If there was a way, strategy or tactic that could rapidly and instantly increase your influence (in any situation), would you be open to learn what it is?
And more importantly, would you be willing to test it?
Assuming you said “yes,” let me start by sharing with you a powerful principal you need to understand that will eventually help you be more influential.
Now, I will break it down and give you some specifics later on, but for now, I just need you to get your head around the following.
It’s super important that you understand this before moving on.
I truly believe, if you can “get” this, the world will become your oyster.
You’d be able to take control of any of the environments you find yourself in, on a regular basis, and be exercised more influence in them.
Imagine how that would change things for you.
If you were able to influence the various people in your life every day, positively and in the direction you want, rather than hoping for the best or getting frustrated.
If that sounds like something you would want to know, keep reading.
One of my heroes and mentors, Anthony (Tony) Robbins, explained a life changing principle in his book, Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement.
“The difference between those who fail to achieve their goals in life and those who succeed is the difference between those who cannot put themselves in a supportive state and those who can consistently put themselves in a state that supports them in their achievements. Almost everything people want is some possible state.”
What he meant was, the emotional states we create are largely responsible for the actions we take.
For example, confidence is a supportive state for being more influential.
The more confidence you feel, the more likely you will be to act and communicate in a confident manner. Consequently, you are likely to see better result.
Conversely, anger, is a non-supportive state for being more influential.
It might feel like you’re influencing people, but that “influence”wanes the moment you leave.
In order to create the results we want, we need to learn how to create supportive states for our goals.
In this instance, being more influential.
There are certain emotional states that will make you more influential than others. As simple as that.
By we need to learn which states are more supportive of influence, as well as learn how to create them consistently.
He goes on to say that,
“The first key to directing your state and producing the results you desire in life is to learn to effectively run your brain.”
Most of us never learned how to run our brain effectively.
There are certain things our brain does without our knowing; in fact most things.
However, how we use our brain to create how we feel and consequently do, is within our control.
Unfortunately, many of us are stuck in what is called, unsupportive cybernetic loops.
This means we are running certain unhelpful neurophysiological patterns in our mind and body, that keep us generating unhelpful states like, anger, depression, frustration, doubt etc.
If we want to become more influential, we need to learn which states are supportive of this, as well as how to create them.
Tony Robbins continues,
“What creates the state we’re in? There are two main components of state. The first is our internal representations, and the second is the condition and use of our physiology. What and how you picture things, as well as what and how you say things to yourself about the situation at hand, create the state you’re in…”
In a nutshell, when something happens to us, we assign a specific meaning to it which determines how we feel about it and consequently react to it.
The moment we change what something means to us, we automatically change our emotional state.
This is the first component, which is important, but not as powerful as the second.
Robbin goes on to say,
“There is an even more important and powerful factor in how we perceive and represent the world, and that is the condition and our pattern of use of our own physiology. Things like muscle tension, what we eat, how we breathe, our posture, our overall level of biochemical functioning, all have a huge impact on our state.”
What we physically do in our bodies, create what we feel.
This is super important to get your head around.
Up until now you might have believed that your feelings are outside of your control, but that’s not true.
Your body creates your feelings automatically, that part is true, but what you focus on, the meaning you give things, and how you use your physiology, all work together to generate a certain emotional state.
You control much of that.
If you want to increase your influence, you need to learn how to “manipulate” your emotional state.
This means, you will need to learn how to generate any support of states of influence.
And what that means, is that you will need to learn how to focus more effectively, assign more empowering meaning to things, as well as use your physiology in a much more effective way.
Now, after all of this you might be thinking to yourself, “what does any of this have to do with happiness (as in the heading)?”
The short answer is, EVERYTHING.
Research has shown that happiness is one of the most powerful emotional states that we can generate (c.f. The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor).
Not only that, happiness is a very influential state.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been around a truly happy person, but they are infectious.
In other words, their energy (state) influences us.
Just by being happy they have the power to move people around them; often without the use of words.
Learning how to generate a genuine state of happiness, is not only good for your overall health and longevity, but will increase your levels of influence almost instantly.
People love being around others that make them feel good.
Being around people that are truly happy and content, is super infectious, and therefore influential.
If you want to increase your level of influence today, forget covert language patterns or mind tricks; become a happy person instead.
Happiness, in my opinion, is even more powerful than confidence.
So, learning from Tony Robbins and everything that’s been said so far, let’s use the rest of this article to think about strategies to generate the state of happiness.
Hopefully you can see the value of doing that by now.
How to Generate a State of Happiness
Let’s start with a tough one.
Happiness is a choice. It’s true, whether you like and believe it or not.
Scientific research is on my side here.
Many people love to think that how they feel is outside of their control, or somehow created by their environment.
Now, I’d be the first to say that certain environments make feeling bad and depressed very easy.
However, for most people, that is not the case. Not here in the Western world anyway.
And even in saying that, there are some that would argue that it is not what happens to us that is important, but rather how we respond.
Some people have showed us that we can still choose how we respond even amidst the most gruesome of circumstances. Viktor Frankl is a point in case.
Happiness is a choice.
And there are things that you can do, based on what we learn from Tony Robbins earlier, the wall increase your chances exponentially to help generate an emotional state of happiness.
You can choose to let life’s circumstances get you down or you can choose to be happy no matter what challenges life brings.
Happiness is already within each of us and we are born to be naturally happy!
For example, have you ever noticed how infectious a baby’s giggle is?
So why is it that, as we get older, we forget where to find happiness within ourselves and, instead, allow outside forces to determine our happiness?
Because, as we go through life we pick up certain beliefs, attitudes and references that influence how we view the world.
These in turn impact the filters we develop through which we look at things.
These filters over time condition certain emotional and behavioural patterns, for reasons explained earlier.
It’s not that we don’t have the capacity to be happy all the time, is just that we’ve “trained” ourselves over time not to be.
But we could be, if we wanted to.
If we’re willing to expand our thinking and break free from certain limiting beliefs, we can definitely adopt the strategies needed to generate empowering emotional states, like happiness, on a daily basis.
This in turn, will make us vastly more attractive and influential.
Determine your own happiness with these simple strategies
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Cliché, I know, however it’s so.
You don’t have to let life’s troubles and problems get you down.
Yes, there will always be troubles because no one is perfect, but you can choose your reaction to situations.
Making lemonade out of lemons, is really an issue off shifting your focus.
There is an old saying in personal development, which says, energy flows where focus goes.
What this means is, whatever you choose to focus on will be “fueled.”
Choose to look at the positive side of things and work hard to see the good in people and circumstances, because it will make it easier to generate a more empowering emotional state.
Find something you love to do and do it.
Do you have a lifelong dream or desire?
If so, start working toward it.
Story after story of people who have battled and survived cancer, tells the same thing:
“Stop wasting your life and start spending it on the things that matter!”
When we feel like we are spending our time on meaningful things, it is much easier feeling happy and good about life.
And when I show up feeling happy and good about life, and you don’t, guess whose energy will be more attractive and influential?
Experience has taught me that people tend to tolerate negativity and low-energy only; they are not naturally attracted to it.
It will serve you much more making an effort to learn how to generate a state of happiness than not.
Again, when we feel we are making progress towards things that we value, happiness shows up automatically.
Taking baby steps towards a dream or goal will also help you feel like you’re accomplishing something.
You’ll find drive and determination to reach that goal when it’s something you love to do.
Do you have a gift or talent you’re not using?
One reason so many people are unhappy is that they’re not doing what they’re called to do with their natural talents.
I believe, each and every one of us has a purpose in life, and we should try to align our lives with that.
People who live purposefully and with a very specific intention, a very attractive and influence others a lot easier and someone who is fluffing around, seemingly lost.
You have natural gifts and talents to help you achieve your purpose, so use your gifts effectively!
When you’re feeling down, don’t wallow in your sorrows alone; do something about it.
One of the best ways to change your emotional state is surrounding yourself with, what I call, high-energy people.
It is a known fact that as people we take our cue for how to behave from those we surround ourselves with.
If you find yourself in a pattern of unsupportive and disempowering emotional patterns, that should be a clue that you’re not spending enough time with the right people.
It might be hard to hear, but I believe it’s true.
When we are around happy people (as an example), it is very hard not to be infected by that energy.
So, if you find yourself in a bit of a slump at the moment, call a friend who you know is positive and cheerful.
Talk about how you feel and listen to their advice.
People can help us change our focus.
Changing a focus is a very powerful way to change your emotional state.
So often, people allow themselves to go deeper and deeper into self-pity or depression because they think it has to be that way.
The truth is, you don’t have to be sad and you shouldn’t be.
You can decide to be happy.
You just have to make up your mind to do so.
But don’t be stupid about it. Ask for help and let other people help you see what you can’t, right now.
It’s often times the fastest way back from the dark (so to speak). Feeling acknowledged and heard.
Think about all the things you have to be thankful for.
We cannot experience to opposing emotional states simultaneously.
It is neurologically impossible.
You cannot fully experience happiness in your nervous system, while simultaneously experiencing depression.
When we live from a place of gratitude (which is an extremely high frequency energy), is very difficult to feel down and bad about life.
Gratitude is a means of eliciting happiness.
Often you get so caught up in what’s wrong with your life that you forget to look at what’s right and good.
Again, it’s a matter of perspective and focus.
So, take a step back and reflect on your life.
How far have you come from, say, six months ago?
Do you have children or family to be thankful for?
Yes, they may not be everything we’d like them to be, but imagine life without them.
Now, be thankful that you have them in your life.
Do you have a job?
Maybe it’s not your dream job, but in today’s economy, those of us who have a job should be thankful for it.
You can also use your job as a springboard for something else.
Your job also gives you an opportunity to build relationships with people.
It also gives you a chance to contribute to others.
All of these things are important to feel happy. Connection, contribution and growth. All basic human needs.
Maybe you don’t have any of these …
Are you breathing right now?
If you are, be thankful for that.
Are you reading these words on some screen?
Be thankful that you can see and read. There are about 1 billion people who are illiterate.
You are not one of them.
Gratitude gives us perspective.
Perspective gives us an opportunity to change how we feel.
When we change how we feel we can change how we influence.
When you’re feeling down, do something physically intensive.
One of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, ways to rapidly alter your state, is changing something in your physiology.
The more physically intensive the activity, the better.
How we feel is oftentimes simply a result of a neurophysiological pattern.
We literally train ourselves to feel a certain way most of the time.
Have you ever met someone who was angry all the time?
It’s not because these people are different from you or me; it simply because they have trained themselves (knowingly or unknowingly) to feel a certain way most of the time.
Some people have “enacted” anger (for example) for so long, that it’s become part of them (or so it seems).
But that pattern can be broken and changed.
In the fastest and best way to do that, as altering your physiology.
And again, the more intensive, the better.
What do I mean?
I mean you need to start doing something else completely with your muscles, posture, facial expression, movement etc.
And the more extreme the better (assuming you’ll stay safe of course)!
Here are a few ways to rapidly change your state through the power of changing your physiology:
- Cold shower or ice bath/pool/river (especially first thing in the morning)
- Exercises done rapidly (for example, fast burpees or jumping jacks, sprints, hitting a punching bag at pace with force, etc.)
- Extreme Sports (for example, cage diving with sharks, bungee jumping, jet boating, mountain biking down a hill, cliff diving etc.)
I think you get the point. With the amount that people are sitting nowadays, any extreme movement will probably activate your nervous system differently.
For some people, fast walking, is extreme. So use what works for you and apply the principle to your situation.
As long as you exert yourself.
If you’ve been prone to look at life negatively, then you’ll have to put more effort into seeing and choosing happiness.
If you’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, then maybe it’s time to get up and get moving for a change.
But don’t let any of this stop you from being happy!
You, too, can learn to be happy.
Practice the steps above and train your mind to focus intensely on the positives.
Also, start using your body as your greatest resource.
When you feel a negative thought coming on, or your mind gravitates toward the negative, learn to recognise it, stop it in its tracks, and then start thinking happier thoughts.
If you find shifting your focus is hard, then shift your body.
Literally, get up and do rapid push-ups until you crash.
Or, run on the spot as fast as you can.
Or, put yourself in the shower and turn on the cold water as quickly as you can.
It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you try something. And if that doesn’t work, try something else until it does.
Taking control of your happiness is one of the most important things you can do to increase your influence instantly.
Make it your mission to take control of your emotional state every day, because your ability to persuade and move the world around you, depends on it.
Starting from this moment onward, make the conscious choice to be happy!
By default, you will also make the unconscious choice to be more influential.
To your success,