Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Most Influential: What inspires us?

inspiration quotes image, new york city image, new york, quotes image
As it does every week, TIME Magazine landed gracefully on the cool stone tiles of my hallway sometime over the weekend. The annual issue is filled with the most influential people of the year. These include world leaders, artists, celebrity icons and innovators.

Women like Kerry Washington and Beyonce were included in the 2014 list of The 100 Most Influential People. It also included world leaders like Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin as well as fired up pop culture icons such Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus and her tongue.

They all got us talking this year. But who gets us working? Who gets us living? How do we decipher who holds the heaviest influential capital? I think it has less to do with who is in the public eye, and more to do with who we connect with on a personal level. Sure, we can disagree with Ukraine and we can roll our eyes at twerking, but does it effect our everyday behaviour?

We're talking about shaping minds and moulding conversation, about subverting opinion and removing your garden variety prejudice. We can absorb all the personalities from the outside world, and all the words from the finest publications- but do we ever really change because of them?

As a writer and a communicator, I'm influenced by everyday events, mental and physical breakthroughs and tragedy. I'm inspired by happy people, and broken hearts. And I'm fuelled by complicated conversations. I search through Twitter to see what my own influences have to say. Ultimately, I listen to my gut but it's often spurred on by the words of someone I know or admire.

I don't necessarily mean my role models. I think there is a profound difference. In terms of behaviour and personalities they range from Taylor Swift and Hillary Clinton to Blair Waldorf and Buffy Summers. So what does that tell you about me? What does a country turned pop It Girl, a political icon, a Queen Bee and a superhero all have to unite them?

Power. Strength. Influence.

It says that I admire those with something to say, regardless of how they choose to do so. It tells you that this gave me my voice and the misty enigma of the person I wish to be. But this alone does not influence my words. 

What does? People, and what they talk about. It's the same thing as when PR companies reach out to bloggers- because they know word of mouth is what makes or break a product. I myself look to bloggers when making decisions, whether materialistic or otherwise. Sometimes I look to them for inspiration, and sometimes I want to know their stories because they push me to tell my own. Writers feed off life, and we survive from sharing it.

When I've had someone message me on Facebook, or send me an email then I know that I have given them a source they can rely on whether it is for honest stories of my life or just some advice on a lipstick. There is someone out there who trusts your voice, even when you might not. We build our own empires, and we influence our own people when we reach out to them.

What inspires you? Whether it's to strive for more, to work out more, or to live more- who is your influencer, and how can they guide you?