Who are the Influencers in your 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 but there may be other times when we have less control. The key is to identify the reasons someone might influence you.

I can remember the influence as a teen from some of my church leaders. 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.

So today, take some time to think of the influencers in your life. Who are they? Why are they influencers (be specific)? What have you learned from them? There is a natural energy that comes from thinking of those that have an impact on your life.

Heroes Influence but they know who their influencers are.


Importance of Learning

Having had the wonderful privledge of being a part of education for, well I guess pretty much my whole life, I have come to really understand how important it is that we not take the learning process for granted. I love this statement by Henry B. Eyring, “Our education must never stop. If it ends at the door of the classroom on graduation day, we will fail. And we will need the help of heaven to know which of the myriad things we could study we would most wisely learn.” This is such a great reminder that we must never stop having the desire to learn.

What I have found over time is that learning is not something that sits on a plateau, we are either learning, or we are not. The difference for me is whether or not I am really concious to what I am learning and if I am applying the things that are being taught. One of the items that is important here is to not get caught in the thinking that when we talk about learning, we are talking about a teacher in the front of the classroom. Learning can come from anywhere, we just need to keep ourselves open to what is going on around us.

I feel I have been truly blessed to have amazing teachers throughout my life. One of the greatest teachers has been my mom. Here is a person who has given her life to the service and uplifting of others. I have seen her battle through challenges, trials and difficulties that have devestated the lives of others. However, she has kept her head up and has really been a light to all those who come in contact with her. As a youth, I remember many times watching my mom share a lesson or message and think, wow, that is my mom, she is amazing. I never have left the presence of my mom without learning something. More often than not it is how my mom would act or treat others that taught me the most. I wish I would have been even more concious to the learning that I could have received while in my youth but none the less, I have been forever changed.

It is critical that we never forget that learning is a continous process. As we get older, the learning process will often come from when we teach others something. This has been one of the most joyous revelations in my life. I guess that is why my energy level rises and my heart beats faster anytime I get the opportunity to teach others. In my preperations, I end up learning so much and at times even feel like it is not fair to those I teach because I may have learned more than what I taught.

Why is learning so important?
• Increases knowledge
• Helps you critically think
• Gives you confidence
• Teaches you good habits
• Helps build a strong foundation
• Helps you with job opportunities
• Opportunity to make more money
• Be an example for others

For those that are still in the decision phase about your next steps in life, learning is something that is inseperablly connected to your ability to provide for the necessities of life. Thus, your earnings are a result of your learnings. One thing interesting here is that when I talk about earning, it is more than just money. Earning is so important in all aspects of your life.

Ask the following questions to ensure you are maximizing your opportunities to earn:
• Am I focusing on what I am passionate about?
• What did I learn today?
• What are the goals you are focused on today?
• Did you put service before self today?

I truly hope that you will take advantage of every opportunity to learn. As you do so, you will open up a world that is filled with happiness, joy, excitement and reward. You owe it to yourself to be a lifeling learner. Now, time to learn.

It’s Summer Time, Now What?

 We all have dealt with it at some point. We are rushing through spring because we are so excited for school to be over and summer to get started, then we wake up one morning at a time that is clearly past when the bus usually picked you up. You now realize that it is summer time and your life of going from class to class to performance to meeting to church to friends house to party to class to…..is over. You now have to take some initiative to figure out what the next couple of months are going to look like. Unfortunately too many spend way too much time trying to create some detailed and lavish plan. By the time they have lockdown all the things they want to do and accomplish, they wake up and are rushing to catch the bus again.

The truth is, planning is important and in fact, it is essential to be successful in today’s world. That said, over planning is a sure fire way to create failure. Now that summer is here, you have the opportunity to catch up on some of those goals you have been letting slip away. Maybe you have wanted to write a journal, well then, go buy a journal and start writing. Write down a summary of what your school year was like and what you are looking forward to doing over the summer. Then, be sure you summarize each week for the rest of the summer. You will soon get into a flow or pattern of writing in your journal. Heroes have journals; they have too, otherwise how are people years down the road going to know about them and the wonderful things they accomplished?

You will find that as you take time to write down your thoughts, ideas, dreams, goals you will soon discover that their motivations and things inside you that maybe you did not even know about. You will discover things that bring new energy to your life. There is something relaxing, therapeutic, exciting and rewarding about keeping a journal. You may never know who will read it in the future but one person that will is yourself. Years down the road you take a look back and realize so many things about who you were back then. It will guide you, teach you and may even surprise you. There is nothing better than learning from a hero, and you are a hero. Do not be selfish and keep all of your experiences to yourself, keep a record.

It is summer time, you have the opportunity to do something simple but will have a lasting impact on you and many others. Don’t wait, get started today.