I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
I love this concept. In this world we can feel so small and insignificant. But we really are not. Each of us has a circle of influence. Your circle includes EVERY person you come in contact with each day.
Are you influencing others in a positive or a negative manner? Or both? For this blog, I concentrate on the pursuit of health and fitness. You may think this pursuit is in general a little selfish. I contend that it is not, and here are some reasons:
- Are you a "crack" dealer in your own home? Whenever I buy processed foods and bring them home for my family to consume, I think to myself, "I am a crack dealer". I hate that! In general, I am capable of staying away from the grains and sugar filled foods. My son is not as disciplined. This is really MY fault though. I didn't really know any better for the first 14 years of his life, but even now I keep feeding his addiction by purchasing the stuff and I DO know better!
- Do you live an "active" lifestyle? Or do people around you think of you as a couch potato? I don't think you even need to utter a word to people--they can tell if you live life in front of the TV or computer. Like it or not--this is influencing others. Get out and have fun DOING things--it is contagious.
- Do you share your health and fitness passion with others? If you appear physically healthy, others do notice and they will want you to share your "secret" with them. Some will be ready to join you, and others will not...be supportive, offer your assistance if they want it, and let them find their own way.
- Do NOT turn people off by being a fanatic! This is very hard advice to follow--especially when you are new and you feel like you have THE ANSWER. Make yourself available--but don't shove it down their throats.
- Be positive, sympathetic, empathetic and non-judgmental. I don't love telling people that the road to health and fitness is DIFFICULT, but it is. The positive here is that it is POSSIBLE. It can be achieved and the hard work only makes it all the more rewarding. Sympathy and empathy are easy for me. I have not been in shape all my life, so I have vivid memories of how hard the road to fitness is, especially starting out. Harder though is to not be judgmental. I think it is important though. No one wants to be judged-especially on something as touchy as their personal fitness. We do not know what a person has been through to reach this point. We either need to invest the time to find out, or we need to make it known that it should not hinder forward progress.
- Be sure to have your OWN positive influences. Do you have a mentor? Do you have someone you can turn to to keep you on track, who makes you feel successful? Don't take these wonderful people for granted--I think they are vital for your own well-being.
This is just an off-the-top-of-my-head list. Can you think of other positive ways you can influence others in the health/fitness quest?
It has been a sad week of Michael Jackson news, but I have heard the "Man in the Mirror" song several times in the last few days and think it is appropriate...
"If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change."--by Seidah Garrett and Glen Ballard