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Choosing to Live Under “The Influence”

The Motion Picture of My Life

If God were to play a movie of my life from the very first day until right now, I am quite sure that I would be speechless. Although, I have never been a wild child, I have done some things that I would not want to see in motion picture and I have made some choices that I would not want to make again. 

I have also had some horrific things happen to me as a result of choosing the wrong types of people to call friends or companions. And, I have been betrayed by people I trusted, dearly.

About ten years ago, one of my good friends said to me once, “Kellie, I do not need to watch the soap operas because I just live vicariously through your life and that is enough drama for me.”

We both laughed in agreement, but I knew that was really sad.  I realized that I needed to make some changes and make them quickly.

I am sure I am not alone. :-)

So, What About You?

As you are reading this, you are probably thinking of that embarrassing or shameful moment or two that you would not want the world to see on God’s big screen, either. Perhaps, there are personal things you are struggling with right now that you only discuss with God in “the secret place.”

You look back and wonder, “What in the world was I thinking?”

You actually participated in the act, made the decision, or even aligned yourself with an individual in a completely sober state. You were not “under the influence” of alcohol or any particular substance and now, you just can’t figure out how it all came to be.

It’s crazy, isn’t it?

With a sober, sane mind we can make some of the craziest, misguided decisions in the world and sometimes even after knowing we are forgiven for them, we have a hard time forgiving ourselves.

Today’s post is one that is meant to totally empower and inspire you—not that my other posts do not share that same sentiment, but this one, in particular is strategically written for those purposes.

Reasons We Make Certain Choices

If you are a person who has struggled with forgiving yourself for “errors” you have made or perhaps you find yourself still unable to make good decisions, read this post carefully.

Many of us often underestimate the power of influence—yes, influence.

Influence:  the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavioropinions, etc. of others.  Dictionary.com

We believe that we have so much control over what we do and how we do it.

Well, on the surface that sounds real good and if you had said that to me maybe 10 years ago, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. But, today, I see things totally, differently.

I have to give credit to this different perspective to several factors—in-depth Bible study, personal development books, and even business and marketing books.

Let me explain.

An Enlightening Lesson from Stephen Pierce

In 2010, I purchased one of the most profound business books I have ever read, Secrets to Creating Wealth: Learn How to Create Outrageous Wealth with Only 2 Pennies to Rub Together by Stephen Pierce. I could not believe the enormous amount of insight and wisdom that was shared in just 83 pages of content.

One of the most striking, thought-provoking concepts that Stephen shared was the power of the Third Influence.  In the book, Stephen, who has gone from a somewhat “disturbed” youth to a multi-millionaire internet marketing mogul, explains how discovering the power of the Third Influence changed his life.

According to Stephen,

“Third Influences come in and completely impact your thought processes and actions. Those Third Influences come from various sources. This is basically what we see with peer pressure in young people. Sometimes they don’t know how to make decisions for themselves, so they are easily persuaded and influenced by their peers.

The Process of Influence

You see, influence is a process.

It begins with first being exposed to an idea, a concept. Sometimes, it requires multiple exposures, depending upon how much value the influencer has.

Sometimes it requires only one exposure. 

But, in essence what happens is that the mind that is being influenced begins to entertain the possibilities. Then, that same mind becomes persuaded by the idea.

Once the mind is persuaded, it begins to adopt the idea as its own. From then on, the mind is  captivated and convinced and the actions follow suit.

This process can work for you or against you.

It can be positive or negative.

This is the thing:

Once you have been influenced, captivated, and convinced–you have surrendered your control. You have essentially handed your ability to think, independently, to someone or something. It is no longer you, but it is that “thing” or your trust, faith, and belief in that influencer that is controlling your decision-making process and consequently, your actions.

I could give you so many examples of this, but this post would be far too long. But, just think about the power of alcohol, drugs, cults, gangs, molesters, parents, cultures, fear, faith, and yes, your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—all have the power to influence you and thereby control how you think and what you do.

You say, “I had a choice.” You look at others and say, “They had a choice.”

In some cases, you are right.  But at the root of your choices and at the root of their choices is an influence. That influence has taken that person through a process, whether consciously or subconsciously, that has him or her convinced, right then, in that particular state. And as a result, decisions are made.

Choosing Who or What Will Influence You

But, the beauty of all of this is that at some point, by God’s grace and mercy, we are offered the opportunity to choose who will influence us. This is not always as easy as it seems, but it is possible.

We can choose the kinds of influential powers that seek to affect our thoughts and then our actions. We can choose to immerse ourselves in music, in teachings, in friendships, in mentors, and surroundings that edify us and transform our minds; and as a result, we can choose to live victoriously.

For some, choosing to be influenced by the positive is easy. For others, it is a major challenge.

So, your concern should not be whether you or anyone else had a choice to make when opportunities and risks presented themselves….your concern should be how powerful the decision-maker viewed the influence (i.e. debilitating family values, the enemy, an abusive spouse, a deceitful friend, a successful business leader, the Almighty God) that  ultimately controlled the choices that were made.

Now For the Inspiration….

You do have control.

You can choose to live under THE INFLUENCE from this day forward. Let God infiltrate your thoughts and transform your mind through His Word, because he that owns your thoughts is the one who really makes your choices. Let Him be that compelling force that determines the decisions you make in not only your personal life, but in your business, as well. :-)

And then, you will walk gracefully down the red carpet if and when the movie of your life ever debuts….

NO Shame.

NO Condemnation.

NO Regrets. 


Before You Go

Think about this:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.

And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desiresRomans 8:1-5 (NIV)

Stop Talking and Start Speaking

Kellie continues to excel in all academic areas; however, the excessive talking needs improvement.

Can you believe that?

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Hunter, wrote that on my report card every six weeks.

Yes, back in the 70’s in Durham, NC, we received our report cards every six weeks, not every 9 weeks. And, needless to say, my report card had a comment about my issues with talking….you guessed it….every six weeks. (SMH)

Stop laughing at me. :-)

Stop shaking your head. 

It wasn’t my fault that I finished my work early and felt the need to converse with whoever was in front, in back, or beside me. My teacher should have provided more challenging work or given me a choice of what we, educators, now call “sponge activities” to do upon completion.

Well, I guess that was not a part of the pedagogical practices of the day.


We were doomed to do hundreds of those purple-inked worksheets, one right after the other, until we had become pros at filling in blanks and circling the correct answer.

Doomed to sit there, quietly, listening to the clock tick, watching the teacher sit at her desk possibly selecting more purple passion sheets to run-off for the next week.

We were doomed to demonstrate how disciplined we were in the silence, but I just could not take it. So, I had to talk.

No matter how many times my mother said, “I don’t care how smart you are, you’d better shut your mouth in that classroom! Anybody can be quiet,” the excessive talking report would follow me home.

I guess talking was my therapy. It was my hobby. It was my joy. :-)

It still is.

For me, there is nothing like an intellectually stimulating conversation—sharing viewpoints, experiences, challenges, triumphs, problems, and solutions. Discussing new ideas, reminiscing on the old—all of it is fair game for me, the self-proclaimed talker.

But, just this past Sunday morning in my kitchen, I heard a voice say, “Stop talking and start speaking.”

You see, not only do I love to talk to others; I seem to have this habit of talking to myself. 

Yes, you read it correctly. I just admitted to talking to myself. And, I “got it bad.”

I have these long conversations with myself when something truly disturbs me.

I replay the incident in my mind and then the commentary follows….over and over again until I wear myself out. It goes something like this:

“Why in the world did he?”

“I know good and well….”

“No, she did not say that!”

And my favorite, “I cannot believe….”

Oh! That is just a few of the “conversation starters.” There are many more phrases in my vocabulary that express astonishment, disappointment, hurt, shock, fear, and pain.

That is the problem.

It seems that I spend too much time rehearsing the negative emotions, the hurtful incidents, the mind-boggling situations. Then, I might throw out a prayer or two, but its right back to that conversation–right back to talking to myself about it, wrestling with it in my mind.

Meanwhile Back At the Ranch

But, in my kitchen on Sunday, a voice so clear said to me, “Kellie, stop talking and start speaking.”

It suddenly dawned on me that my Heavenly Father has never told me to constantly talk about a situation that disturbs me.

He has never instructed that I feast on negative thoughts repeatedly, going over the incident with a fine-toothed comb, like Inspector Gadget.

He has instructed me to speak:

22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:22-23

Through His Word, He has informed me that my words have power, power rooted in the “God-kind of faith.”

That is what makes me like Him. That is one of the ways that I know that I am created in His image.  He has given me authority speak to situations and cause them to be.

Click play to hear the rest of my thoughts on this post. :-)

Stop Talking, Start Speaking! (mp3)

Before you go…

  • Can you relate to my challenge to speak to situations and not talk about them, constantly?
  • Have do you train your brain to “think on these things?”

Leave a comment and feel free to share this post with others in your network. :-)

Ladies, Are You Ready To Be A CEO?

Chief Executive Officer.

Let’s break that down, shall we?

The Chief

According to Dictionary.com,  a chief is–

the head or leader of an organized body of people, the person highest in authority.

Now, let’s think about that for a momento. :-)

What does it really mean to be a leader, a head, the highest in authority? How does one successfully fulfill that role, and thereby live up to those expectations? And more importantly, how does one demonstrate leadership skills that maintains an organized body of people?

Cheryl Broussard, author of Sister CEO: The Black Woman’s Guide to Starting Her Own Business, explains that having what it takes to be in a leadership position,

“requires careful planning, well-thought-out strategies, confident skills, and the strength to succeed.” (p.6)

So, are you qualified to be a chief?

The Executive

In the 2007 article, What is An Executive? Mitch McCrimmon shares his view on the differentiation between leaders and executives. He shares that an executive

could be quite successful without being a leader.

Instead, an executive could be a very skilled manager and doer. As a manager s/he focuses on getting things done, effectively. While as a doer, he focuses

on the content of business, making decisions, rather than facilitating decision-making in others.

So, are you capable of being an executive?

The Officer

As I was perusing through www.quizlaw.com, I found this explanation of the duties of officers in business:

In the context of a corporation, the officers generally handle the day-to-day management and control of the corporation. They are appointed by the board of directors at one of the directors meetings (either an annual directors meeting or a special directors meeting)…the officers handle the daily corporate control. This includes things such as hiring and firing employees, dealing with corporate contracts, handling bills and collections, dealing with sales and purchases, keeping and maintaining daily corporate records, etc.

Think about all that being an officer entails….my, oh, my! It could be intimidating if you allowed it to be. 

So, are you confident enough to be an officer?

Thinking It Through

Today, I was reading Joel Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living At  Your Full Potential, and he reminded me of how important our thoughts are. It is our thoughts that control our emotions. It is not the other way around.

Our emotions are simply indicators of what we have been thinking.

Our thinking is controlled by what has been programmed in our minds.

So, you may be thinking, “Kellie, what does that have to do with the topic of this blog post?”

My dear, Sister Friend, it has a lot to do with it. :-) It is what you think you are, that you are.

So, if you believe that you are ready to be a CEO, you are. This doesn’t mean you don’t have learning to do to become as successful and effective in that role as you can be…but it means that you have decided that you are, and that is the most important action you can take….making the decision.

That thought will control the actions that follow.

Trust and believe it.

My Interview with Sister CEO Cheryl Broussard

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cheryl Broussard, twice this year. In the interview below, she shares her heart about women in business and why it is absolutely necessary that we make the decision to be entrepreneurs.

Listen to the interview with your heart… and answer my question, “Are you ready to be a CEO?”

Listen to internet radio with kelliegardner on Blog Talk Radio
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