Your Triangle of Influence

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I have always been fascinated by the topic of motivation and drive. I’ve been doing research my entire life trying to capture the essence of what’s vital concerning these two topics. Every conversation I’ve had with anyone concerning this topic  involves one of three topics invariably. 

I like to call these your triangle of influence.


1. Control

One of the first things I hear people say, that are lacking or losing motivation, is that they feel like they don’t have control. I’ve found that this need for control is vital when it comes to staying or keeping a person motivated. If there is no control involved it’s difficult to see how what you are doing is causing any effect. One of the biggest keys here is that people look for control in a very specific place, find they don’t have influence in that area, and lose focus and drive. The fix to this is to find areas that you do control and maximize your effect there. This is very common in financial crisis situation. When a person feels they have no control over their money it is hard to get them motivated to make a budget.  Same thing in the work place, if you have no control do you try to affect change? You “just work here” right? 

No control = Brain numbing routine that doesn’t really matter…

2. Change 

This leads me to the next topic that always comes up. The belief that you can’t change something; no matter your actions. This can be seen in almost all organizations, the person with the smallest amount of “perceived” power feels they can’t make changes. So why go above and beyond when no matter what I do nothing will change? Same thing here, you must find and exercise (frequently) your ability to change something in your work place or life. You always have influence it’s just a matter of finding and exercising in that area of influence. Find what you can change for the better today and change it. Now. 

3. Power 

The third area is a sense of power. When a person isn’t motivated ask them if they feel like they have power over the situation; 9 times out of 10 they will tell you they have no power. This is the most devastating of the three. When you feel powerless this leads to a feeling of hopelessness. Your actions of are no consequence right, since you don’t have power? Many people use this rationale when it comes to applying additional effort. I have no power so why try hard?

[cryout-pullquote align=”center” textalign=”center” width=”33%”]”Power is simply the ability to act or the capability of doing something.” [/cryout-pullquote]

We all have power, we all can act. Use your power. Don’t relieve yourself of your power based on impairing (I have no power) logic.

Truth of the matter is successful people find and exercise, no matter the situation, in areas they can control, change and in which they have power. The key is to find your zone and not compare your influence to the influences of others. When we compare we look and see what someone else has and become fixated on the fact that we don’t have the same area of influence. Stay in your lane. 

If its control you feel you are lacking, start to exercise control in the area of cleanliness in your office. Start to exercise the control of your daily demeanor. Start to exercise control in the area of your attitude. 

If it is change that you feel like isn’t possible. Change the furniture in your office. Change the pictures on your desk. Change how you speak to individuals in the morning. Change your efforts in an area. The possibilities are endless. 

If it is power that you seek, act in any area. Exercise your power by acting different; working harder, listening more, and trying again. This is true power; personal power.

Don’t allow a feeling of lack in any of these areas to kill your drive. It’s all about staying in your triangle of influence. Find those areas and keep your focus there. Influence your world first and eventually you will influence others.