“People like people who are like themselves”
This is a pretty familiar saying and certainly one you can rely upon when trying to influence others. However, there is another version that is equally true, but less familiar.
“People like people who are like they want to be”
The first version works on the “I’m gorgeous, fly me” principle. We are influenced by the people we like and we like people who are like us, because, being like us, they must be “okay”.
The second version is a powerful influencer for a different reason. It works on the “your doctor would tell you to” principle. We are influenced by people who are like we want to be, because they are obviously a little ahead of us in whatever aspiration we have, and therefore have a measure of real credibility. And, of course, they clearly have got to where we want to be, so must have made a choice that is “okay”.
Notice that, for some people, this will fail if the gap between them and the person trying to influence them is too great. “You may be where I want to be, but you’re so far ahead of me that we clearly don’t have anything in common” they would think. There may even be some jealousy.