April 26, 2020•844 words
I have been ranting on for years about "circle of influence" to anyone who would engage me in a conversation, well almost. However it always astonishes me how people are so affected by situations that are well beyond their control. I ended up in a long conversation 20+ years ago with a man who was adamant that the team he supported, I believe this was football, had to win at the weekend. Apparently football is the one with the spherical ball :-)
I questioned this in various ways. He elaborated that if his team won he had a great weekend and if they lost he was devastated and found himself depressed for days.
How can this be so? It connects to the issues around your advisor (inner voice) and negativity. The outcomes for this man in itself leads to domestic violence questions - if a team wins, does the alcohol induced mood for love lead to an increase in domestic violence or if the team looses does the depression and need to blame lead to more domestic violence?
More on a different post on that.
However I am side tracked. This was about circle of influence. I grew up in a part of the world that had civil unrest leading to the local news being about acts of terrorism and the killing of innocent and not innocent people in my local community. However my parents had shielded me from an early age and I had a quite privileged upbringing. Therefore later in life while my parents spiralled back and forth gaining information from many news outlets I had taken little interest in the news as it was not something I was going to have influence over.
Hurricane Katrina caused an awful situation for that part of the world. With this and other situations my parents with Sky TV switched from CNN to BBC News 24 to Al Jazeera to Fox News - so they could see if they could get the balance of the bias of information.
I was saddened by the news of what was happening at the time however I have a life to get on with - in the now. This moment is me working on living and I do not feel I can have any influence over events that are happening in a far away place. More importantly I do not feel that I should let the events that are happening in a far away place have an emotional impact on myself or my ability to carry out the job of caring for my family.
My parents however became fully immersed in the news reporters portrayal of the events. We know that drama and trauma sells - this has an evolutionary route and is hard wired into the human brain. So the reporters make the drama real and the emotion is transferred to the viewer. This really hit me when at one point I was in the room for a matter of minutes and the terrible things people were experiencing was heart wrenching and eye watering in a couple of minutes. My parents were spending their days living this emotional disaster, a world away causing huge emotional impact in my living room.
I am an emotional person and can cry at the drop of a hat so going into that room and exposing myself to the trauma of these events hampered my day considerably. Can I assist when the TV puts on those eye watering emotional pleas? Yes I can - however this is purely in a monetary manner. I am not in a position to fly to somewhere such as Africa to assist with the distribution of my donated £10.
Therefore I use the term "circle of influence". I do not watch the news - I am nearly 50 yrs old and never really have done. I prefer to put my energy into the things I can actually assist with. I have people in my community I can assist. I have skills around working with people and their behaviour that I can assist people with.
RECENT INTERJECTION about the news - the first thing I took an interest in was after the Brexit vote had occurred and the only other thing I have really taken an interest in was the first 5 of the daily Coronavirus news briefings from Downing Street.
I find the extended real world an emotional drain and therefore can have more of an effect on the environment that is closer to home. Work within your circle of influence and you will find that this circle of influence will grow if you can add value to those around you. Add value and your circle of influence will grow as others witness your ability to add value. If you choose to spend your time being up with all the songs, styles, news and celebrities you are a consumer who is not adding value in that time space.
Put your emotional energy and time into your own circle of influence. It will pay off in the longer run.