Have you ever met a person who seems to have an endless supply of incredible stories from great life experiences in their past?  These people always seem to be able to make connection with others and contribute to conversations in meaningful ways.  Their breadth of perspective makes them influential in relationships, conversations and meetings.

The quality of our life experiences is the first of the three factors that determine how influential a person becomes.  Click here to read the previous post for an overview of this framework.

The 3 Factors that Develop Your Influence

    This post will focus on the first of these factors: cultivating great life experiences. In the next few weeks we will examine the other factors as well.

    Photo: Courtesy of Unsplash

    First, embrace your past experiences! We all have an incredible and unique myriad of life experiences that have shaped who we are to this point. No one else has your combination of experiences, which means you have a unique contribution that can’t be replicated by any one else.

    Second, determine what kind of influence you want to have! If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you will never get there.  Take the time to think this through thoughtfully.  Journal. Reflect. Pray.  And then codify your desire, by writing out a life mission and commit to pursuing it.

    Third, consider your options for future experiences! We have the ability to determine the future experiences we engage, and in combination with our past experiences, we have the power to cultivate and develop our influence in powerful ways.  Consider the following list of type of experiences that we can chose to engage strategically moving forward:

    • Education
    • Career Moves
    • Travel
    • Hobbies
    • Events
    • Risk-Taking
    • Relationships
    • Mentorship
    • Children
    • Exercise
    • Conferences

    Fourth, plan to cultivate life experiences! As you read down that list, presumably several of the topics jumped out at you.  Perhaps you have always wanted to travel, or maybe you know you need to make a career move.  Perhaps your life needs new people to provide richer experiences or maybe you need to open up to a little risk.  What ever stirs in you as you think about your future, make a plan.

    Developing influence doesn’t happen by accident. The people who have become really influential have cultivated life experiences strategically over time.  Pastor Pierre DuPlessis often says, “You can’t expect to get in a few days, that which took another person years to attain.”

    Let me challenge you to take an hour and make a plan… the world needs your influence to grow and expand.  There is no one with your unique combination of experiences.



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