Three degrees of influence

If you like the open air, this bus in the Texas Panhandle is for you

In a previous post I explained the 3 Degrees of Influence theory. Basically it means that you tend to be influenced most by up to 3 connections away from you. 

The first are those you know directly. The second degree/connection are those who know those you know. And the third degree of connection are the people who know those who know your direct connections. 

My friend Russell is the 1st Degree of Influence. 

His friend Sheila, whom I don’t know, is the 2nd Degree of Influence away from me — I only know her through stories. (You’re spoken well of Sheila! I swear . . . .) (Mostly.)

Someone in Sheila’s family would be the 3rd Degree of Influence.

Isn’t it fascinating to know that influence in diminishing degrees extends this far — coming to you from two steps beyond the people you know.

It means we are subtly influenced by this extended network, in cultural expectations, beliefs, how we treat people, whom we respect and whom we don’t, what we think of animals, are tattoos cool or uncool, our work ethic, wine or beer or smoothies, what we think of illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals, whether and how we donate charitably, what we wear, who we read, how we shop, the people we’ll date, the people we’ll hate . . . so many aspects of the way we go about our daily lives are influenced in no small amount by this large and ghostly network of connections.

But you know what this also means?

That you — you! — influence this network by your own actions. Your influence extends beyond what you can see and know. Your influence extends far beyond yourself.

How will you use yours?

For you 

Evan Griffith
Add a little creative soul to your life. Click here to join the growing subscriber list for — you know — the occasional thing in your inbox.

The professional and the vagabond
The first 50 trillion are the hardest