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marinelife's avatar

Who has influenced you the most and in what ways?

Asked by marinelife (62455points) June 24th, 2008

Today I learned that my first boss right out of college had died. In thinking about him, I thought of all the things I had absorbed working for him and how they had influenced me as a manager later in my career.

He made listening an art, and I have tried to do the same. He used dry wit and humor effectively. Most of all, I saw him defy his bosses and be very courageous to take care of his employees, a lesson that has never left me.

I wish I had thought to tell him how much he had made a difference in my life with his own.

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27 Answers

hearkat's avatar

Well, sharing your story is a wonderful way to honor him; and setting an example for others to follow is passing on a wonderful legacy.

I have no one such person. I try to find admirable qualities in everyone I meet, and to incorporate them into my own behavior.

tinyfaery's avatar

Unfortunately, I think the person who influenced me most did so in a negative way. The reason I’m in my 30s and have no kids is because I see too much of my father in myself. The cycle has to stop somewhere.

mirza's avatar

Howard Roark . I can’t explain how but he did

Mtl_zack's avatar

my boxing instructor. he taught me to always think positively and that you’ll get nowhere if you think of all the things that are wrong. i dont see him that often anymore, but i always think of his advice.

gooch's avatar

Jesus Christ though I can’t compare. I try to help others as he did. I have been a firefighter/EMT for 19 years. I prayed for a calling to the job that he wanted me to do. With no preconception of being a firefighter that’s where he led me.

iCeskate's avatar

Nicholas jonas
michelle kwan
Kelly ****** (my skating coach)

aaronou's avatar

Perhaps there are are a number of people that affect all of us in one way or another. Really, if you think about it, every relationship we have impacts us somehow, whether that be negative or positive. So I’d say that this question is a superb reminder of just how much power we hold in something as simple as a relationship, whatever type it may be. We can make someone’s day, or we can break their day. The truth is that we all are engaged in transforming lives. So let those who change us the most be a constant reminder of how much we affect one another. I wonder how things might have been a bit different had someone showed Hitler that love was more powerful than hate, or if someone had taught Stalin that kindness was of greater value than fear. Thanks for a good question Marina.

thebeadholder's avatar

My mom because she is a self taught computer guru. She created a website that has grown tremendously and been recognized both nationally and internationally and did this all in her 60’s. I worship her :-)
My dad because he came to America at 20, couldn’t speak a word of English, had $200 bucks in his pocket and retired at the age of 50. He lived “The American Dream”. He’d do anything for me and I will do the same for mine. Love that man!

lifeflame's avatar

@mirza – What a coincidence. I’m currently re-reading The Fountainhead.

Isn’t it funny how someone can affect you in ways that you can’t put into words?
Their essence, ... the sum of their being…
And amazing too, that authors like Ayn Rand are able to create characters like that…
With Roark: so much lifeforce, simple, clear… pure will…

shrubbery's avatar

The obvious answer would have to be my parents. I admire the way they brought me and my sister up. They are middle income earners and have given us everything we need, plus more, but have not spoilt us and taught us when enough is enough and to consider if we actually need things and not just want them for the sake of it. They encouraged us early to actually appreciate learning and enjoy it, without pushing us too hard. This has resulted in higher than average academic standards and expectations of ouselves from both me and my sister, without it taking over our lives and always knowing that our parents will be proud of us no matter what. They have encouraged us in every area of physical activity we have been interested it, getting up at 4 in the morning to take us to rowing for example. And they have also encouraged the sense of family, and we have remained close with all of our extended family on both sides.

Another person who has influenced me in a very deep way would have to be my best friend of five years. I know that one’s kind of obvious too but I think this is more significant than normal. When I was 13 I met this boy, which was amazing in itself because I’m pretty sure up until this I was still afraid of ‘boy germs’ and had no reason to be friends with a boy, I was in the middle of climbing the social ladder at an all girls school. He opened my eyes and taught me to not be embarrassed, not to be a sheep and go along with the crowd, don’t be friends with people just because they’re popular and to just be myself. Because of him I was able to be comfortable with who I am and I found true friends who love me for me, not for how I look or how ‘cool’ I am or what music I like or what clothes I wear. He also influenced my taste in music, and introduced me to the world outside of poppy teeny bopper songs, one of the bands he showed me is now my favourite and I thanked him by taking him to see them on their world tour at the start of the year- Iron Maiden! He opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t have to believe in God if I didn’t want to (I had previously gone to a Catholic school and had sort of been brainwashed) and just opened my mind to a great many new concepts, including philosophy, which is something that now interests me greatly and I chose as one of my pre-tertiary subjects. If it wasn’t for him I could be listening to The Veronicas, wearing a cm thick layer of make-up and possibly tuning some wanker just because I was bored. I’m glad I didn’t turn out like one of those girls and I owe this to him.

There are so many other people that I would love to include but this is already a very long and rambling answer so I will finish here. great question :)

nikipedia's avatar

My current boss, whose confidence in me (and letter of recommendation) put me on track for the rest of my career.

My best friend, whose absolute commitment to good sense (and mocking me mercilessly) keeps me in line.

The first person I fell in love with, who taught me math, humility, and how to have a sense of adventure.

I suspect there’s about to be one more to add to the list, but that remains to be seen.

edmartin101's avatar

My mother has set the greatest example in my life. She is a tough woman in spite of trouble she has always managed to move forward and kept the family together. She has been there for me throughout my life, she always makes me feel special. I care for her in return. Although she is California and I am in Singapore so far from each other, we always keep in close contact regularly. She is great at telling jokes and kept our home organized. She is also a woman of prayer and is a devoted Christian. I love her very much!!!

marinelife's avatar

@shrubbery Thank you so much for your answer. Isn’t it amazing how many people touch our lives? I am working on trying to tell them how much they have meant in mine.

My father died 30 years ago, but in the past 18 months my mother received letters from three different men who served under him on an icebreaker in the 60s. They all spoke of how much positive influence he had had on their lives. It was so gratifying to hear that, as if a part of my dad lived on in those men. The lesson here? It is never too late to express your appreciation.

bulbatron9's avatar

Seeing the birth of my daughter has changed my whole outlook on life! She was born yesterday(6–24-08)

Words can’t describe the joy!

marinelife's avatar

@bb9 Congratulations, there is nothing better! Where can we see the pics?

bulbatron9's avatar

I’ll post some in a day or two! I’m still at the hospital. I’ve been checking Fluther on my iPhone when we are crowded with company.

marinelife's avatar

That denotes a serious addiction!

shrubbery's avatar

Marina, thankyou for the question, It has sparked some serious thought from me and I’ve realised that I don’t tell people enough how much they mean to me. Writing it all down has helped and I’m going to be brave and tell them how I feel for once. Sorry about your dad, he must have been an amazing man.
Bulbatron, congratulations! :D

delirium's avatar

if it doesn’t sound too vain… Myself. I have learned more through introspection and my mistakes than anywhere else.

scamp's avatar

I don’t think it sounds vain. It takes a big person to admit mistakes and learn from them!

delirium's avatar

I appreciate that. I do my best. :)

stratman37's avatar

from Jack Handy:

“I remember when I was in the army, we had the toughest drill sergeant in the world. He’d get right up next to your face and yell, and if you didn’t have the right answers, mister, you’d be peeling potatoes or changing the latrine. Hey, wait. I wasn’t in the army. Then who WAS that guy?!”

bodyhead's avatar

There have been a bunch of people that influenced me. Everyone who ever encouraged me to give up had a major impact on me. Everyone who said that ‘I can’t do something’ or ‘I won’t amount to anything’ helped mold me into who I am. People use to say I’d be working as a pizza boy until I’m forty.

If there is no adversity then there is nothing to overcome. I wouldn’t have had the heart or the drive to succeed without the lack of faith of the people who surrounded me. I give thanks for all the jerks in my life and in my city.

Now, I’m a homeowner, a landlord and I’ve got a pretty nice computer job. Things are still hard but they’re a whole lot better then they could have been.

seekingwolf's avatar

My father has had the greatest influence on me. He’s taught me (almost) everything I know now about science, physics, medical knowledge, driving stick shift, spirituality, and morals. And of course, he takes me sailing, skiiing, and lets me have the occasional alcoholic beverage when I’m at home.

I go to him with almost all of my personal problems. Of course, he has his faults, but I still love him!

Zen's avatar

My parents, a few teachers (I’ve had many – I’m old), and Samuel Johnson. When I was 19, my parents gave me a dictionary – on its cover was a quote by Dr. Johnson: “The next best thing to knowing something, is knowing where to find it.”

Not sure why, but I always come back to that quote. It gives me comfort. It reminds me that I don’t have to know everything. Some things come easily to me, some things don’t. I don’t fuss about the latter; I usually just know someone who knows.

Fluther, in this way, suits me just fine. Good question.


fathippo's avatar

I dont think it would be a person in particular who influenced me the most, but probably music because it is like the thing i always turn to like you might with people (but im not good with people =P) whatever emotion or situation i feel/ am in. And throughout everything it is what gives escape and makes you feel hope and feels for you kind of thing.
So maybe you could say the people who write it? (but i’m not sure, maybe people like kurt cobain’s art has influenced me, because he was such an amazing artist man =) ) But yeah it just feels like the thing that supports me (sorry if this sounds weird) and influences life or something…
Or that is what influenced me positively, i guess people are there who were negative or who are positive even though theyre negative, because i end up trying to stay away from being anything like them (i think i’m talking about my dad)...

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I guess my grandma. I can tell her anything and she doesn’t judge and is as honest and helpfulas humanly possible. Plus she won’t let anyone pay for anything and I’ve taken on that quality as well. :) She’s taught me a lot of really great values.

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