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Healthier people have healthier friends.  Less healthy people have less healthy friends.  Kale eating gives way to kale eating, and smoking gives way to smoking.  So asserts Nicholas Christakis, a Yale physician and researcher who is an expert in the relationships between social networks and health.  His research is compelling — leveraging the ever-increasing information we have about how people are connected to more deeply understand the nature versus nurture debate.  He has a few TED talks that are worth watching if you’re interested in learning more.

Knowing that science supports contagion — or the way networks influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors — we all have huge opportunities to positively influence our children / friends / parents / neighbors / colleagues.  These opportunities manifest in both what we do and what we say.  Influence isn’t about lengthy lessons…it’s about consistent modeling and making sure what we say what we do and do what we say.  For example, if you want your kids to…

Eat well?
Fill your own plate with the rainbow.

Get fit?
Show up to breakfast sweaty and full of endorphins.

Love learning?
Live a curious life.

Serve others?
Give the world more than you take from it.

Be grateful?
Say thanks.

Work hard?
Work hard.

Love themselves?
Love yourself.

Know your power, use it for good, and be the change you want to see in the world.

What are you going to show and tell the people you love today?

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s also true that it’s much easier to change an unhealthy habit into a healthy one when you have people around you doing the same thing. I’m trying to go vegan right now, and it’s much easier to know that my brother is supporting me with the endeavor.

    July 30, 2014
  2. Love love LOVE the list!

    July 30, 2014

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