A friend of mine asked me to blog on the topic: influence. I thought to myself that this can be done in so many ways, but yet accepted the challenge. Sometimes, we can be influenced by other people. We may come across positive influences as well as negative. I used to have a friend in junior high. Unfortunately, she was a bad influence on me. I did get into trouble at that time whenever I hung out with her. However, I believe that bad influences come and go out of our lives for a reason. This causes us to identify with our inner self on a deeper plateau. Our environment definitely has a strong affect upon us. If we are residing in an urbanized environment, our goals and expectations are much different from someone living in a rural environment. There are many other influences that impress upon our lives such as music. If we love to listen to a certain type of music, we may take that lifestyle that coincides with that music and thus become one. Teachers may have an influence upon our lives. Henry Adams once said, "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Sometimes, we look up to celebrities as well as the world around us. We analyze the latest trends that are in the world and get influenced to want to be part of that. As human beings, we are like sponges. We soak up so much information that the world has to offer us. We becomes easily influenced to follow and submerse our self into what the norm has decided for us. It is very difficult for most people to be a leader and not a follower. I think one of the most difficult challenges in life is to try to influence others and not become influenced. "True leaders don't create followers. They create more leaders."