Over the years through the Internet, we’ve found celebrity and significance in the feeds and scrolling that fill our days. As I look to inspiration, pattern, and creativity that fills our days, there’s a necessary purpose and meaning that comes to the surface. For many creatives, we quickly realized focusing on impact is the best solution. With this comes algorithms, a need to increase following, raise a tribe, and boost engagement. As our networks increase, so does our influence. It’s all done in the name of impact.
However, have we become more worried about crafting a voice, a message, and a brand, perpetuating the idea of building influence than we have love. Influencer by nature has an identity and significance tied to it. This idea of celebrity, where people care about what I buy and what I wear. It is definitely marketing in all of it’s forms. The truth behind many blogs is they are costly to run and are fueled by affiliate and digital products.
Have we become more occupied with influence and a persona than we have the hearts in front of us? I remember one day meeting someone for the first time. Due to the nature of my life and business, I choose to downplay and avoid what I do for a living when first meeting someone. I’d rather be interested in someone than dominate a conversation. I realize at the fast-pace and high-capacity nature of my life, I’ve created and built something that far exceeds my years. It’s normal for me and something I’ve experienced most of my adult life. However, usually while standing there some wants to engage with my social media, comment on my feed, and while filled with kind hearted comments, it usually stops a conversation quickly. “Wow, you shoot this yourself? Who are your clients? You’re so cool, I’m inspired when I’m around you.” Then there’s a moment. A moment where the comments stop and the other individual slows down the questions. I was never concerned about what I do for a living, I rather wanted to connect to the humanity of another during a conversation. Influence rises to the surface and conversation reaches to a standstill.
But what about love? More than my name and what I do for a living, are people drawn toward me because of who I am? Have I found myself to be the fullest embodiment of love they find? When someone is in my presence do they feel safe, known, and at home? Do they feel that more than a pretty table or delicious meal, their hearts are hosted well.
As morbid as it sounds, I’m someone that thinks about legacy often. Maybe it’s that I’m quickly approaching my 30th year or that the time of year where reflection and process is quickly approaching, but the decisions I make and how they affect others impacts me often. I think about the messages I craft and write. While I love creating things that matter, more than anything I want people to say of me, “She was someone who loved much.”
While there are gray areas, there are also moments that love and influence feel deeply juxtaposed. I’m someone that doesn’t get overly impressed by the status of people. I’ve been raised and surrounded by innovators and thinkers most of my life, regardless of where I found myself. However, what never ceases to amaze me are those who use their positions, their influence, to love those around them more. They hold their families close, honor sacrifice, and carry themselves with grace and dignity. More than influence, what strikes me is their ability to watch compassion and legacy rise to the surface. They are ones who love, mothering and fathering many in this world.
Today, how will you prioritize love over influence?
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