Personal Inventory Tool: Circle of Influence

This personal inventory tool was developed to help individuals think through how the relationships in their life, and specifically how the circle of influence they have can identify what is most important to them for purposes of developing an estate plan.

trinity circlesPeople in your circle of influence have contributed to the experience that you call life. Those in your circle of influence have shaped your worldview and developed you into the person you are today. Each person you name has left an imprint on you in a unique way, both positive and negative, and to varying degrees. Since humans are social animals, and as they often engage in dialogue, so too the connections you identify in your circle of influence will tend to be two-way streets. In other words, you influence the world around you just as the world around you influences you.

What does an inventory of my circle of influence have to do with estate planning?

As you answer questions like “Who and what influences you?” and “Who and what do you influence?” you will naturally begin to ask yourself the next logical question, why? Why do certain people influence you, and why do you have the power to influence others? Exploring these questions will paint a picture of who you are, and why. You will discover:

  • How you spend your time and energy
  • How you would rather be spending your time and energy
  • Your God-given interests
  • Your God-given obligations

Ultimately, this activity should begin to help you answer the question “who or what matters most to you in this life?” This is an important question because the answer to this question will dictate every detail of your estate plan. An estate plan is a reflection of who you are and what you want to accomplish in this life. The contents of your estate plan will dictate your last effort to accomplish your life-long goals.

You do not have to answer all of life’s questions in order to do an estate plan, sometimes asking the question is enough. Your estate plan will reflect what you think is most important to you. Over time, these things may change, and so can your estate plan. Getting an estate plan means giving yourself piece-of-mind and direction.

My Circle of Influence

Under each category, list the names of individuals who have influenced you, and how. What do you do with these people? Then, list the names of individuals in each category to which you also have an influence on. Consider what connections you have made this far in your life what makes them important.

  • Your Family
    Uncles, Aunts, Cousins
  • Work
    Business Owners You Know
    Professionals You Know
    People You Do Business With
  • Closest Friends and Mentors
  • Your Neighbors
  • School
  • Organizations
    Charities and Non-Profits
    Churches and their Members
    Educational Institutions
    For-Profit Activities

Recommended reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey