15 Tips to be a Positive Influence on Others
I strive for a society that treats the earth with respect, that cares for all the species we share our home with, and that respects one another. I work towards a society of people that make decisions based on the greater good of all rather than themselves. Do you dream of this and work for this? If so, this article may be of service to you. This is my guide on how to influence and inspire others to be good to the earth. I hope that it proves to be very beneficial to you!
Have a positive attitude. In my experience people are turned off pretty quickly by anger, negativity and doom and gloom. People want to have a good time. I recommend being excited about what you are sharing and trying to be positive. There certainly is a time for doom and gloom but that time is not always. People ask me how I stay positive even in the daunting times that we live in and my answer is simple. I do always look at the big picture, which is living truly harmoniously with the earth and not destroying our home. But I stay positive by having little goals to achieve on a daily or weekly basis. Because I think every life is precious I know that if I’ve just inspired one person to live with more health and happiness that I’ve been successful that day. If one less animal is unnecessarily killed, then I have something to be positive about. If one person truly has been inspired to pursue a path of less destruction than I should feel proud. By looking at life this way I am able to stay positive rather than feel the doom and gloom of life. I am able to chip away at the destruction we are causing, with my eye on the big picture, but my heart always with every precious life that is bettered.
Lead by example. Few people I know like to hear hypocrisy. Make sure if you are telling someone to do something that you are doing it as well. Simply by leading by example, you will be showing that it can be done. Most people don’t want to be the first; they want to see someone else do it first. Be that someone else for them.
Be confident and do what you know is right for you. Follow that feeling deep in your gut and follow it with a great zest for life.
Live a joyous life and be happy. Show that any sacrifices you’ve made for the earth have come back to you ten fold in health and happiness. Show that what you’ve given up has actually made you a more complete person full of passion and purpose. Show them that you are not missing out!
Teach don’t preach. Do your best to just give the options and teach why you think they are a better alternative, rather than just preaching it.
Be creative. Come up with exciting and interesting ways to get people thinking and get them to care. It’s been working for me. From my bike rides across the USA, to dumpster diving for a cause, to going 1,000 days without showering. These campaigns have been entertaining and enjoyable for people to be involved in and the people paying attention have learned a lot that they never expected they would.
Be knowledgeable. On whatever you are talking about. Have the information to back up your case. Do your best to make sure you are not spouting out incorrect information. Educate yourself deeply.
Have resources. For those that you want to positively influence. Suggest great documentaries or books for them. There’s a good chance that these resources will have put together your case into a concise form that will help them to understand where you are coming from and why you care. Check out 23 films that changed my life and 50 Facebook pages I recommend.
Focus on how they can benefit from positive changes. Show them how they can save money and have better health. I find that people tend to make decisions primarily based on how they will benefit as an individual far more than how the earth as a whole will benefit. So show them how their lives can be positive impacted through the changes they make. These changes often lead to much more selfless changes.
Know that you are going to be going against the grain. It is going to be challenging. Embrace and accept that challenge. Times are going to be tough and you’ve got to be tough every single day. Ok, maybe not every day but a lot. Because when you give up you are no longer a positive environmental influence any more.
Think about things from a psychological standpoint. Affecting positive change environmentally is as much about human psychology as any of the little actions you are trying to get people to change. Understand that people often practice the “ignorance is bliss” method intentionally so they can go on doing what they are doing without feeling bad about it. Understand that people reacting with anger may mean that you’ve got them to think about something they didn’t want to think about. Studying how the mind works and why we do what we do can drastically help your cause.
Be accepting and try your hardest not to judge others. You may not know why they are doing what they are doing. Maybe they are holding onto traditions of a lost family member. Maybe they just can’t understand any other way because they only understand what they saw their parents do for decades. Maybe socio-economic or racial stigmas are built deep inside of them. Life is tough for all of us. Remember that and be compassionate. Be accepting but still do your part to give them that nudge they need to live for something greater than themselves and the few people around them.
Be compassionate. Compassion is never going to hurt your case. Compassion isn’t something that we learn in school and not something that every parent teaches. You might have to learn how to be more compassionate. I have one suggestion for you. Put yourself into a situation where you need the compassion of others. Having felt others compassion, having needed others compassion, just may teach you to be compassionate. One way I’ve done with is by traveling with no money.
Take it step-by-step. Look back at your life. Were you once doing the very same thing they are doing today? Did you change everything overnight or did your transformation take time? I was a binge drinking, 2 car owning, animal devouring, environmental nuisance. So how can I expect that everyone else has already learned what I didn’t know just five years ago? I took it step-by-step, week-by-week to live the environmentally conscious life that I do today. Help others to make little steps that will empower them and excite them to do even more. Find a middle ground with them so that they can take the first step and let it grow from there.
Surround yourself with like-minded people. People who really care about the other species we share with the earth and the earth as a whole. I feel for anyone that has family and friends that just don’t understand them. So try to spend time with people who bring you up and support you to take it even further. The hard times won’t be nearly as hard if you have breaks from it. Surround yourself with conscious people and you will raise your level of consciousness. Surround yourself with good people and you will find yourself being a better person. Surround yourself with knowledge and you your intelligence will grow.
How to deal with negativity. When it comes to dealing with negativity, try to remember that there is always going to be negativity. It’s really important to look past the negativity and think about where it is coming from and why it is being directed at you. Often you will find that it actually has very little to do with you or what you are actually doing or talking about. The negative reactions of others are often a reflection of something within themselves or something that is currently happening in their lives. It could simply be that they are mad at their spouse or their friend and they are venting on you. The words may seem to be aimed at you, but the truth is the emotion behind it has nothing to do with you.
I once had a girlfriend who was constantly putting me down for being very positive and outgoing. A few years later she told me she was doing that because it was a defense mechanism. She wasn’t positive and she was not very outgoing and she wasn’t happy about it. So by putting me down for doing these things she didn’t have to work to improve herself. Instead, she could lower me a step in her mind so that she didn’t have to climb up a step.
Along the same line of thinking, in the past when I saw someone doing something great I would find a fault in it. I used to be very competitive and wanted to be the great one. I saw greatness as a thing that not everybody could have and if others had too much of it that meant less of it for me. By putting down others and finding faults in their greatness I could keep myself above them and feel better about myself. And that meant I didn’t have to work harder or be more successful. I was simply comparing myself to others and I could keep myself in high regard simply by keeping others below me in my mind. Today I understand that we can all be great and there is no limited quantity or scarcity factor of greatness.
Also, I feel that our brains for some reason have a tendency to focus on the negative. I’ve seen it time and time again. Here’s an example. There are 100 people in the room and one of them doesn’t like you. The other 99 do. Your mind focuses in on that and it consumes your energy and time. But the fact is that the other 99 people in the room like you. It’s absurd that the one negative person has got your attention, but that is something I’ve seen and felt many times. When it comes to social media it can go the same way. 28 people comment on your photo and just 3 of them are negative. The other 25 are positive, but often it’s those 3 that you choose to focus on. These negative comments make up a large portion of your thoughts, but in reality do not make up a large portion of the responses. This is the untrained brain I’d say not a matter of nature. This can be changed simply by training your brain to focus on the positive. Also negative people often tend to be more vocal than positive people online. So don’t focus too much on the negativity. Do take the time to make sure you do know what you are talking about and use it as an opportunity to think critically about your work but don’t dwell on it unnecessarily. Negative people are often reaching for something, for someone, for some connection and do it via spitting negative comments. They might not even feel the way they say, they just are looking for connection or attention. I’ve private messaged some of the craziest trolls I’ve ever had on my Facebook page and they’ve broken down and told me they really just wanted someone to talk to. Then the next day they were posting positive comments instead of troll like negativity!
Also, we often assume that constructive criticism or questioning is negativity. I used to assume this quite frequently. But by responding positively I often found these people were actually in complete agreement with what I had to say and they were either just trying to figure out how the heck they could apply it to their life or just trying to find out more. One of the greatest recommendations I can give is to make sure you are not the one that is creating the negativity. It is quite possible that you’ve jumped to that conclusion and a hasty response has resulted in a cycle of negativity between you and someone else. Always come at things with a positive spin and you will find that the negativity didn’t exist in the first place or that you were able to quickly turn it around. Again, there is always going to be negativity, but I believe that these suggestions will really help out in many occasions.