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Be the Influence!

October 8, 2018

 

How many times have we placed the blame on others/ other factors for not achieving certain tasks or goals? Let me make this clearer.

 

How many times have we said, "I try to eat healthily but, such and such person is always cooking this type of food or bringing this dessert home!'" "They make it difficult for me!" "All they have at my job is junk food and candy machines." 

 

How come we are so quick to admit that negative influences have an impact on our goals? 

 

Here's a personal story of mine when I was growing up in Elizabeth, NJ. I have an 18-year long friendship with a childhood friend of mine that remains solid today. However, growing up, even though he had a heart of gold, he was not what you would call "a good influence." He engaged in daring events such as trying to zip line on cloth hanger lines (don't judge us), or "borrow" our parent's car without them knowing it before we had a driving permit to joy ride around the city. At one point he got into a police chase in his mother's car, crashed the car into someone's front yard, got arrested and had to wear the ankle monitor for some time. Another time he broke his leg on one of his escapades and was on bed rest for a few months. I mean would you want your kids hanging out with this guy? My parents certainly did not. 

 

At one point my mother comes up to me after an incident and tells me "I don't want you hanging out with this kid! He's a bad example! Your friendship with him is finished! He's a bad influence!" 

 

I understood clearly what my mother was saying. However, I was upset because even though there were good reasons for my mother's concerns, I knew who my friend was in his heart; he was a good kid. I looked back at her and said, "How come he has to be a bad influence on me, how come I can't be a good influence on him?". She looked back at me for a few seconds with that look that's between analyzing what I just said and surprised I just talked back to her. She responded with "We'll talk about this later." That was the last time we spoke about my friendship with him. 

Fast forward 17 years later and until this very day, my mother loves my friend dearly who by the way turned out to be an amazing, responsible and exemplary father to two boys. Every time I visit my parents in Puerto Rico, they never go on without asking about his well-being. He's still my best friend today, and if I ever needed him for anything in this world, he would be the first and the only person I know I could count on to be there for me on time, every time. 

 

The moral of this story is that we often blame outside factors including other people for not meeting our goals in life. Whether that's fitness, health, career objectives or personal goals, we tend to sometimes point the finger at someone for being a negative influence in our lives. From that standpoint, we can do a few things, right? We can continue pointing our fingers and letting theses factors affect us negatively, we can stay/move away and avoid these influences, or we can counter the influence and reverse the outcome. What good is it to point and blame while continuing to let outside factors affect us? What are you doing about it? This is your decision to make.

 

I challenge you to the same challenge I had in my younger years. 

I challenge you to be a positive influence in whatever situation/person that you would categorize as a "not good influence."  I challenge you to quit the excuses and instead of blaming other people for being a bad influence in your life,  be a positive one on theirs. 

 

This challenge applies to fitness, nutrition, alcohol, sleepless nights, negative mentalities and any other factors you can honestly categorize as an unnecessary influence. 

 

This is my challenge to you! 

 

Remember, it's a mindset! Quit the excuses, quit the blaming, quit the complaining! Go out there and be the influence for success.  You never know who's life you may impact in an amazing way. 

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