How do you think of your teammates, coworkers, or those close to you? Do you see them as a few welcome acquaintances that you meet with a few times per week? Or are they something more, a necessary support group you can’t live without?
In many areas of our lives, we may hear a term, but we aren’t always clear on what it means to us. That word is “Tribe.”
In essence, it hearkens back to a time in humanity where we lived in smaller communes and each person or family had a function in the community.
The concept of a tribe is in our nature, even if we don’t see it in our modern societies. In antiquity, tribes were essential to survival. The famous Game Of Thrones quote, “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” illustrates the idea well. When we surround ourselves with people who have our interests in mind, we can rest easier knowing we can survive the winter or the war.
How does “Tribe” work in peace and prosperity?
James Clear suggests that a tribe is essential to creating a better lifestyle. “One of the most effective things you can do to build better habits is to join a culture where your desired behavior is the normal behavior. New habits seem achievable when you see others doing them every day… Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You’ll rise together.”
That last phrase makes me think of a saying made famous by President John F. Kennedy and which I often repeat: A rising tide lifts all boats.
When we all pitch in and work to make the tribe stronger, we all reap the reward for our efforts.
Being in a tribe is about sharing the responsibilities, burdens, and benefits of each individual in the group. As we see others in our group improve, we are forced to either do our part, or leave the pack and be a lone wolf.
Clear writes, “Nothing sustains motivation better than belonging to the tribe. It transforms a personal quest into a shared one… Growth and change is no longer an individual pursuit.”
As a caution, though, the tribe gets to select whom it allows into the group. If you aren’t pulling your weight, or the tribe feels you are keeping others within it from reaching their full potential, you may find yourself outside the camp.
Find your tribe. Do your part. And if you put in the effort, get ready for a rising tide.
Photo by Asso Myron on Unsplash
A version of this article was originally posted on my personal blog, http://www.thephilosophicalfighter.com.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts in the comments. Feel free to share.
20 thoughts on “Finding Your Tribe”
I’ve learned the value of a tribe and keeping it healthy. It’s easy for it to become too sick to continue.
Good point about a healthy tribe. Marcus Aurelius wrote that what is good for the hive is good for the bee. A healthy tribe is good for the tribal citizen in that regard.
So wisely said!
The author of Sapiens gave a delightful TED talk where he asks the audience who’s more likely to survive on a deserted island, him or a gorilla. He answers (no one wants to insult him 🙃) that of course it’s the 🦍. How about 4 gorillas and 4 humans, who’s more likely to survive life on a deserted island. It’s still the gorillas. How about 4,000 humans vs 4,000 gorillas? Of course the humans, because of our ability to form large tribes based on common stories which the gorillas can’t do.
Tribes are a powerful force, but like LK wisely said also vulnerable. Thank you for the thought-provoking insights!
That’s an inredible illustration of our ability to overcome limitations through shared experience. Harari is a master storyteller in his own right. Thanks for sharing his and your insight with me.
I’m sure I’ve read other material about tribes in the workplace, but I came away with a feeling it was more negative. I think its time to explore deeper. Thanks for the push 😁
There can certainly be negative instances and inferences, but that is true with most anything. I am trying to take a constructive understanding nowadays and leave my criticism behind. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
I liked/preferred your positive take
When I moved to a new country (Canada to USA), I realized I needed people around me who were of like mind, so “finding my tribe” became important, where I needed to seek out other artists and artistic people to be around, even if it was only once a week or so. The importance of being able to recharge our batteries through those connections is very important to the soul.
Beautiful story and application of the concept, Tamara. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Thanks so much! It’s my pleasure!
“Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You’ll rise together.” – excellent advice and so true.
Thank you for reading, Todd.
I am an old man now, and just now seeing what my instinct was doing to get me through life. As to the Tribe thing, I was never included in the tribe that was in school. I could never agree to amend my values to those of the tribe since the tribe was mostly made up of the middle 80% of whatever category one wanted to measure. For those in the top 10% of many diverse attributes, giving up your awareness in order to fit in is contrary to what your brain conveys to you. If you have top 10% physical skills as well, you can skirt the tribe and let them follow. Think of people like me as the person that lives on the edge of town that no one understands, but to whom they will wander over to when a question arises for which they don’t see a response upon which the tribe agrees.
It’s so important to be around people who “get” you. If you don’t live near them, go out and find them, even if you can only do it virtually. Thanks for your post!
I agree. In a world of constant connectivity via technology, it’s easier than ever to find people who “get” you. Thanks for sharing.
Interesting and inspiring article
What a great post to explain the idea and benefits. Love the idea of joining with others that reinforce your desired values/behavior. Thanks for an inspiring post!
Thank you for the feedback, Wynne.
Thank you for an enlightening post. It heightened my awareness that of how grateful I am to be a part of a tribe that is exactly as your post describes. We serve as blessings to one another. What a gift!
Awesome feedback, Julia. I’m glad to hear it.