Imagine having a challenging workout at the gym.
You’re extremely tired and about to give up.
But then, you see someone next to you who is fighting their way through the pain.
So, you decide to join in and keep pushing.
Without knowing it, the other person nudged you into their direction.
And you do the same thing for the people around you all the time.
Human beings are social creatures that are constantly influencing each other. Our attitudes, feelings, and actions spread like viruses throughout our networks. In his book, Connected1, sociologist Nicholas Christakis writes:
Across many different kinds of behavior: voting, cooperation, smoking, weight loss and weight gain, happiness, cooperative behavior, public health behaviors, we and others have been able to show that people are very meaningfully affected by the behaviors of other people to whom they’re connected.
And here’s the kicker: they are also affected by the behaviors of people to whom they’re not directly connected. When your friend’s friends quit smoking or your friend’s friends friend become nicer and more cooperative, this ripples through the network and affects you.
Similarly, when you make a positive change in your life, when you start running for example, or you participate in our democracy and you vote, it ripples outward from you and can affect dozens, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of other people.
How crazy is that? Each positive action you take has the potential of inspiring countless others to do the same. Not only your family and friends but the people they know. And then the people they know. And on and on it goes.
Always remember that everything you do is contagious. It will infect people you’ll never even meet. So, to be a force for good, the best thing you can do is…
The greatest gift you can give the world is to lead by example; to show up at your very best and go after your goals with inspiring persistence. Because when you do that, you’ll motivate others to do the same. Here are the best ways I’ve come across to spread positive good “viruses” into the world:
It might seem like a lot of work to show up your very best, but it’s much easier than not doing it.
On top of that, you’re an inspiration to everyone around you.
So, be a force for good in the world. It’s the most rewarding way to approach life.
Plus, you might just change someone’s life.
Thanks to Lewis Howse for inspiring this article.