Power of Personal Influence

The power of personal influence is well documented, but the manipulation and exploitation of these beliefs to advance agendas has led to a number of dangerous scandals. How can we ensure that this powerful tool doesn’t fall into the wrong hands?

The “influence book” is a book that talks about the power of personal influence. It has been read by many people, and it is still being read today.

Vintage blurry subway train passengers portrait.

The following extract, “The Power of Personal Influence,” is from William George Jordan’s Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty (1905).

The only duty a man may avoid in this life is the one he considers the least important: his own impact. Man’s conscious impact is shamefully limited when he is on dress-parade, when he is posturing to impress others around him. But his unspoken influence, his personality’s quiet, imperceptible radiation, the impact of his words and actions, the trivialities he never considers, —all of this has a huge impact. Every instant of his existence, he is influencing the lives of people all around the globe in some way. Every individual has an environment that influences others. This impact operates in such a quiet and unconscious manner that man may be unaware of its existence.

Heat, light, electricity, and gravity are all quiet and unseen forces of nature. We never see them; we only know they’re there because of the consequences they have. When compared to the grandeur and splendor of the “unseen,” all of Nature’s “seen” marvels pale into insignificance.

Every person is endowed with a magnificent capacity for good or ill, the quiet, unconscious, and invisible effect of his existence. This is just a steady outpouring of who a guy is, not who he tries to be. Every man radiates compassion, or grief, or morbidity, or cynicism, or pleasure, or hope, or any of a hundred other traits just by being. Life is a continual condition of radiation and absorption; to exist is to radiate, and to exist is to be radiated.

There are those men and women who appear to exude sunshine, joy, and optimism. In a flash, you feel relaxed, refreshed, and restored to a new and deeper trust in mankind. Others may concentrate all of your underlying skepticism, morbidity, and revolt against life in an instant. You strain and stress in their company for no apparent reason. You lose your sense of self-awareness about life and its issues. Your moral compass is messed up and unreliable. It becomes false in a moment, similar to how a ship’s magnetic needle gets deflected as it passes by large mountains of iron ore.

Men like icebergs glide down the stream of existence, chilly, reserved, unapproachable, and self-contained. In their company, you unconsciously tighten your covers about you, wondering who left the door open. All those who fall under the spell of their projected chilliness are depressed by these refrigerated human beings. However, there are other natures, warm, kind, and amiable, who, like the Gulf Stream, move unafraid and undaunted across the ocean of colder waters. Their presence offers warmth and vitality, as well as the rays of the sun, the joyful, energizing breath of spring.

There are those guys who are like toxic swamps, poisonous, depressing, and weakening just by being around them. They make their own houses’ atmosphere heavy, oppressive, and gloomy; the sound of children’s play is silenced, and the waves of laughter are frozen by their presence. They live each day as if it were a fresh great funeral, and they are always the primary mourners. Other guys, like the ocean, are continuously invigorating, stimulating, and infusing new draughts of tonic life and strength just by being there.


There are guys who are insincere in their hearts, and their presence radiates that insincerity. When kids need you, they have a wonderful interest in your well-being. When it fits their goal, they flash a “property” grin so quickly that it seems the smile is linked to an electric button hidden in their clothing. Their voice has a synthetic warmth to it that may have developed over time. But they never play their part perfectly; the mask will sometimes fall off; their brilliance will not be able to give their eyes the look of spotless honesty; they may mislead some people, but not all. “Well, I can’t describe how it is, but I know that guy isn’t honest,” we remark with a subtle force of revelation.

Man can’t get away from his character’s ongoing weakening or strengthening of others for a single second. By claiming that it was an unintentional impact, he cannot absolve himself of guilt. He has the ability to choose the attributes he wants to transmit. He may foster sweetness, tranquility, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, and nobility in his character, and by doing so, he will have a continual impact on the world…

Men and women have responsibilities to others as well as to themselves. We owe it to ourselves to refuse to live in an environment that prevents us from living our best lives. If the fault is ours, we must learn to control it. If it is the personal influence of others that, like a toxic mist, kills our finest instincts, we should get away from it – if we can do so without abandoning our responsibilities. If it is improper to move, we should take large doses of moral quinine to combat the impact malaria. It is not what others do for us that matters, but who they are to us. We move our houseplants from window to window to provide them with the right amount of heat, light, air, and moisture. Shouldn’t we be just as cautious about ourselves?

To have an impact, we must live our religion and put our beliefs into practice. A magnet does not attract iron because iron does not attract a magnet. Before it can attract the iron, it must first transform it into another magnet. When a mom is cross and irritated, it is pointless to attempt to teach tenderness to her children. A youngster who is instructed to be honest and hears a parent expertly lie to avoid some little social discomfort is unlikely to adhere to truth with passion. The parent’s words say “don’t lie,” while the parent’s life influences suggest “do lie.”

As no single corpuscle can rebel and escape the overall stream of the blood, no man can ever isolate himself to resist this continual force of influence. No one is so small as to be completely powerless. The subtle shifts in our emotions are all reflected in the delicate barometers of others’ lives. We should never allow our power to be filtered through human compassion and affection. We should not only be a source of inspiration, but also a source of influence. We should be a tower of strength to the hungry human souls around us just by being there.




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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a personal influence?

A: A personal influence is something or someone that you are personally influenced by. For example, if I were to say my favorite artist of all time was Bob Dylan and wanted to write a song about him it might be an example of a personal influence.

How can you develop your personal influence?

A: Influence is a measure of how powerful someone or something is. My influence has increased over time, but it will continue to grow as I work on being an influential person in my community and career.

How do you improve the need of power?

A: There are only a few things that can be done to improve the need of power. But there is one thing you can do right now, and thats to keep your headset on while playing Beat Saber. This will help charge up the battery faster than not wearing it at all!

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