Who do you know who has a lot of power? Maybe you know some famous business leaders who own and run large corporations worth millions of dollars or you may know some famous politicians, successful authors, or individual speculators in real estate who have made it big. Each of these types of people probably have buying power beyond what you ever imagined, or professional power to influence the policies or events of a country, or even the power to make or break careers as they see fit.
A Different Kind of Power
But, I want to talk about a different kind of power and one that I believe is worth a lot more than you may realize. This is the kind of power that successful people know about from first hand experience , and the kind of power that cannot ever be taken from you.
It is the kind of power that can change lives for the better, or make an everlasting mark on the well being of many around them. So, what kind of power is this? Where can you get it? Is it available to only the chosen few?
A Short Story To Demonstrate
Let me tell you a short story to demonstrate what this power is and is not. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to conduct a two and one half day seminar. This was a motivational and life-changing seminar basically designed to assist people in changing their lives, breaking through their own personal barriers that were preventing them from achieving what they really wanted from life.
It was always fascinating to see and meet the seminar attendees. Some of them couldn’t wait to get started, others were skeptical about what they would get for their money, and others attended reluctantly often being coerced or brow beaten to attend by spousal pressure.
This last group was always the most challenging to work with – you probably know the type. They sit there with arms crossed (a negative body language signal) and with what was a seemingly permanent scowl on their face, and forever looking around without seemingly focusing on what was being said or, minimally participating in any of the specific exercises meant to help them build positive mechanisms and behaviors to conquer old habits and thoughts.
And, at the end of this particular seminar and as was the usual practice of asking for feedback on a feedback form, and after all participants had left the seminar room, I started to look through the evaluations paying particular attention to find the form submitted by one of the attendees who had seemingly demonstrated less attentiveness than the rest of the participants, and one who constantly challenged me on almost every point I made. And, to my disappointment, in this case, there was no form. At the very least, I was expecting negative comments or something even more pointed. I left the seminar room that day thinking that I had failed this person – thinking that I hadn’t done enough to get through, or my seminar had no positive impact at all.
As I went about my business and preparation for the next seminar over the next two weeks, one day I received a phone call – I had no caller ID so I never knew who was calling me or for what reason. When I answered the phone, a somewhat familiar voice resonated in my memory – I couldn’t quite place the voice but I knew I had heard it recently. To my surprise, the caller identified himself by name after a few moments as the person who had not submitted their evaluation form. As soon as I heard the name, I was prepared for a verbal harangue or even a request for a total refund. What I heard from him, though, was something I was unprepared for. He took his time to explain that he didn’t want to talk with me at the end of the seminar because he was so unused to being affected the way he was – that is, in a very positive way. He went on to tell me how much the seminar hand meant to him, how much it had already helped him change his ways, and how much more comfortable he was with himself now that he knew how to overcome his own personal barriers to success both personally and professionally. Wow, was I surprised – and glad all at the same time.
The Point Is This
We all have personal power to affect the behaviors of others and this is the power you can’t buy, beg or steal.
It is the power in your words and actions to influence others but this power can also be negative if you use it wrongly or improperly.
It is the power to give respect to a homeless person on the street by acknowledging that you see them by saying a simple hello; it is the power to influence some one to keep moving forward with a difficult task because you believe in them and tell them that; it is the power to comfort those who have lost a loved one because you know the value of love; and it is the power to speak out for those who can’t speak out for themselves.
Power – you all have it – use it wisely because you never know what impact you have on other people even when you think otherwise.