Be a Fanatic

Word of the Year 2023

Influence (according to Merriam Webster) is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. As a verb, influence typically means “to affect or change someone or something in an indirect but usually important way.”

I must say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning words and their history lately. Today, I learned that influence has a ‘heavenly history’. Check this little history lesson I learned from Webster’s.

“The word first referred to a celestial fluid that was believed to flow from the stars. As this fluid reached the Earth, it supposedly affected the actions of the planet’s inhabitants—especially the human ones. (The word influenza has the same origin. It was for a time believed that epidemics were caused by unusual conjunctions of the planets)”. The noun had been in use for more than 200 years before the verb use developed. Pretty cool, huh?

Traits of Influential People

Wanting to learn more, I found several articles on the topic. My favorite coming from these 13 characteristics:

  • They aim to help others succeed.
  • They are charismatic.
  • They are world-class communicators.
  • They are boldly confident.
  • They positively contribute to the world.
  • They are humble.
  • They are great listeners.
  • They take responsibility for themselves.
  • They are knowledge-seekers.
  • They think outside the box.
  • They are voracious readers.
  • They believe in their vision.
  • They know how to adapt.

Another trait that caught my eye is that they connect. With the technology available in our world today, making connections are so easy to do, yet genuine connections are still a challenge for me. Influential people draw others to them. They’re passionate and engaging, have relentless enthusiasm, and set high expectations for themselves and others. They realize failure is possible, but recognize that success won’t happen if they don’t try.

A person of influence in 2023.

The word “influence” is something I have been thinking about for a few months. While I may never make the list of the 50 most influential people, or ever become a household name or brand, my goal for 2023 is to strive to be a person of influence. It’s no secret my heart lies in homeschooling, so that is where I will direct much of my energy – to motivate, help, empathize, cheer, and be able to offer solutions…..and do whatever I can to keep kids off those yellow school buses! (I had to throw that in!) I won’t stop there, though. The new year brings new opportunities, and I’m excited to begin! May the newness of a new year inspire you as it has me.


I always write some kind of new year post, because it’s my favorite! Here are my posts from years past that may be of interest and inspiration to you:

2019: Do The Things! – this was one that was important for me to accomplish – and I did!

2020: T.R.I.M. – not a weight loss plan, but certainly one to check out!

2021: Banish the Bizarre – the year that left me slightly salty.

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