“It is invisible hands that torment and bend us the worst” – Friedrich Nietzsche
As human beings we are merely sponges reflecting all our influences whether it be environmental or social. Whether it’s negative influences or whether it’s positive influences, they constantly mold us on a daily basis. There is no such thing as being completely self-made. Who we are right now and how we look at ourselves today is the result of borrowed concepts from others that we have accepted and adopted. You are moulded by what you think of your immediate environment and society. What you think however was highly influenced by your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, peers, colleagues and the dominating media. Your belief systems are merely cemented habits that you were encouraged to act upon since childhood. The fact that you are most probably a Christian is because you did not grow up in an Arab country and neither did your parents. You act a certain way because your immediate social circle validates that behaviour or at least doesn’t punish you for it. The point is whether we like it or not, we are all influenced by one another and will always be. How we are influenced however is what matters. You either accept or tolerate influences that will lead you to greatness or those that will lead you to misery, poverty and depression. It is your task therefore to choose what you need to adopt and how beneficial it is to you.
In most cases, due to our own failure to scrutinise ourselves and our immediate surroundings, we are often influenced subconsciously in ways that do not serve us favourably. Because we are not grounded on a specific purpose or set of goals, we find ourselves drifting from one influence to another without achieving anything noteworthy. In fact, we often find ourselves being compromised and short-changed due to our failure to filter our negative influences. It is our main responsibility therefore to carefully analyse the things that divert us from the life we have always desired. Bear in mind that poison is poison, whether administered with the best of intentions, or whether induced maliciously. If you do not take the necessary measures to prevent or limit negative influences, they will end up controlling you. We grew up in societies where limiting beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. I for one have been a victim of such limited social conditioning that dictated how I ought to be and behave. Anything beyond the way ascribed would be treading out of my comfort zone. I recall a time where I used to use phrases such as “this is not me” or “this is not for me”. I would shy away from trying something new and daring lest I be accused of “not being real” or “not being myself”. Then comes the alibi of how “some people are born for certain things while others are not”. I had to grow up most of my life convinced that I wasn’t meant to be anything else in life except for an average academic whose main objective was to get a good job and settle for a small cozy house.
What I didn’t know then was that great people are simply models of greater people who so happened to model other great people. Show me someone great who wasn’t inspired by someone greater and I will show you a unicorn with a tail of a snake. It is therefore to your best interests that you surround yourself with positive influences and role models that encourage you to fulfil the three main aspects in your life (health, wealth and relationships). Study them; learn how they managed to acquire such qualities as well as how they applied them. You in turn, will be enriched and will ultimately enrich the lives of others in a like manner. If you want a better body, follow role models who have managed to transform their bodies from a state that closely resembles your current situation. Watch as many motivational Youtube videos that make you realise that your goals are attainable. Read as many inspirational books and associate yourself with people who are as hungry as you or who have achieved what you are striving for.
As for the rest of the world that doesn’t resonate with your dreams, it is best to distance yourself initially for a while, until your newly established habits crystallise. Be frank and tell your close friends and family members about your new motives and how important they are to you. If they are truly concerned about your wellbeing they will support and understand. The moment they counter-offer or try and make you complacent, know that it is time to distance yourself. You are not in this world to entertain and please everyone. You have a duty to yourself first and therefore you have to be grounded in your purpose and aspirations.
Take these profound paragraphs from Napoleon Hill’s book: Outwitting the Devil which mentions the following:
“Duty” is one of the most abused and misunderstood words in existence. The first duty of every human being is to himself. Every person owes himself the duty of finding how to live a full and happy life. No human being owes another any degree of duty which robs him of his privilege of building his thought-habits in a positive environment. On the other hand, every human being is duty bound to himself to remove from his environment every influence which even remotely tends to develop negative thought-habits.”
Only the strong survive. No one can be strong without removing himself from all influences which develop negative thought-habits. Negative thought-habits result in the loss of the privilege of self-determination, no matter what or who may cause those habits. Positive thought-habits may be controlled by the individual and made to serve his aims and purposes. Negative thought-habits control the individual and deprive him of the privilege of self-determination.
So surround yourself with people, friends, books, media and whatever resource that makes it favourable
for you to reach your goals. Do not be afraid to displace those people and things that don’t resonate with your important objectives. Their appeasement is not worth your despair. To sum it all up: Choose your influences wisely!
Oscar (Dj Sulfa) is a weight-loss expert, graphic designer , musician, dating coach, motivational speaker and author . A self- proclaimed experimenter who is fascinated by cracking the codes to achievement in order to make life easier, faster, cheaper and more pleasurable in the pursuit of the results that you seek. Follow him on the following social media links: Facebook Instagram