The Art of Influence: 28 Ways to Win People's Hearts and Bring Positive Change to Your Life

The Art of Influence: 28 Ways to Win People's Hearts and Bring Positive Change to Your Life

by Ryuho Okawa


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Your degree of success often depends on your ability to work with, motivate, and inspire people around you. In this book, author Ryuho Okawa shows how mastering the art of influence will help you become a tougher, influential, and stress-free leader who can win the hearts of many and bring positive change to yourself as well as those around you.

In The Art of Influence, Okawa offers insightful answers to the 28 questions he received from people who are aspiring to achieve greater success in life. In the first part of the book, he answers questions about getting ahead at work. He offers advice and solutions to such questions as "How can I win over people above me?" "What kind of mindset should I have when I failed to achieve the goal I pursued?" and "How should I deal with jealousy and criticism at work?" The second part of the book focuses on the topic of winning people’s hearts, as the leadership capability to influence and lead others is essential to achieving bigger success. Okawa shares his wisdom for becoming a better leader by answering such questions as, "What is the best way to admonish people who work under me?" "How can I balance my personal happiness and happiness of the whole?" and "How can I garner support from my co-workers?" In the last part of the book, Okawa offers keys to building confidence and maintaining a calm and peaceful mind by answering questions such as, "What is the cause of slumps and how can I avoid them?" "How can I overcome inferiority complex?" and "How can I differentiate true confidence from arrogance?"

At times of trouble, setback, or stress, these pages will offer you the inspirations you need at that very moment and open a new avenue for greater success in life. The practiced wisdom that Okawa offers in this book will enrich and fill your heart with motivation, inspiration, and encouragement. This simple, practical, yet profound guide will show you how to cultivate yourself and influence people up, down, and across.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942125488
Publisher: Irh Press
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,125,719
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

RYUHO OKAWA is recognized internationally as a global visionary, thinker, best-selling author, as well as spiritual leader with a simple goal: to help people find true happiness and create a better world. Okawa's books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 30 languages. His books share his principles for happiness, as well as insights and practiced methods for increasing our capacity for love and promoting our spiritual growth.
In 1986, Okawa founded Happy science as a spiritual movement dedicated to bringing greater happiness to humankind by uniting religions and cultures to live in harmony. Happy Science has grown rapidly from its beginnings in Japan to a worldwide organization. The spiritual workshops Happy Science offers are open to people of all faiths and walks of life and are rooted in the same principles of happiness that inspired Okawa’s own spiritual awakening. Okawa is compassionately committed to the spiritual growth of others; in addition to writing and publishing books, he continues to give talks around the world.

Read an Excerpt


How to Build Mental Toughness


The Art of Mastering Relationships

1. Learning from Other People's Advice and Opinions


How can I be more open to other people's advice and opinions?


"Cultivating a wish to learn from others is the first necessary step."

The ability to open your mind to other people's advice and opinions is important. My first recommendation is to ensure that you are willing to learn from others, because the lack of a desire to learn from others is what prevents us from listening to their advice. If you have a habit of tuning out other people's advice, it's often because your strong but unrecognized egotism and pride are leading you to resist other people's opinions. So cultivating a wish to learn from others is the first necessary step.

If you find that you're eager to learn from others, then my second recommendation is to look at the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects of those who come to you with their advice. Their social status, gender, and age shouldn't make a difference in how you receive their opinions. Many precious life lessons may slip through your fingers if you allow your prejudices to close you off to those who have less wealth, status, or education than others; those who are younger; or those with other types of attributes. If you allow someone's impressive position or status or the lack of those things to determine whom you choose to lend your ears to, you'll limit the wealth of learning opportunities available to you in life.

This is why it's crucial to cultivate a wish to learn from anyone and everyone who offers positive seeds to nourish your soul. If you're truly determined to learn from others, you should earnestly learn from their perspectives to gain valuable lessons from them.

"Share with others the beneficial advice that you've received in the past."

My third piece of advice is to not let yourself disregard other people's advice and suggestions, and instead find a way to incorporate it into your day-to-day life.

And a fourth important thing you can do is share with others the beneficial advice that you've received in the past. There are many things about ourselves that we don't notice, so by listening to others' advice, we may find opportunities that dramatically shift the course of our lives. If someone you know is suffering from a problem like one you've faced before, the tried and tested advice that helped you may benefit this person. Sharing your wisdom with others in this way lets you act with true selfless compassion and practice a great human virtue.

"We need to learn to distinguish between what we do have control over from what we don't."

Let me tell you about a time in my life when listening to someone's advice helped me. When I was working in the corporate world, someone once said something to me that taught me a valuable lesson: There may be things in life that we can control, but there are also things in life that lie beyond our power to change.

This is what this person said to me: "Is the problem that's on your mind right now an issue that lies within or outside your control? An issue that's within your power to change certainly deserves your best effort. But if you find that there's nothing within your power that can help, then there are times when you'll need to acknowledge that it's beyond your control and let the problem pass." This advice taught me an important, new mindset.

Many of us spend much of our lives dwelling on problems we have no control over, while we neglect problems that our efforts can help solve. What can we possibly achieve in life if we keep trying to solve problems that we have no power over? We need to learn to distinguish between what we do have control over from what we don't and to put the latter aside.

This is why I have taught myself to follow these steps when I am faced with life's issues: First, I determine which things are within my power to change, and then I try to solve the problem by improving myself. Then, with respect to things that lie outside my own control, I learn as much as I can from them and then set them aside, at least for the time being. Some of them will resolve over time, and others may not. Whatever the outcomes, this is how I've learned to look at my issues. And this is one way of thinking that has helped me lead a successful life.

"Our own emotions are fully within our power to control."

Other people's feelings are a prime example of things that lie beyond our individual power to control. No matter what we do, we can't change the feelings that other people experience. The best we can do is offer them our advice, but we can't always make them change things about themselves.

In contrast, our own emotions are fully within our power to control. Even in the middle of an argument with a friend, your thoughts and feelings are always open to your own choices. Even in a heated moment, it's up to the free will of none other than yourself to decide how you think and feel about your friend. Do you wish to spend ten years harboring resentment in your heart and speaking ill words about your friend? Or do you wish to forgive and forget the argument the next day? It's completely up to you.

So when you've finished telling your friend everything there is to tell, and you're certain that there's nothing else you can possibly do or say to help, you need to believe in the power of your words to nourish your friend's soul and eventually bring him or her to the positive path. What's important is that you become the master of your own thoughts and emotions.

"The more your store of inner wisdom is allowed to develop, the more extraordinary your character will become."

I've now discussed four points that will help you open your mind to other people's advice and opinions, to which I would like to add an additional point. When you practice the advice you receive, find it beneficial, and then share with others this wisdom you've gained, you gain an additional learning experience to add to the store of the wisdom within your soul. In the end, the more your store of inner wisdom is allowed to develop, the more extraordinary your character will become.

2. Respecting Boundaries


How can I build good relationships at home and in the workplace?


"We need to honor and respect the professional boundaries that exist in the workplace."

When we're at work, we may not always agree with our superior's decisions, and we may hesitate to say so. We fear that our words could be seen as a sign of disrespect and put our job at risk. In such a situation, an effective principle for cultivating smooth relationships is to acknowledge the difference between each other's positions or roles.

This principle is about honoring the differences between other workers' positions and your own to maintain harmony and order in your workplace. People who highly value righteousness may feel justified in approaching others as equals and behaving similarly to everyone, regardless of differing organizational ranks. You may believe that once you and your superior are in the boxing ring, there is nothing that separates you from each other; even if you are just a junior boxer and he is a grand champion, you think of yourself as one fighter pitted against another fighter, in the end. But this approach to your workplace relationships is a sure recipe for failure to move up in the world.

Honoring the boundaries between others' positions and your own and knowing how to approach each person accordingly is vital to your career success and is also the secret to career longevity. When you need to tell your superior that his decision could be a grave mistake, it's crucial to first consider how best to approach your superior in a respectful way. Bringing up a sensitive subject while acting as though you're his equal in position can only lead to failure.

Whether it's with our superiors or our subordinates, we need to honor and respect the professional boundaries that exist in the workplace. For example, if you're in the position of division manager, you'll need to speak with an attitude of respect toward the general manager, especially if you want to offer criticism. Treating your superior as though you hold the same corporate rank could seem disrespectful in light of basic workplace principles, and this may lead to losing your job in the end.

"Don't allow personal feelings of like or dislike prevent you from associating with different people."

Many seasoned professional men in the business world have, at least to some degree, learned to respect professional boundaries, while some women with less experience find it more difficult to grasp the idea. They may fall into an all-or-nothing approach in building workplace relationships, becoming prone to either attaching to or completely detaching from people, depending on the individual. It's easier to build relationships with those they feel a strong connection with, and it's harder to do this when there's no connection at all. This puts them at risk of poor workplace relationships and discord.

My advice, in this case, is to not allow personal feelings of like or dislike to prevent you from associating with different people, and to instead determine the appropriate kind of professional relationship and make a mental note of the boundaries to respect. Doing so can help these relationships work more smoothly.

The difference between our professional and personal lives is also a topic we naturally need to think about. Some women may mix workplace and personal relationships and feel content using their personal likes and dislikes to judge people, but this risks inviting a lot of unnecessary conflict with others. If you recognize this habit in yourself, you may find useful hints for improving your workplace relationships by observing how men build professional relationships in the workplace.

"Respecting each other's boundaries can mean the difference between family peace and utter discord."

The same approach can help prevent marital conflicts. Instead of unleashing unhindered wrath upon each other or resorting to living separately to stay out of each other's sight, showing respect for each other's boundaries, even during an argument, can prevent many married couples from taking the path of the "war to end all wars."

The same can be said in parent-child relationships. Respecting each other's boundaries can mean the difference between family peace and utter discord. In the wake of a brewing conflict with your parents, you can practice reminding yourself that your parents' lives will not last forever, and they may no longer be here come several decades down the road. Remembering this can help you a lot when you're struggling to manage your own emotions while doing the best you can to listen to what your parents want to say. It's when we forget that the days of our parents' lives are numbered and that they're not going to be with us forever that we let our emotions and frustrations get the better of us.

A lack of respect for each other's boundaries is also the cause of conflict between many wives and their mothers-in-law, particularly in Japan where I am from. Relationships often get strained when the mother-in-law steps in and gets too involved in matters that should stay between her son and daughter-in-law. Often, when the mother-in-law intrudes upon their relationship in this way, all chaos breaks loose. But by respecting her daughter-in-law's role as her son's wife and allowing her daughter-in-law to have the closest relationship with him, which is no more than the daughter-in-law deserves, the mother-in-law allows her daughter-in-law to trust her and rely on her as a confidant.

Whether at the workplace or in the home, respecting one another's boundaries is an important, harmonizing relationship principle to follow.

3. Developing the Power of Persuasion


How can I persuade my superior at work who is much older and refuses to accept my ideas?


"Work on refining your charm."

Societies in Japan and around the world have to some degree been built on a system of seniority. So the experience of working under a superior who's much older than you is one that's widely shared by many people. Many organizations have relied on age as a useful way of knowing a worker's job capability because of how little we can tell just from the outside. This is why many institutions have incorporated seniority systems to promote harmony and order.

Older superiors' refusing to accept their subordinates' ideas, then, is a naturally occurring challenge. Superiors are often bracing themselves, determined not to give in too easily to their subordinates' ideas. So what can you do under these circumstances, when you face a very obvious age gap between you and your superior?

The first piece of advice I can give you is to work on refining your charm. A charming personality can inspire your superior to help you to get a leg up in the world. With a charming personality, you can make your superiors want to listen to and help you, even if you're much younger than them. The key is to make your superior say, "All right, I give in. You've won me over."

So what can you do to build a charming personality? Ultimately, charm comes through in your personality: in the way you think, perceive, and carry yourself in the presence of others. If you've ever carefully observed someone who is young but has gained the love and affection of many of her elders, you've seen an endearing air about her that puts others at ease and makes them want to open their hearts to her. This endearing aura is a very important element of charm.

"Refrain from appearing presumptuous."

If you don't want to leave your superior with an impression of you as cheeky, I recommend avoiding behaving brazenly toward him, since this can turn them away. Your superior, I'm sure, is aware that many good ideas exist that he may not have come up with yet, but he isn't about to accept all the ideas you think up, even if you've proved how intelligent you are, and it's normal for your superior to think in this way.

So for my second piece of advice, I recommend refraining from appearing presumptuous and instead being conscious that you're in a subordinate position to your superior, still lack experience, and have much more to learn about important things. As long as you have this basic mindset as the basis of your intentions, I think you'll do fine when approaching your superior with your ideas. And when you do, allow your superior to see that you have made an effort to understand his idea and are presenting an additional approach. Lead your superior into seeing how your ideas could be successful without making him feel as though he's being persuaded or willfully lured into your opinions.

"Gain your superior's understanding of your unique personality and character."

Another way of persuading your superior is to first get her to understand your character and then use this as a basis for communicating and behaving in your own way. For example, if you're known to be blunt with your words but kind and thoughtful at heart, then show your superior that you have these character traits. Understanding your unique personality traits will give your superior a basis for listening to and accepting your ideas.

We humans cannot agree with other people's opinions as willingly when they come from people we have difficulty understanding. We put up a strong defense against those we aren't capable of fully comprehending. This is why gaining your superior's understanding of your unique personality and character is a very important element of winning your superior's acceptance.

"Show how eager you are to learn from your superior."

Last but not least, it's also important that you feel fond of your superior and wish to learn as much as you can from him. We humans willingly open our hearts to people who think well of us and show a willingness to learn from us. So it's important to cultivate a fondness for your superior. If you show how eager you are to learn from your superior as you spend time with him, you're certain to open up an opportunity to present your discoveries.

Older people feel delighted when younger people look up to them and depend on them, so by showing how much you rely on their instructions, you're encouraging them to gladly listen to you in turn. To sum up, what's most important is that you come one step down in your attitude when you approach those who are senior to you, as you make your way toward presenting them your ideas and opinions.


The Art of Actualizing Your Dreams and Ideals

4. Developing Your Capabilities


A lot of times, when our life circumstances change, it gives us new perspectives and opportunities for growth. When I find that I can't develop my capabilities in my current circumstance, what should I do?


"Your circumstances will change if you change yourself."

There may not be a straightforward answer to your question. What I mean is that the circumstances we face now basically change as a result of improving our own capability. So making changes to our current circumstances is not the only means to improve our work capabilities. Developing our capabilities while we're still in our current environment will also bring definite changes to the circumstances that surround us.


Excerpted from "The Art of Influence"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Ryuho Okawa.
Excerpted by permission of IRH Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface 11

Chapter 1 How to Build Mental Toughness

I The Art of Mastering Relationships

1 Learning from Other People's Advice and Opinions 16

2 Respecting Boundaries 24

3 Developing the Power of Persuasion 30

II The Art of Actualizing Your Dreams and Ideals

4 Developing Your Capabilities 38

5 Shifting the Course of Your Destiny 44

6 Persevering through Hardship 50

III The Art of Building Mental Strength

7 Deepening Your Understanding of Difficult Subjects 58

8 Examining Our Inner Selves Spiritually 66

9 Dealing with jealousy and Criticism 74

Chapter 2 How to Become an Influential Leader

I The Art of Surviving in a Tough World

10 The Source of Leadership 84

11 The Principle of Market Survival 94

12 The Makings of Legendary Figures 102

II The Art of Gaining Trust

13 The Difference between Love and Ego 110

14 How to Effectively Give Reprimands 116

15 The Limits of a Sympathetic Leader 124

III The Art of Leading with Love and Wisdom

16 Enlightenment and the Capacity of the Soul 134

17 Five Weapons for Achieving Great Accomplishments 140

18 Three Criteria for Assessing Leadership 146

19 Insight into the Future Situation of the World 154

Chapter 3 How to Overcome Stress

I The Art of Achieving Success with a Calm Mind

20 How to Overcome Fatigue, Frustration, and Gloominess 174

21 How to Maintain Inner Peace When You're Busy 180

22 How to Tell When We're Reaching Too Far 186

II The Art of Making Good Decisions at Work

23 Overcoming Slumps at Work 198

24 Making the Right Decision 206

25 Solving Issues During Tough Times in Business 212

III The Art of Building a Deeper Sense of Self-Confidence

26 Overcoming Feelings of Inferiority 222

27 Finding an Unwavering Self-Confidence 230

28 Living Lightheartedly and Selflessly 240

Afterword 249

About the Author 252

About Happy Science 253

Contact Information 255

About IRH Press USA 258

Books by Ryuho Okawa 259

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