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The power of influence.

2011 January 23

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about positive influence. Who and what has made the most impact on my passion for getting more out of life, and caring about the future of humanity? Any of us who want to make positive change have to do some soul-searching into what brings us and others to action. I’ve spent my fair share of time remaining ignorant (sometimes intentionally) about effects of the things I consume, money, politics, suffering and feelings of others, and what is really important for quality of life.

Let’s face it, it’s easier to be lazy. Not only that, in the United States a sense of entitlement is commonplace, and keeping up with the Joneses is something we’ve all been compelled to do at one time or another. Our physical disconnection from neighbors, friends and family due to isolating technology and busy lifestyles makes us feel a bit less, I think.

Now, I don’t mean to be a Negative Nancy. Clearly, I don’t think technology is all bad. My affair with technology is no secret to anyone who knows me. I spend most of my day in front of a computer—designing for my day job, surfing the internet, social networking, researching, paying bills, writing and reading blogs, checking off my to-do list. Having access to these things does allow me to get more done and communicate with more people in a day (because, quite honestly, I’ve never been a phone chatting type gal).

The key is to balance these virtual and/or superficial connections with genuine connections: reading paper books, making physical things, listening to live music, traveling, dreaming, eating real food, and nurturing something living, whether it be a child, an animal or a plant. These are the things that snap us out of our zombie state and make the strongest impressions on us. It can be a tricky balance, and one I’m constantly working on myself.

So, during our busy lives, what information wedges into our brain and sticks? Obviously it’s different for all of us. There are a standouts in my experiences that have had a strong influence on the direction I’ve taken my life. The list is quite long, so I’ll break these each into individual posts. Here’s a sneak preview of some topics of discussion in future entries:

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