Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means. - Albert Einstein
You ever people-watch? It's hard not to, really. You ever wonder why? Mostly, I think it gives us metrics for our own behavior. You know, examples. We admire and sometimes emulate cool people or stylish or trendy people. Sometimes we wish we could be them or even try to act like them, building on their examples.
We're put off, of course, by slobs and jerks. The guy who mistreats his cafe server, the woman too impatient to be polite to a stranger. Who'd want to be them, right?
Guess what? You're the people that those other people are people-watching. Like it or not we set examples with our every action. Good, bad or indifferent our friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, strangers and (heaven help us) our kids take notice.
And, yes, in the gym, too. Everybody looks up to somebody. Or down on somebody. Are you cheerful? Do you support your teammates and class friends? Do you pay attention to your coaches (ahem) and follow their guidance? You're the person we want to be.
Or do you show up late and make up for it by leaving early (the ultimate show of disrespect)? Do you cut reps? Do you fudge your time to get a better score? Is every day a game of one-up or are you a team player? Trust me, we notice. All of us. Every day.
It's easy, really. Ask yourself: "Am I the kind of person who I'd want to use as a good example?" If you can say "yes", keep it up. If not, just remember, we're watching.