I mentioned in a recent post “Health, Wealth and Moments of Clarity” how I was inspired to begin my running program after meeting someone my age on a cruise that was an aspiring triathlete. At the time I was overweight, out of shape and low on energy.
Talking with him throughout the week ignited my mental toughness and helped me see crazy dreams could still be achieved even at my age.
But it was someone much closer to me that truly provided the inspiration for me to get in shape. That person was Mrs. Luke1428. No, she wasn’t going all drill sergeant on me, screaming through a megaphone for me to roll out of bed each morning. Instead, without goading or guilting me into doing the same, she had been religiously going to a health club each week for months, getting herself in shape.
And boy, could I see the results! “Surely” I thought, “if my wife can change her physique post-four children, then so can I.” I wanted her to be as proud of me as I was of her.
I don’t think her efforts were premeditated – like some devious reverse-psychology attempt to give me a wake-up call. She really wanted to exercise for herself. But the fallout did affect me.
Lead By Example
More and more I’m realizing the best way to motivate and influence people is to lead by example.
Berating doesn’t work.
Guilt doesn’t work.
Force doesn’t work.
Neglect, misdirection, intimidation…none of these work. Well, they may work. However, influence established with these tactics will be fleeting. It will not have a lasting impact.
Recently I posed a question to my oldest daughter. The topic – “Why are the only summer activities you and your siblings desire to do are watch TV, wrestle or play an electronic device?” (I added special emphasis to the “electronic device” part because that’s what I was agitated about at the time.) Her response surprised me but it shouldn’t have. “Well, she stated, “it seems like that’s all you and mommy do. You work on your blog and she takes her CPA classes on the computer.”
Leading by example is powerful.
Lead by Example and You Will Influence Others
So if you want to influence your significant other to handle money better, don’t “surprise them” by dropping $1,500 on a couch that’s not in the budget.
If you want your children to treat others with respect and kindness, then exhibit that yourself.
If you want relationships with your coworkers to improve, lob an encouraging word in their direction each day.
And if you want your kids to get outside and play this summer…well, you get it.
Questions: How are you influencing others today? Who have you seen lead by example?
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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