Choosing Influence: Liberate Self-Direction
“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.”
~ Eric Hoffer
We learn from each other, but are you always aware of the extent to which you’re influenced? Do you consciously choose who and what you imitate, or find yourself influenced on random whims? Knowing yourself is the number one requisite for leading a self-directed life liberated from haphazard, potentially dangerous influence.
Winning multiple best book of the year awards, Nudge, written by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, explores how we make decisions and how we can make better ones. Through the concept of ‘choice architecture,’ authors nudge people toward best decisions.
By defining guiding principles and choosing to be influenced by what enhances and supports your values and prospects, you become our own choice architect designing liberated living today that continually betters today.
The Scale of Influence
Our thoughts and actions can be substantially shaped by the lives of others. Whether briefly temporal or significantly long-term, our state of mind is naturally more malleable to outside influence than we think.
Put it in perspective and realize that within the microcosms of our lives, nearly everyone is operating within society’s mold. Society, culture and social milieu is the soil from which our convictions grow.
Think first of the cliché ‘if everyone jumped off a bridge–would you?’ Then expand, if you’re roommates or family didn’t recycle–would you? If you’re friends only bought local–would you? If your community all rode bikes–would you?
First Know Yourself
The natural phenomenon of being swayed is in large part why people find travel can be so meaningful and wondrous, as you’re exposed to definitively different lifestyles that open your mind.
Solo travel, or simply times of solitude, allow us to see deeper into ourselves and gain a different kind of perspective based on our inner workings–not others, not culture.
Know yourself. Find inspiration that speaks to you. Do what you feel is right regardless of others.
Choose Your Influence
Next time you find yourself adapting to situational circumstance, stop and ask yourself if that is how you would act on your own prerogative.
To lead, one must know the self.
Rid yourself of outside influence–be unique, be happy, be prosperous how you see fit.