Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Such wisdom in so few words.
Very often I will receive messages saying something like this, “I am worried that this person who I love is drinking too much, what can I do?”
My response is always the same, if possible, “Take a break from alcohol yourself, lead the way, be a beacon of positive change, you don’t have to wag the finger, you just show up and start loving your life alcohol-free”.
This single act will often have the most powerful influence over the person you love, here’s why:
To help explain here is an extract from my latest book, "Let's Do This!"
"For years it was believed that our choices and motivation might be influenced by our connections.
The legendary Jim Rohn quote, ‘You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with,’ is compelling but not true. It’s not just your five friends, but their friends and their friends who influence your motivation.
Network researcher Nicolas Christakis, who TIME magazine listed as one of the 100 most influential people, revealed how our social networks influence behaviour. Christakis and his team were fascinated by the idea of obesity infecting the United States like a plague. It was clear obesity was rising, but Christakis wanted to know, was it spreading from person to person?
By fluke, a heart study provided the data Christarkis needed. The now
famous Framingham Heart Study collected data from hundreds of thousands of people, from 1948 to 2000, about their weight, moods, habits, and most importantly their connections.
Christakis and his team spent years combing the data and building all the interconnected networks between family, friends and their friends. Finally, Christakis confirmed that our actions, good and bad, flow within our network. Nothing too exciting there.
But what he did not expect was just how far habits and emotions could spread. According to Christakis’s research, if your friend becomes obese your chances of joining them jumps by 45 per cent.
Then it gets crazy, if one of your friend’s friends becomes overweight, your chances of piling on the pounds still go up 25 per cent.
There’s more. If your friend's friend's friend puts on weight you are 10 per cent more likely to see your waistline increase. How mind-blowing is this?"
And it does not stop there. Christakis and his team revealed that habits, emotions and even depression flows through our connections.
At first blush, you might be drawn towards the negatives when the research focuses on bad habits that spread. But let’s look at it the other way. Our actions bad and good flow. So why not become a beacon of positive change?
Be the change you want to see in the world. It’s in the data. Your positive actions will flow to those you love, and to those they love, and to those they love!
Surely this is the greatest motivator of all?
All your hard work on your self-development adventure is paying forward to those you love.
If right now you are finding it tough trying to transform your body or your mind or hopefully both, stay with me! Your effort will not only reward you will reward those around you!
For me, this is the single most powerful motivator of all - to know that my positive actions will help the people I love.
To conclude as I started with that insightful quote from Gandhi, “be the change you want to see in the world”
Before I go, today’s gift is a TED talk from Nicholas Christakis that will show you exactly how your negative, and more importantly positive, actions can influence your friends, friends, friends!!!!!
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