Friendship has been on my mind lately. What do I need from a friendship? What am I willing to give in a friendship? When is it time to give a friendship up? I’ve been examining the power of community.
How does community nurture or stunt our growth? We are designed to be creatures of community; we crave it. We need friends and want people to like us – we can’t help it.
Community for Survival
The need for community is prehistorically ingrained in us. Literally.
The survival of an individual used to depend on his ability to fit in and be accepted by his tribe. If the tribe didn’t accept a person, they were alone in an environment full of danger and predators. Being an outcast was tantamount to death.
Because of this need, we find ourselves emulating and changing our behaviors and way of speaking to match those around us. We are seeking the approval of our tribe.
Finding a Tribe
“Tribe” is a buzzword on the internet and especially among bloggers these last few years that I’ve mostly ignored. But the idea of finding a tribe of people with the same values and direction is solid.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
I find when I spend time with someone who has a victim mentality, I expect bad things to start happening. When I spend time around people who set goals and work hard toward them, I’m more motivated.
In the last few years, I have been more selective about who I spend time with. If I choose to be focused on excellence, it only makes sense to spend time with people who are also focused on excellence. I need to spend time with people who elevate those around them, people who want to improve their lives and accomplish great things.
Community = Bigger Potential
The reality is that we accomplish more things when we work together and encourage each other. This idea was reaffirmed for me this week when listening to the Entreleadership podcast with Shawn Achor, author of the book Big Potential.
In this episode, Shawn discusses a research study where people stand at the bottom of a tall hill they have to climb. Those who had to climb it alone perceived the steepness to be 20% more than those who had a friend standing there and ready to climb with them.
Power of Community
That’s the kind of community I’m seeking in my life – a community where we pursue excellence together. By supporting each other and holding each other accountable, we all grow and increase odds of success and positive change.
If you’d like to join me in pursuit of that type of community, I encourage you to join my private Facebook community: Good Vibes Only. Let’s light up the world around us.