INFLUENCE II: THE DOVE vs THE WOLF


photo credit: Kilian Schonberger photography
photo credit: Kilian Schoenberger photography

“We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the colour of our moral character from those who are around us.”

– John Locke.

Every blessed day we are fortunate to witness is accompanied by a wealth of experience we encounter; each experience we encounter is accompanied by a bundle of influence born in our minds. The influences in turn shape our personality; our thoughts, habits, character hence the decisions we make in our lives. The day-to-day decisions we make eventually sums up to our destiny.

From all of this, it becomes evident, the role that experience and thus influence play in our individual lives. But then…

How does experience become influence?

The passage way through which experience becomes influence is the mind- Through our thoughts -though on many occasions we do not even have to think about an experience before it influences us. This is because…

“The experiences we are exposed to have a way of eating deep into our subconscious mind leaving footprints that eventually find their way back into our consciousness.”

– Mind Convos

For example…

When we watch musical videos;  many times, we not only get to sing the song later on, we also find ourselves doing those dance moves as seen in the video even when we never actually thought about them before.

For this reason it is more advisable to completely avoid destructive experiences than to go through with them with the hope that we can control the likely effects that would result from them.

Adults due to their more developed mind/brain have better ability to control themselves against an influence. However, the ability to effectively use the will power against negative influences is not as developed in children. This is why it is usually advised that they are completely prevented and protected from obscene or violent experiences.

It is worthy of note that:

  • Destructive thoughts obtained from destructive experiences which are allowed to linger in the mind eventually become destructive influence.
  • Constructive thoughts obtained from constructive experiences which are allowed to linger in the mind eventually becomes constructive influence.

Our thoughts and reflections about an experience is a major decider of the kinds of influence that would result from it. That friend or colleague with the “poisonous” character or personality: How do you see this person? Do you see him/her as an example of the “fun” personality you so secretly wish to have? Or an example of a person you never want to become? How can you derive a positive lesson from the destructive decisions he/she makes on a regular basis?

Since I took on mind development activities, I have realized that there’s always something positive to derive from every experience and interaction, it just takes a “developed” mind to find it.

Now, is it possible to be under an influence and yet be unaware that we are being influenced? The answer is… YES.

Example:

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have been agitated, angry, frustrated yet I can’t seem to figure out what exactly it is that makes me so.”

You are under an influence you just don’t know it!

Emotions are contagious. Character and habits are like transmissible infections:

“When you hang around frustrated people, you become frustrated.

When you hang around optimistic people, you become an optimist.

When you hang around smarter people, your smartness is upgraded.

When you hang around liars and thieves, your integrity becomes a thing to be questioned.”

Except you are the light that has come to obstruct the darkness, except you have assumed the role of the preacher who calls the evil doers unto good, hanging around people of questionable or negative character will definitely shape you into a likeness of what they are. In the same way, when you consistently read books of the wise containing their words of wisdom and wealth of experience, in no time you would begin to think, speak and act wisely.

Just as the English philosopher and physician puts it:

“We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the colour of our moral character from those who are around us.”

– John Locke.

Now, how exactly do we take charge of our experiences and influences to drive our destiny to the greatness we desire?

Raise the bar of your standards as high as possible:

Great achievements are results of great discipline and committed efforts. You can’t expect great results if you are not putting in the right amount of effort to achieve it. You must be swift to say “NO” to experiences that cause the mind to decay with negative influences and begin to say “YES” to those that uplift the mind and gives it the right nourishment you need to thrive and excel. Set high standards in your morals, your relationships, your activities and even the quality of thoughts you entertain in your mind by…

Saying NO to Toxic Thinking:

The mind being a wanderer that it is, tends to sway in many directions sometimes ending up in dark, negative or malicious thoughts about an experience we’ve had. Take note of this whenever it happens by engaging in self-awareness and reflection, then use your will to get them out of your mind by shifting your focus to positively influential thoughts or activities.

Say NO to Toxic Relationships and Experiences that sap you of positive energy, filling your mind with anger, hate, malice, jealousy, pride, arrogance, extreme fatigue and/or hopelessness. If you can’t do anything to change the situation, it is only appropriate that you leave or at least give some really good space!

Start Creating the Right Experiences!

Many of us wait for things to happen to us and then lament when the unfortunate ones befall us. No, we need to go out there and create our experiences. What’s that book? Who’s that personality? Where’s that place? What’s that activity? What’s that movie or video that you need to watch or that audio you need to listen to that can give your life the uplift you need?

We should continuously search for experiences, people, places, things that have the potential to influence our lives positively and when we find them, we should do what we can to cherish and keep them.

Though some of our best experiences are unplanned, they are random experiences we never expected to happen and we don’t have to control everything, sometimes we just need to relax and let certain things take their due course. But then we can achieve much more by going out there to make the right things happen!

Stay in Touch with Great Influences:

Form habits and routines that would keep you in touch with the positive influences you have selected for yourself. Make that positive experience a routine or habit: read “that book” every morning, meet “those people” every weekend, go to “that place” every month. Keeping in touch with the right influences gives little room for destructive ones to take over.

The human mind possibly consists of two sides:

the dove” which constitutes the good, righteous or positive thinking side of our mind and “the wolf” which constitutes the bad, negative thinking side of our mind with each side in competition to take over and dominate our personality. Whichever side that wins is a sole reflection of the quality of experiences, influences, thoughts and habits that we have allowed to thrive in us. So I charge you today, to;

Feed the dove and starve the wolf and watch your life take a positive turn around!

Thanks for dropping by 🙂

Your thoughts and opinions remain of utmost relevance on this blog, please don’t hesitate to share them.

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