Seek Not To Be Happy; Strive To Be Real: 5 Examples of How Being Real Will Enhance Your Influence

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For those that seek to be happier in this life, have you considered in striving to be real?  Psychological studies show that if your looking to gain influence through transparency, it can help you achieve happiness. Happiness is what we all strive for, but sometimes we ignore that the must enter through the door of transparency. How do you gain more influence?  My daughter Hailey says ” When it rains, I picture God crying”. To add to this poetic idea, The idea of God not being  happy all the time is an interesting thought. However, even though God is supposedly crying ; God has many admirers and continues to  influence millions in the world. So it is with nature as well. Nature seems to go through emotions and seasons , but admirers and the influenced stand in awe nearby.  If we didn’t have some sort of precipitation or water (sadness) , the rainbow would not exist (happiness) . It seems like the most attractive things in the universe are not stagnant,  but appear to have a transparent lifestyle or aura. Be Real. Stand out. Being real is something we should strive which could unlock a new world of being more influential. A study on how Influence can achieve more happiness was written recently:

In a sample of 227 college students, researchers, Drs. Sommer and Bourgeois from Baruch College and Florida Gulf Coast University, respectively, tested the proposition that one’s own judgments about how well they influence people around them was related to their level of subjective well-being (http://bit.ly/nFTedf).  They did this by having the students complete a series of questionnaires measuring the following traits: perceived influence (e.g., high levels of this ability meant endorsement of items such as, “I usually succeed in my attempts to persuade others to do things I want”), Self-worth (e.g., “I take a positive attitude toward myself.”), Control (e.g., “I can do just about anything I set my mind to do.”), Life Purpose (“My life is very meaningful.”), Life Satisfaction (e.g., “I am satisfied with my life.”), Positive and Negative Feelings (here, participants rated how frequently they had positive (e.g., joy) vs. negative (e.g., sadness) feelings.  The last 2 questionnaires comprised subjective well-being (basically, happiness).  The results clearly showed that the more influential the participants rated themselves being, the greater their overall subjective well-being, and also that this occurred because being influential led to a sense of worth, feeling in control and a belief that life is purposeful.  Thus, thinking of yourself as influential leads to well-being or happiness.  Further, this connection may exist because influencing others may be critical in meeting our needs for self-worth, control and meaning.

-The Science of Influence; Article by Michael Pantalon, Ph.D.

One of the most influential people in human history is our Savior Jesus Christ. My favorite quote talks about how he never lifted a pen, but so many pens have been used to write about his influence. It has been over 2,000 years and yet his influence permeates and weaves itself within history.. What type of influence did he have? I would love to recount one of my favorite quotes regarding the Great Teacher.

Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. –Philip Schaff

How did he become so influential? Deepok Chopra once did a video where it talks about striving to be more real, then  striving to be happy all the time . If you are happy all the time, then you must be fake. People can’t connect with someone who is happy all the time. However, authenticity and transparency carries the seed of influence where people can trust you faster which leads to  influence. When people can relate to you, influence begins.  As I read the New Testament, I found 5 different verses that show you how the Savior strived to be real. Since he is known as the author of happiness, could he ever be sad? Didn’t he have moments of doubt, grief, and remorse? Could he be a perfect being that felt emotions of a regular human like us? Yes. His mission was to bring as many souls in the world to recognize that he was the Savior of the world. He exuded influence by the nature of the man he became. With respect to his expansive mission, we all have missions ourselves! I believe that whatever religion you come from, you must have a teaching where it says that everyone is given a gift from a Higher Power. This gift, or talent, is something that we will be held accountable for by the One who gave us this gift. I believe that everyone has the seed of greatness within. This greatness can be expressing the talent that we were given.  The Lord’s talent was obedience. He was obedient to all the commandments and someone who ONLY did what His Father commissioned Him to do. These talents are used for one purpose only: To serve humanity.  Do you think it would make a difference if we can reach an indirect and direct influence on millions of people with our talents? As we touch the lives of many, our joy would increase. However, Jesus didn’t have a stagnant level of happiness, he did have a transparency about him that attracted millions of followers to this day. Lets talk about 5 examples of his transparency that could assist us in being more influential. Transparency leads to Influence. Influence leads to happiness.

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1.  ” He Wept” – John 11:35.  

The shortest verse in the bible can have the largest impact in our lives if we look  at the context carefully. Mary and Martha, disciples of Christ, told him the unfortunate news that one of his best friends just passed away (Lazarus). Jesus knew that he could raise the dead; Lazarus wouldn’t be the only one he raised from the dead. Jairus’s daughter would do the same. Why did he weep? He meets people where they are and brings them up. What if we listened more and felt the pain of people before we interrupted them with remedy? People love to see your eyes before you pick them up. Bend down to them first and make eye contact before you lift them. Let them know that you are impacted by them first, then make your final impression by assisting them.

2. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots”. -Luke 23:24

Although their will be people in the life that may cause  you pain, the real pain comes when you don’t forgive them. As Jesus was about to feel the horrible sting of nails in his wrist and palm, he managed to forgive the Roman soldiers. How could you forgive these people? What type of person must you become to have the power to forgive. Imagine having a backpack with bricks in it and going on a hike. Many people hold grudges and they are filling their backpacks with loads of unnecessary weight on this journey called “life”. When you forgive people, you are not being naive at all. You are releasing those heavy weights and getting your power back.  When you forgive quicker and faster, you tend to be more loving and compassionate and it’s easier to hug others and help others. You must strive to be weightless so that you are quick to serve. Service to many brings influence.

3. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Matthew 26:34  

Jesus told this phrase to his most loyal disciples. Jesus was not happy at this moment sharing a vision of the future to his confidante. Oscar Wilde said it best ” True friends stab you in the front”. Honesty is a virtue that will take you far and will increase your influence overnight. Jesus didn’t want to smile the night away, he wanted to prepare his great apostle that even his best friend will betray him when he needs him the most. It would add credibility to his words and it would also give him the remorse to be stronger when he gets back on the mission field.  Although the tone of the night is glorious, if someone needs to hear something, don’t wait for tomorrow! Share it with them because you love them. People want to follow people who have a long-term vision for both parties. He would rather have his friends warned and temporally hated on, so that he may bring them closer later on. So it is with our constructive criticism. We must do it with love and we can bring our friends closer when we have them see past today.

4. “And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24

 This comment the Savior made is a sad one. He would make this “victim of society” comments on purpose. You can’t say this phrase with even a fake smile. To translate these verses for our modern times ” Whenever you strive to be great and do your calling, you will be hated the most by the people who are the closest to you.” In Christian tradition, it is supposed that none of the brothers and sister of Jesus followed him. Some of the most influential people never surfaced in our history due to the fact that they let their environment affect their calling. You can be more influential knowing you will go through the strongest resistance within the walls of your home. As you overcome those walls, your influence will increase.

5. ” And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Luke 21:23 

This is one of the rare moments where Christ was angry. We live in a society where anger permeates our society in the fact that it is triggered quickly. Children teach us more than we think in this idea. If we tend to get angry quickly, your children will turn a deaf ear to the one who angers continuously. The Savior only got angry a handful of times worth writing about. He did this to show us that we should reserve anger for times when it is crucial to make a point. We should resist it at all cost, but then when anger does arrive it has a bigger impact if you use it wisely. In the case for Christ, his was righteous anger since he was speaking to sellers at a very sacred location that offended him. In my personal opinion, no anger in my life has brought me any type of peace. Christ chose to be real and he refused to be happy all the time. When he was angry, all heard and were shocked that a holy man. “Holy” has a root meaning for Loyalty. He was loyal to his feelings by being transparent to his followers and those that did not follow him.

 

Striving to be real has the advantage of gaining more influence. Since Christ continues to be the most influential character in history, we can say that he has mastered the art of influence. If you read his history, his secret was being transparent. I pray that we can be more transparent and gain the influence to acquire the happiness we are looking for.  For those that thought being perfect will bring people to you, you are sadly mistaken. No one is perfect. However, it could become a great goal to “BE REAL” at all times.  The most important person to be honest with is yourself. One you begin being authentic wherever you go, people are going to want to follow you. With this growing influence, happiness will automatically follow.

 

 

 

How do you feel transparency plays a role in your life? How did you learn the lesson of transparency? Has transparency assisted your influence? How has your faith taught you about the idea of “Being Real” inside or outside the Christian faith? Share your thoughts.

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