You’ll forgive me some rambling here. I find that I best work things out by writing in public, so in order to make sense of things and answer my own questions, I “talk it out” in spaces like this. So, that’s what we’re doing here.
According to our fearless leader, a Tapas for Life course should have a singular purpose for the instructor, and it should be one of these four things:
I can pretty quickly knock inform and demonstrate off the list. While I think a larger course would certainly include these — and, in fact, all four — I can safely say my course will either inspire or influence.
My Definite Major Purpose in life includes making people happier and healthier, more productive, more empathetic and more cooperative (those last two might be combined into “kinder”).
“Why not do those things on your own?” a friend asked me not too long ago.
“Because I don’t live on this planet alone,” I replied.
In other words, I have to live with other people, and I want them to be awesome.
So back to the question at hand: do I want to inspire them to awesomeness, or influence them?
First stop? The dictionary.
1.to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence
2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.)
3. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.
4. to influence or impel
5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does
6. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence
7. to guide or control by divine influence.
Note that each definition from number four on includes the word influence.
1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others
2. the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others
3. a person or thing that exerts influence
4. Astrology. the radiation of an ethereal fluid from the stars, regarded as affecting human actions and destinies.
5.the exercise of similar power by human beings.
6. Obsolete. influx.
7.to exercise influence on; affect; sway
8. to move or impel (a person) to some action
My personality is more of a blunt tool than a precision one. I’m more likely to beat the truth into you than to finesse it. While I can occasionally cut straight to the nerve of the thing, it’s not my usual modus operandi.
Given the differences between the two in combination with my personality, I can reasonably say the purpose of my course will be to influence people.