You Are An Influencer

Dear Ones –

The artist Helen Boggess made this image recently, and posted it on Instagram. So lovely, Helen — thank you!

Please don’t forget, sweet friends, that you have tremendous influence in this world — because your energy has an effect on every single person you encounter throughout life. You have influence over people sometimes even if you don’t speak to them directly; they can still feel your energy, and your energy is a powerful and deeply contagious force.

My friend Shawn Achor speaks about this phenomenon, through his research on happiness. He’s done fantastic experiments in airports, where he placed one graduate studen in a long line of people waiting to get on a plane, and instructed the student to bounce up and down impatiently, sighing loudly, rolling his eyes, and checking his watch. Soon, the impatience had spread through the line, and everyone was tense and agitated. Not only that, hours later, after the flight had landed, the people who had stood in the line with the “impatient guy” reported having had an unpleasant journey. All it took was one person, to infect so many people with a viral sense of unhappiness…because everything is contagious.

It works in the reverse, as well — of course. A good way of living is to always try to bring the light, to share a brighter viral energy with the world — knowing that none of it is wasted.

I remember my friend the naturalist Eustace Conway (from my book THE LAST AMERICAN MAN) teaching me that every single person who approaches a horse contributes to the training of that horse — even if you don’t think of yourself as a horse-trainer. The horse is studying you and learning from you — either learning fear, or aggression, or trust, or suspicion. Your energy, your way of being, will influence the way that animal perceives the world.

We humans are just the same. After all, as Cole Porter wrote: “We’re merely mammals.”

You are not invisible, even when you feel like you are. You are shaping the way a person feels, every time you draw near. You are brushing up against hundreds or thousands of people a year, and THEY FEEL YOU. They sense you. Share something good with them, even if you never see their faces or learn their names.

It matters.

LG ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

(And to see more of Helen’s beautiful work, click right here:

Elizabeth Gilbert's photo.

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