Location: Shanghai, China
Some people almost always win because they understand reaction and influence.
A person’s influence exists in this life, and it can remain long after his death.
Chairman Mao understood reaction and influence, that’s why his face is on China’s money.
“The only real defense is active defense” – Mao Zedong
Reaction and influence play out all around us.
In the physical world, the moon revolves around (reacts to) our world because of the earth’s gravity (influence).
In the social world, a follower obeys (reacts to) a leader because of his leadership (influence).
There are (at least) a million ways for men to influence their social and physical world.
Access to money.
Some methods are certainly nicer than others. The truth isn’t always nice, but it’s always the truth.
The people reacting are the people being influenced. That’s the truth.
This truth applies equally to armies, people, nations, companies, and heavenly bodies.
Influence Happens All Around Us
The preacher influences his congregation.
The entrepreneur influences his investors, his employees, and his customers.
The writer influences his readers.
The soldier influences his friends and enemies.
Different People Are Influenced By Different Things
Imagine yourself in a land where food has been scarce for many years.
Life is hard, work is physically exhausting, and meat is a luxury to eat.
In this society, the man with higher social status has more access to meat.
He eats more, and he doesn’t work as hard, therefore he becomes fat (click on the link for a source study).
His fatness becomes a status symbol.
Status symbols, in and of themselves, are often a means of influence.
Now, imagine yourself in a land where food is plentiful and work is done from a desk.
Is fatness still a status symbol?
Because people with a lot of food and office based jobs value different things than malnourished farmers.
People’s values change with their social and physical environment.
Those who understand that our values drive our actions have a serious advantage in life.
These people have an ever greater advantage if they understand that people’s values are created by (and change with) their environment.
How To Be Influential In Three Easy Steps
- Once you understand a people’s values, you can understand their motivations.
- Once you understand their motivations, you can give them what they need.
- Once you give them what they need, you can have a massive influence.
The producer influences. The consumer is influenced.
Look at the people around you:
Are they producers or consumers?
There is influence happening all around us.
Do you want to be the influenced or the influencer?
The “Influence to Reaction” Ratio
You will encounter a certain ratio of “influence to reaction” in various situations.
There’s nothing wrong with receiving some influence from time to time, especially when you are younger.
Take my picture above for example: I’m a proud American standing in front of a Chinese mural in JingDeZhen.
My experience in the city was beautiful, and it improved my life-perspective. The place and people had an influence on me. I’m happy to have been influenced in this way.
A young man can and should choose his influences as wisely as possible.
A wise man can and should positively influence the young man.
An old man should have worked all of his life to increase his influence.
If he’s done it right, people will continue to be influenced long after he dies. That’s immortality.
Have you ever enjoyed a book written by a dead man?
Have you ever enjoyed a song that a dead man sang?
Yes, I have too. That’s influence. Beautiful immortality.
Passivity is death.
Happy New Year,