Do you want to be a person of influence? Do you want to make an impact? Are you trying to get people to follow you, but they just won’t?

I want to remind you of 3 words that changed my life. These 3 words are age old and are the most influential words in the world.

These words are transformative, no matter who you are, your beliefs, or who you are trying to influence. These words work in business, in life, and with anything that is going on around you. These words are more effective than bullying, manipulation and intimidation. Believe me, I’ve tried all of those.

The 3 words are: Love Your Neighbor.

It’s The Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. And who is your neighbor? Everyone.

How did these words change my life? Someone loved me when I didn’t deserve it and it rocked my world…

This goes back to two of my college friends.

First there was Rick. I was nice to Rick to his face, but behind his back I made fun of him. And by the way, he was a great dude. I obviously had some security issues.

Then there was Mike. Mike was awesome. We all wanted to be like Mike, be liked by him and be around him all the time.

One time I was with Mike and I was making fun of Rick. I was saying all kinds of nasty things about him. I was hoping this would connect me more deeply with Mike and make him think more highly of me. Pretty twisted, I know.

Rather than engage in gossip, Mike said, “I just try to be nice to Rick.” And that is ALL he said. He didn’t say “You’re a jerk” or “You need to be a nicer person.” He let love do the talking.

In that situation, Mike was loving Rick by not engaging in gossiping. And…he was loving me by not condemning me. He loved me, and that is what changed me.

And guess what…I never made fun of Rick again. And not only that, I started treating people in general with more respect. That moment set me on a lifelong journey of striving to treat my friends and foes with more love. I found that when I love my neighbors, it doesn’t just change them, it changes me.

Here is my challenge to you as well as to myself: who do you need to love today? More specifically, who is someone hard to love that you need to love? And how can you show it?

Maybe it’s inviting this person to coffee, giving them an anonymous gift, or like me with Rick, maybe you simply stop saying nasty things behind his or her back.

Do you want to connect with, transform and influence others? Lean into love. If we all did this, just imagine how we could change the world.