The Influencers In Our Life

Who are the people who have influenced you, do influence and/or you want to influence you? What are the reasons and how are they influencing you?

I often think of these questions because I firmly believe that who we are is shaped in large part by those who influence us. The majority of the time we can pick and choose who influences us but there may be other times when we have less control. The key is to identify the reasons someone might influence you.Growing-Influencers

In a recent article titled “What is an influencer?” found at, the following caught my eye:

“An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.”

The article then states later in the article different categories of influencers. The reason this article caught my eye is how sad it really is to see how our world and society have allowed such worldly things and people to have such an impact on our lives. I see it on a daily basis just how powerful these worldly influencers have on our youth. They want whatever the popular social media influencers have. They do things simply for the “Like” even if it means posting things that may not be a good representation of who they are, wow, that is powerful influence.

I can remember the influence as a teen from some of my leaders in church and teachers at school. They really reached out to me and other teens to be sure we were okay. They cared about us, they served us, they made sure we had activities to participate in and they loved us. I get chills today thinking of the time and effort they took out of their lives to help me. I was truly touched and influenced by them and their actions.

I learned trust, honor, ethics, dedication, integrity, service, unconditional love, and many other characteristics from these leaders.

I feel fortunate to have had many great influencers in my life both personally and professionally. They have helped to shape who I am today and will be tomorrow. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful to each one of them for their influence in my life. These influencers include my wife, my three boys, parents, siblings, extended family, school teachers, coaches, friends, teammates, co-workers and more.

We must know who is truly influencing our lives. For teenagers, this is especially important. You may not think a friend or group of friends has that much influence but take a look at decisions you have made over the past week or month. Are there things you did that you feel brought you down in some way? What was the situation around that decision? You may be surprised just how influential others are. The key is to get people who can influence your life in a positive way. We not only need this but honestly deserve it. There are so many great people in your life but you may not see them.

So today, take some time to think of the influencers in your life. Who are they? What is their influence on you and how you live your life?  What have you learned from them? There is a natural energy that comes from thinking of those that have an impact on our life.

One last thing, whether you know it or not, you are an influencer. What type of influence are you having on others?

Heroes Influence but they know who their influencers are.

Let your influence be one of inspiration.

I absolutely love this quote:

Various influences – our parents, other family members, teachers, books we’ve read, discussions we’ve had, life experiences – all merge together to form our core values.”  Maya Green

Building Strength in the Emotional Gym

Emotional strength does not come without challenge, trials, defeat and failure. Our ability to find the value during these difficult times will bring us great emotional strength which is needed in order to find peace and happiness. img_3402.png

Have you ever seen someone go into a gym and walk around and around and around looking at all the equipment then leave. They never use any of the equipment. Whatever their intentions may have been, the site of the equipment and the knowledge that it is going to take hard work caused them to make the decision to not use them. At some point there comes the realization that they are not getting into shape or stronger because they are not using the equipment. The only way to gain, build and develop physical strength is to use the equipment in gyms. As we do this our body will go through a physical transformation.

The same can be said with our emotional well being. As we are faced with tough times in our life we must not try to hide, run away or avoid these situations. We must do all we can to make it through these experiences so we can build our emotional strength.

One of the best ways to do this is to ask, what can I learn from what I am going through? This will open up your heart and mind to be better prepared to be taught. There is a great humility that comes with asking this type of question. When we are humble, we are more prepared to learn. Allow humility to be one of your greatest workout companions and you will find incredible strength which will provide you with the ability to not just help yourself but others as well.

Do you value yourself? Do you value the challenges, trials, defeats and failures that come into your life? Remember that our values define us. As we develop our ability to build emotional strength when we are faced with hard times, we will develop our values. You can do this. You are not alone. You are a hero.

You (we) got this.

What are you going to do this week when you find yourself in the emotional gym?

Back To School Checklist


With so many returning to school I felt it was important to provide a checklist of things that are important for every student. No, I am not talking about a backpack, pens, extra chargers for the cell phone, etc. My checklist is a bit different, take a look.

  • Attitude: You have a decision to make right now, what type of school year are YOU going to have? This decision is up to you period. I would hope that you have an attitude of hope, excitement, kindness, inclusion and accomplishment among others. Your attitude is reflected in the decisions you make each day. If you want to have a great school year, then you need to be sure and start with a positive attitude.
  • Goals: What is it you want to accomplish this school year that have NOTHING to do with your grades? Here are some potential areas that you might want to think about: Making new friends, being a better friend, show respect, balance your time, show more gratitude towards classmates, teammates, teachers, coaches, parents, siblings, be actively engaged, express your thoughts, develop new skills. Hopefully you can find one or two specific areas that you can set a goal and then prepare to make it happen.
  • Values: This may seem a bit different but I feel more now than ever we must be talking about our values more and more. Thus, you need to be sure and know what your personal values and be committed to living those each day. If you value integrity then be sure you do not cheat, even if you think its something small. If you value time, then don’t waste it when you are in class. If you value inclusion, then be sure others see this and don’t be a gossiper. If you value gratitude, then be sure you are showing this with hand written notes, saying thank you often and showing respect. Values define us whether we realize it or not. There is such great strength that comes from our values which is why I feel so strongly that students need to focus on this.
  • Support Network: Who is in your support network? Who are the people you trust to talk to about things? This may be one of the most important checklist items ever. With so much pressure on students today to achieve success in everything there is no doubt mental health will become an even more critical topic. The better prepared you are now the more opportunity you will have to make it through the challenges and trials you will face as well as be more confident to be there for others. Be honest with yourself in everything you do. Be honest with those you trust so they can help. Never feel like you can’t talk to someone, there is ALWAYS someone willing and wanting to help. You are needed in this world. You have so much potential and having a solid support network will lighten your emotional load some to bring more peace as you fight each day.

As I mentioned, this may not be your typical checklist for Back To School but my goal is to at least get you thinking about these important things. We are living in a world where mental health is become more and more important to not just understand but learn how to improve. Every life matters, every decision matters. What we do truly matters.

You will have an awesome school year, now make it happen hero.

PARENTS: I would invite you to sit down with your children and discuss this checklist. Have an open conversation with them. Start the year with the type of relationship that can help ensure you are a part of their support network. It will be worth it.