Guidance from the I Ching: #31 - Influence

What you seek is seeking you

Hexagram 31 Influence

August 31, 2020

“Success. Perseverance furthers. Thus the superior person encourages people to approach them by their willingness to receive them.”

I consult the I Ching (Book Of Changes) for inspiration at the start of every week. This week’s message is all about allowing things to come together.

Influence is defined in the dictionary as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.” Influence is a power that we all have, but only some use consciously. Influence can be used for the good of the many or as a means to further personal agendas at others’ expense. And in this age of social media, the power of Influence has been amplified to previously unimagined levels.

In various translations of the I Ching, Influence is sometimes translated as Attraction. Attraction is the force that holds the universe together. Times of Influence are when others are seeking you out because they know that you are in possession of the thing they need. Perhaps it’s a service or product, or maybe it’s just your wisdom or companionship. Either way, you are in a unique position to fill their needs. Times of Influence provides the perfect balance of supply and demand because what you seek is seeking you. But be careful not to chase after your goal aggressively. Becoming pushy and impatient will push you further away from your objective. If the Attraction is mutual and you remain patient, your Influence will draw things to you.

“Influence can be used for the good of the many or as a means to further personal agendas at others’ expense. And in this age of social media, the power of Influence has been amplified to previously unimagined levels.  

Jose Johnson

Wise leaders understand the following: if you want people to listen to you, you must first learn to listen to them. When you open yourself to the Influence of others, your openness creates an atmosphere for exchanging ideas. Now is the time for the servant leader to shine. According to the I Ching, an attitude of servitude towards others encourages them to seek your advice and guidance. When mutual Influence exists, all parties are happy because they are each getting what they need out of the relationship. Influence is not about dictating and demanding; it is about listening and learning. 

If there is one thing that will stand in the way of Influence, it is ego. The I Ching warns that if the ego is “unsettled in its movements,” only its “friends” will respond. We see proof of this play out across every media platform. The ego drives the desire to either prove we are right or have our beliefs validated by others. This need for validation often results in people choosing to only listen to those with supporting views. When the ego is tamed, our decisions come from our higher Self – the part of us connected to all things. When the ego runs rampant, our actions are directed by our base impulses and are only concerned about what is good for the individual. If we wish to Influence change to benefit the good of the many, we must rely on empathy and forethought.

For Influence to be most effective, it needs to come from sincere actions. Real Influence is not merely an intellectual exercise and cannot be achieved with empty rhetoric. If you wish to lead or create change, you must be willing to “walk the walk.” As the I Ching states, “words are only words.” The most extraordinary idea is useless if it is not executed. But don’t become calculating or manipulative. For Influence to work, let your convictions’ strength speak for you by remaining consistent in your actions. Always ask yourself, “what am I doing to make the situation better?”

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