Power is the ability to change or influence an outcome.
There are different kinds of power. There is power by authority, like power given when a person has a title, or having a badge or wearing a uniform. Knowledge or experience gives power. Money is perceived as power; physical strength or athletic ability may give a person power.
Power is something people naturally desire. It just seems part of human nature. We want to feel important and influential. One of our greatest fears is that we don’t count or that we don’t matter and we have no real influence. Some of the most persistent problems in our world are generated by people who have the experience that they don’t really make a difference (feel powerless).
People act out…
When people feel they don’t matter or don’t have influence, some interesting things occur. They can act out for attention or become very cynical or resigned. Sometimes people “power up” with money, manipulation or force to get recognized and feel powerful. These people want compliance from others as a sign of power, therefore their significance.
Many people simply give up the idea that they have any power of influence and become victims, living a life based in frustration and helplessness. They search for an escape or a little comfort but don’t really live fully. I think that we all can relate to these reactions because we all have felt overwhelmed at one time or another and have experienced feeling powerless.
The question is, do we have any real power and can we make a difference?
Power come from our mutual need for each other…
If you want to be powerful, that is, influence or create positive outcomes, you must understand the nature and source of real power. In this article we will talk about two main sources of power: our connection to others and the internal source that is confidence and certainty of purpose.
What gives us power is the fact that we have mutual needs that can only be satisfied by each other. We need water and food and shelter to live, but we also need love and social contact. This mutual interdependence is the source of power.
You make a difference with people because you have something they want and they have something you want. This interdependence is what connects us but also can be the source of conflict. All conflict is about power. Instead of dependence on others taking away our power, it is actually one of the sources of our greatest power.
Using our power…..
Power by Service
If we know what the other person needs, we can have power by supplying them with what they need. Power is the result of influencing others through understanding and being of service. Power through service is something everyone can do; therefore everyone has an opportunity to experience power. Serving others also means taking care of you as well. Giving away your power with the need or desire to be liked approved of or for the illusion of control will diminish your ability to serve effectively.
Some of the greatest advancements in history are based on people looking on ways they can use their power to serve others and taking action in that service. People who act by serving others in a positive way feel powerful and fulfilled in their lives.
Personal Power, Our attitude, Ethics and Personality…
Another source of power is the recognition that we have an amazing influence on others. Our attitude, ethics, and personality affect others in a powerful way. If you want to confirm this, go through a day cranky and upset and see how that influences the attitude and reaction of people around you. Or go through a day being positive and upbeat, you will notice very quickly that you have power to affect people and they may not even know it.
We all know people who are committed to their attitude so strongly they influence a whole group either in a negative or positive way.
Acknowledging that we influence people all the time is very important because it recognizes that we are responsible for our influence. This acknowledgement is power in itself. You don’t have to be the president of a company, public official, have a lot of money or be a great athlete to know that you are very important.
How do we develop and use that power to get our needs fulfilled and at the same time leave the planet a better place?…
The answer is to use power and influence to create a world that brings out the best in other people. If you leverage your power it can be a force for good. Do not be afraid of your power and use it in a positive way.
Another way to be powerful is to live an authentic life. To follow your own vision and dreams and to be your own person is power. To think for yourself, to tell the truth, to keep your word, and to live with compassion is an exercise in power.
Personal power is a result of personal development. Never stop learning and walk through this world with power.
In conclusion: Our power is based on our connection with others (and our planet), and that we can continue to develop influence by being of service and by living authentically.
God, Power and Our Gift…
Some people may ask where is God in all this. Isn’t God the source of all power?
God may be the source of everything but it is our responsibility to use the power God has given us. Connection and the ability to be compassionate and loving is a great gift. Power by service and living authentically is the highest acknowledgement of God’s gift that I am aware of.
We are also gifted with courage, determination, humility and love. These are sources of power that are always within us and always available. Even when you stand alone you are powerful if you recognize these amazing qualities within yourself.
Beginners Mind and Power…
Use your need to be powerful by influencing others in a positive way. Remember as well that seminars, training, classrooms, reading and listening are places for you to learn.
Knowledge is a source of power when put into action. Always have a beginners mind and keep discovering.
Patrick is currently Mentoring and Tutoring professionals who want to make a bigger impact with their vision. Email to set up a no-obligation 30 minute appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org