Ten Rhythms of a Life of Influence


PUBLISHED: January 19, 2023

Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?
What is this "it" I speak of?

Short answer: The "drumbeat" of your life.
Long answer: The seemingly habitual things you do day-in and day-out that create what I like to call your everyday "rhythms".

Now, from the beginning, I'm not going to lie. I am one of those guys that "can't carry a tune in a bucket..." or, as I like to say when someone asks me if I can play any kind of musical instrument... "I can barely play the radio." Truth is, Tiff (my wife) is very kind to me when a good song comes on and I get a little too carried away and start tapping my foot or trying to keep a beat, she simply looks at me and I can read her mind. She no longer even has to say "" The look says it all..."You're embarrassing yourself, and me, and everyone around us." She's 100% right. When God was handing out rhythm to folks, I must have been absent. While all that is true, I am not completely musically illiterate. I do know a few simple and basic facts.

  • The drums are the most important part of the rhythm section of any band.
  • Everything else the band does is built on the rhythm the drums create.
  • Drummers have to use all four of their libs independently and simultaneously.
  • Drumming burns more calories in half hour session than cycling, weight lifting and hiking (alright, I'll admit, | googled that last one.)

By now, you're probably wondering what this has to do with life? Honestly, while it may not seem like much at all, in reality, it has EVERYTHING to do with life. You and me both do things every day that we do almost rhythmically...or in other words, habitually and by instinct.

  • We go to work or school or stay home managing a household.
  • We eat roughly three meals a day.
  • We spend money.
  • We probably spend a big chunk of most days a week in the same place
  • We take a shower.
  • We get dressed.
  • We sleep.
  • and the list goes on.

You don't have to have a degree in rocket science to determine the general pattern of your days and weeks. While these patterns will obviously be interrupted, the general rule of thumb is that we all succumb to the fact that we are creatures of habit

I'm almost willing to bet that if you're reading this, there is also a pretty good chance that you want to leave this world better than you found it. You want to make a difference. You want to impact the lives somehow of those in your sphere. And no, I'm not talking about doing some massively big thing that makes your name well known to the masses. I'm referring to the difference you want to make in your family, friends, at work, or wherever else.

Here's the thing…..we tend to think that achieving this goal is going to mean we have to ADD things to our lives. Fact is, one thing the pandemic did was help us realize that we can actually do more with less...which naturally and sometimes subconsciously leaves us desiring a more simple, less complex life. So, we're stuck at a paradox. I want to do something meaningful, but I don't want to add one more "thing to do" to my life.

May I present to you this idea: Use the things you are already doing and the places you are already going to impact the people you are already interacting with. This mindset frees us from the feeling of making life more complex, and all it takes is a little bit of intentionality.

While there are many instruments we can play as the drum beat of our life plays on, I want to submit to you ten of the things I'm personally striving to be a little more intentional with.

1. Fight for Yourself

Well, that idea seems backwards... "Fight for myself? I thought I was supposed to sacrifice for others???" Truth is, you gave yourself in service to others through your service of our country. However, the ultimate truth is this: If you are not fighting for you, no one else can or will. Others may try, but you are your biggest advocate.

  • Need help? Fight for it.
  • Need to kill a habit? Fight for it.
  • Have a problem? Fight for the solution.

Here is what you need to know. YOU DESERVE IT. Fight for YOU daily. A healthy you...physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and relationally...will be BEST for those around you. When you fight for you, they will be better too. This is one way that culture changes one person at a time.

2. Set Some Goals

Do you have a dream deep down inside your heart? Truth is, that dream may be hard to attain, but it is impossible if you don't start now.

Do something small, take a step, create goals in your personal life that move you closer to the dream. You've heard this question before: How do you eat an elephant? And you probably know the answer: One bite at a time. Even if you sit in a job in which you absolutely hate. You will see your outlook on that, and other parts of your life, will improve when you just begin to give yourself to that dream that is inside of you.

Unimaginable dreams can be reality with realistic goals. When you have something to look forward to, and a method in which you can see getting there, others will go with you. And this is just one way that you can begin to change the culture around you.

3. Pay Attention

You've heard it said "Reach out when you need help." Yes, by all means, reach out if you can. But we can not depend on people to reach out at their lowest and we can not depend on us reaching out when we are low. This is why we must pay attention.

  • Pay attention to yourself.
  • Pay attention to others.

As you go through out your day, intentionally slow down and look around. Ask yourself: Who am I seeing? Who is seeing me? Let those questions make you look for the "masks" and if you see someone wearing one around you, talk to them. And when you see that you are the one wearing one, take it off and find that person you can talk to. When you're a little bit more aware, things will be seen...and the culture around you will begin to change.

4. Build Deep Relationships

Friendships are the places where you find fun, help, accountability, care, and where you are known. When you learn to let people see all of you...the good, the bad, and the ugly...without having to give them anything. Yes, these relationships may be uncomfortable, but deep down they offer the intimacy we all striving for. They offer you unmerited approval, unending love, unquestionable trust, and unexpected security. When you're real, they will be too...and this is another way that the culture around us changes.

5. Share A Meal

The dinner table is almost a forgotten art and the things that can happen over a meal have almost been lost. Grab a friend at least once a week and hit up breakfast or lunch, even if it's in the break room over a lunch box. Invite someone over for dinner. Hit up your favorite restaurant. Put the phone in your pocket and ask meaningful questions, talk about your day, be present in the conversation, get to know their hopes and dreams, ask about their family, and then when they answer, reciprocate. This is a perfect place to make a friend and build a relationship. When you meet them there, conversation happens...and through one relationship at a time, culture changes.

6. Talk It Out

Everyone needs someone to talk to about anything. Whether that is a spouse or best friend or a counselor/therapist or supervisor/mentor, fight for the safety found in a trusted relationship where you do not have to hide anything and where you are safe to talk about everything. We believe everybody needs to talk. When you talk, like really talk it out, bearing your very soul, they will talk...and this is just another way that culture changes one person at a time.

7. Practice Vulnerability

Vulnerability is not weakness, rather, it is one of the strongest strengths there is. It is where you and others connect on a deeper level. It is where you allow yourself to open up about things that may seem risky, yet it is where the magic of your experiences and their experiences come together and you both are helped and strengthened. When you're vulnerable, and you take the risk to be seen, the people around you will be too...and culture changes. 

8. Tell People How You Feel About Them

Someone asked once "Why do we wait to tell people how we feel about them until their funeral?" This question punched me in the gut, because it's an unfortunate reality.

Speak the truth of your feelings about those in your life. Practice communicating how you feel about the ones you love. Tell people you love them, and once you feel like you've told them enough, tell them some more. When you speak this truth, they will too...and, you guessed it, culture changes.

9. Practice Kindness and Generosity

One sure way to both pull yourself out of a pit and help someone else out of their pit is to get into a normal pattern of kindness and generosity. How can you show kindness? What can you give? Opportunities are in front of all of us daily. Look around and you will see them...and when you do, take advantage of them. When you model this, those around you will follow...and culture changes

10. Meet the Need

Needs come in all shapes and sizes. They are everywhere around us. YOU have the means to meet needs that you see in the lives of those around you. What would it look like if we lived in such a way that, when we came across a need in our circle of influence, we owned the responsibility to meet it if we have the means? Don't pass the opportunity. Don't miss the joy that comes with it. We firmly believe that meeting the physical needs opens doors for you to meet the emotional, relational, and spiritual needs as well. When you meet the need, you set the example that they will follow...and culture changes.

Truth be told, there are COUNTLESS things we can do along our way that either position us for influence or leave ripple effects of influence.

What are some of yours?

I'd LOVE to hear your feedback. Shoot me an email at and tell me some ways you are intentionally using the everyday rhythm of your life (or some ways you WANT to use the rhythms of your life) to impact the culture around you.

-Trey McGuire

Fun Fact: Real, tangible, and lasting influence that creates change happens when one person (that's you) owns their ABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY to fight for another person (and that person is already  right there under your nose.)