“Once in a while it really hits people that
they don’t have to experience the world in the way
they have been told to.”
When I first began blogging, I wanted what a majority who blog want. I wanted my writings to be read and admired by everyone who read them. I wanted popularity.
I watched my Google Analytics like a hawk watches its prey. I would weigh the success of each entry I posted by the number of comments they received. I found myself writing to gain the approval of my peers, family, and friends, which wasn’t my initial reason for writing at all.
Originally, even more so now, I desire to positively impact the lives of others by sharing my experiences, life lessons, and other life mastery tips.
“Avoid popularity if you would have peace.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that there’s no real benefit for us using the tools that are in place, which will help us to achieve success online. I am saying that one does themselves a great disservice basing their success on whose following them.
If someone bases their success simply by the numbers, they will always be a slave to the numbers.
A writer’s mission (of course there are exceptions), should never be to strive for “the numbers,” our mission should be to influence others in a positive way that inspires a change or growth in the reader.
“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”
~ Aldous Huxley
Influenced to Write
In essence, it was other writer’s whose influence pulled me out of my miry funk about two years ago, after I lost my mother, when all hell broke loose in my life. I was closer than I’d ever been to throwing in the towel on life.
Out of pure desperation, I reached for a book off the shelf of our growing library, which had been something I hadn’t done in quite some time.
The work I chose was a collection of writings, poetry, essays, and journal entries from the awesome American writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I read things from Mr. Emerson like:
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
“Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.”
And one of my favorites,
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
After reading his book, I actually felt as though I could face the world, but before I faced the world, I needed to face myself.
Mr. Emerson showed me a reflection of myself. He showed me the boy I was before I begun the journey that would change me into the man I am now.
He demanded that I look at my own actions, behaviors, beliefs, values, and thoughts.
Then he took me by the hand and guided me through my experiences in the past, where I was presented with how much of my disappointments stemmed from seeking the approval of others.
I had completely lost myself trying to please everyone. It didn’t even matter anymore if I actually wanted to or not. I was a slave to the thought.
“Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.” ~ William Penn
Here’s the kicker though… I was being hated, despised, rejected, and criticized for trying to make people happy. Instead, my gestures were seen as me trying outshining others, or as me being someone, I was not.
Have you ever done something that was misconstrued into something completely outside of what you had intended it to be?
Influenced to be an Influence to Others
Since then, something amazing continues to happen; I see it as nothing short of a miracle.
The guy who was told he wasn’t “smart enough” to go to college, has grown into quite the reader.
Each book I’ve read thus far seems to be aligned with where my life is heading. It is almost as though, they are apart of a preordained curriculum, which I was meant to follow to become who I was supposed to be.
They awakened within me what Einstein said we should never lose – a holy curiosity. They influenced me to dig deep within myself, uprooting my own resilience to survive. However, not only to be a survivor, but to become an influencer to other survivors.
Today, as I reflect on the arrival of a New Year, I’m reminded of the influence these writers had on my life. I’m grateful they used their gifts, seized the opportunity to be influential, and that they didn’t just settle for being popular.
Influential writers are broken souls who built themselves back up, by writing from a deeper place than their ego. They empower their readers, and by doing so, they empower themselves as well.
So, to thank the influential writer’s for what they have done for me, I am passing what they gave me to each of you.
I’m no longer moved by “the numbers.” I’m grateful if they increase, but I won’t be moved or broken if a decrease occurs.
As I said on the About Page, this is not your typical kind of self-help blog. (Nor do I ever want it to be.) I don’t follow any blog procedures or “this is how it should be done” rules. I march to my own beat. I don’t profess to know it all, but I’m willing, open, and ready to learn whatever is meant for me to know.
I welcome all those who find my message useful, inspiring, or empowering to continue this journey with me.
I also challenge each of you to do the same thing I will be doing going into 2013:
Master Life Lesson: Don’t allow the majority’s admiration to become an influence as to what you do or don’t do.
Simply, “do” what you know to be right for you. Whatever you do, remember to:
Stay true to YOU.
Over to you,
Did you find this article inspiring or empowering? What are your thoughts, if any, on “influence versus popularity?” Feel free to share any thoughts, insights, or personal experiences you might have in the section provided below. Thanks.
Thank you so much for your support. Happy and Prosperous New Year to each of you.
Cheers and blessings.