Diane Wing

What Influences You?

The Emotional & Creative Impact of Your Surroundings

ea21ae4c-ba4b-4496-abc9-efc00bffb57eRemember when your parents categorized your friends as those who were a good influence versus a bad one? As a teenager, it’s difficult to see how others impact your decisions and your mindset. In adulthood, it becomes more apparent that those you choose to have in our circle definitely hold sway on the choices you make and the way you feel. Awareness of how you feel around certain people and in particular circumstances is essential for understanding how they influence your life.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, for everything you encounter and experience influences the ideas, behaviors, and actions that color your daily life. From the political and social trends of the decade in which you were born to the books you read last week all have an impact on your emotionally, mentally, and creatively.

These influences can be seen in the work of authors and musicians. A love affair gone wrong was the inspiration for Alanis Morissett’s album, Jagged Little Pill. Stephen King’s childhood had a powerful influence on his writing. Ernest Hemingway’s wartime and fishing adventures, alcoholism, as well as his life in Key West came out in his books. David Bowie’s time in Berlin, Germany resulted in his albums Low and Heroes, which sounded very different than his previous works.

The trips you take to experience foreign lands or other cultures within your homeland have an effect on the way you see the world and your place in it. It will come through in the way you speak, the ideas that come forward as a result, and on the decisions you make as to how best to live your life. There are those who go away on vacation and decide to stay in that place permanently, leaving their old way of being behind.

Exercise: Consider these questions in determining the how and the what of influencing factors in your life:

– Who are the people you admire? Why?
– Who do you want to emulate? In what regard?
– What experiences have you had? Which are the most impactful and which had a long-term effect on you? In what ways?
– How do the people around you influence you for better or worse?
– Which decade were you born in?
– What music do you listen to?
– What books do you read?
– Which TV shows and movies do you watch?
– Which spiritual practices and beliefs do you embrace? Why?

All of these influence your creativity, your emotional state, your motivation, and your mindset. They can be inspirational or limiting.

If you feel like you’re in a rut or need to move your mind in new directions, try a brand new experience, read a new author, watch a new program, or interact with a different group of people than usual. Change your surroundings by driving to a park that’s not the one you normally walk in. Listen to some new music and see how it feels to you.

Fresh energy is created in this way, helping to overcome the stagnation that comes from the same old stuff experienced in the same old way. Recognize the influence that your experiences have on you and whether or not they better your situation.

Copyright Diane Wing, all rights reserved

February 23, 2016
©2016 Diane Wing