When You Feel You Have Lost Your Influence


I wonder from time to time if the stuff I write on this blog really matters. Does it ultimately help anyone, or am I rambling on about things that no one really cares? I know that it often helps me to process thoughts and ideas and even to crystallize a concept that has been brewing in my mind for a while. But what about the rest of the people who read these posts? When I question my effectiveness, the reach of my influence, I am thankful for days like today.


I opened an email that read:

“You didn’t know it when you posted this, but I was influenced greatly by it.  I was feeling “restless” just before Thanksgiving and your post opened me up to some new possibilities.  As it turns out, I have taken a a new job. . . .”

You might be struggling with feelings similar to mine. Maybe it’s not your writing, but your

contribution at work,

your influence on a wayward son or daughter,

a  difficult relationship that seems hopeless,

a career that feels stalled.

Let me encourage you to keep going. This email has been a reminder of a lesson I’ve learned long ago: we can never know our influence. So don’t stop doing what you believe you should do, speaking into the lives of those who often don’t respond the way you think they should, doing the work you think needs to be done. It’s hard to pour yourself into what seems to be a vacuum of response. But while it might not be instant and the way you like it, your influence is certain.

What area of your life you new to renew your commitment and move forward?

  • Michelle Sarabia

    Thanks Maurilio! Needed this today in so many ways.

  • Maurilio –

    Thanks for posting this!  I love it, and I think about influence often as I speak to groups, coach high potentials and high performers, and strive to fulfill my role as a husband and father of 5 boys!  Thanks for your influence in my life through your words and your example! 

  • I teach a small group. A member of the group came up to me one day to thank me for impacting her. I was grateful for her encouragement. But the really strange thing was that she said that everyone was continually being impacted. They’ve been remarking to each other, and she could see the change.
    In other words – for every 1 note of encouragement you get, there are probably 100 or so who have been impacted and have never said anything.
    It helps us to really cling onto those notes of encouragement that we do get – not as great in and of themselves, but as symbolic of dozens and dozens and dozens more who we may never know about.

  • Nearly four years of manuscript rejections, numerous revisions, one acceptance letter, and still no book deal. Tired. Almost defeated, before even having a chance to be influential. Thanks for the post. LT

  • I love those small, yet hugely impactful, moments of encouragement. I tend to ask that question myself a lot when it comes to my college ministry. At most, I get a student for 4 years. Normally, it’s more like 2-3. Sometimes I see huge change in them. Sometimes, the change doesn’t happen for a few years after they graduated and are gone. But every once in a while, I get a letter or email or phone call like you described, and it renews that passion that what I’m doing is making a difference.

  • Just so you know… I read your blog because I think your pretty awesome and your mango salsa ROCKS! 🙂

    ~ Trish

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