beast inside of us that seeks to sabotage any attempts to change anything in our lives.  For a good reference on that, I highly recommend you read Do The Work by Steven Pressfield ($5 as a Kindle Book).  This manifesto talks all about how to overcome resistance.  In addition to resistance, fear enters in as well as lethargy.  The result is that while we still make the decision, we are not as conscious about why we make the decision, so changing it becomes very difficult.  Once we become aware of why we make the wrong choices, we can better develop systems to help prevent us from doing it again and make better choices going forward.

But in the end, you are gonna have to lose to gain, proving the Law of Sacrifice once again.

Action Plan

  • Identify at least one place in your life where the you are trying to avoid the Law of Sacrifice.  Why?  What trade off are you making?  How can you make a better choice going forward?



Rejoice – Enjoying What We Have

We All Ride a Roller Coaster

I try to be transparent with what I share here.  The more you can see me, warts and all, then the more likely you are to realize that success in business and life is attainable; that we all have flaws, shortcomings, and challenges we face.  Steve Jobs, despite his incredible vision and gift for marketing, had big character flaws.  Same with Bill Gates, and many others.  Ray and Maurice McDonald didn’t have the vision to make their restaurant a household name; it took Ray Kroc to do that.  We ALL have hurdles to face and have up times and down times.

I share that because recently I have been having a down time.  For a variety of reasons, things have not gone well in different parts of my life and I have gotten down on myself and doubts began to creep in.  When that happens for me, I go back and look for things that remind me to re-focus and think positive.

Warning:  The rest of this post will have a decidedly spiritual bent to it.  I apologize if it offends you; I do not apologize for who I am and what I believe.

REJOICEI ran across this:  I have a card I received at a men’s group meeting years ago that I keep around. It is shaped like a stop sign and, in fact, on one side looks like a stop sign.  On the other it carries this verse from the Bible, specifically from Philippians 4:4-7:

“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS (emphasis mine)!  I say again, REJOICE!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Changes in Attitude

For me, of course, it is a reminder of where I have put my faith and my life.  It is also a reminder that no matter what else I have things I can take great joy in throughout my life daily.

Let’s expand it beyond and see what we can find for everyone.  When we have an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, we are better able to keep things in perspective.  When we rejoice in the things we have that cannot be taken away, that the world cannot touch, then we provide a solid base for how we regard everything else that happens in our life.  Once we have that perspective and are thinking in gratitude, therefore thinking positively, then we are better equipped to handle the crisis and not only survive but come out ahead.  Zig Ziglar often said

“The more you express gratitude for what you have the more you will have to express gratitude for.”

gratitude - thank youAdopting the principle of rejoicing yields big returns; perhaps not always in the way we expect.  Certainly, we all wish we had more money, more resources, more opportunities, more clients, more of whatever is on our mind right now.  Yet when we rejoice in what we do have, we see that not only do we have a full cup but that it actually overflows.  On the other hand, when we focus on what we don’t have we can lose what we do have.   I remember years ago watching a comedy sketch where a man asks another man who is holding a cup of coffee for the time.  The second man turns his wrist to look at his watch and pours out his cup of coffee.  Like the man, we lose focus on what’s in our hand to look at something else.

Consider This

What would your life be like if, for say at least a week, when someone asks you how you are you respond with “I am rejoicing!”  Don’t reflect on what people will think about you, center on what it will do for you.  Certainly it would be hard to say that continually and be negative.

I am going to try that for the next two weeks.  I invite you to try it with me and let me know how it goes.

Action Plan:

  • Begin a gratitude journal.  Get a notepad or journal or use an online one like Penzu.  Every day for at least a month, write down at least one thing you are grateful for.  Each day you have to enter something you have not previously added; in other words, each day is unique.  Look at the list often.
  • Respond to any greeting of “how are you” with “I am rejoicing!” for at least a week.  If someone asks you why, use the gratitude reason of the day or some other response if you wish.

I welcome your thoughts here about the ideas shared in today’s post!