I used to hear people talk about their tribe and be filled with curiosity. I assumed it was another slang term for their group of friends, like their crew, their posse. I suppose in a way it is, but it’s so much more.
A coworker of mine recommended a book for me to read. It was something that he mentioned was really helpful for him in terms of expanding his career and getting people to buy into his ideas and support him in his pursuit of growing and climbing the corporate ladder. The book is actually called Tribes, written by Seth Godin, it’s a great book. It’s an easy read and I would recommend it to anyone, not just those looking to excel in their career.
The idea is that you start out with an idea, a philosophy, or a way of life and spread the word. It’s essentially like a grassroots effort of building a buzz around your topic. As you talk and share your ideas, people contribute and engage, and suddenly you have a group (hopefully ever growing in number) that believe in what you’re saying, feel empowered because they have a voice in it, and look to you as the leader of the movement. As it grows in strength and numbers a movement begins.
I suppose that’s what the goal of this blog is, a way of getting together a group of individuals who can feed off of each other and join forces to establish a tribe of people living more joyful and fulfilled lives! I want to share things that are close to my heart, situations I struggle with, stereotypes and cultural norms that I battle against in a meaningful way and encourage others to be brave and follow me in breaking out. It’s hard to buck the system. It’s a challenge to look at the norms we live with and call bunk on some of them. But let’s face it, some of the things we have grown to accept as meaning “success” are really ridiculous and counterproductive to being present in our lives, relaxed, and happy.
We hear expressions like “keeping up with the Jones’ ” and “comparison is the thief of joy,” but do we roll our eyes and just keep trudging along? We need that bigger job so that we can buy a car that’s fancier than our neighbors. All the other moms in my son’s class make beautiful, Pinterest worthy snacks for the class party. My brother never seems to struggle in raising his son, they are always so calm and perfect. My college roommate is the CEO of her own company, but I’m barely getting by doing volunteer work and odd jobs. BLAH… The list of thoughts goes on and on! It’s different for everyone, but I’d bet the farm that you are comparing yourself to someone else, and worse, beating yourself up over it.
Are you in love with your spouse? Are your children cared for and healthy? Do you have transportation to and from your job? Heck, do you have a job? Even if you’re not making what you “could be,” does your work make you feel good about yourself? Let’s be thankful for these blessings and stop comparing ourselves to others.
Let’s face it, if we focus enough on what we don’t have, what we aren’t doing, who’s got more, who’s more successful, other’s have a more perfect family, etc… then we rob ourselves the opportunity of enjoying and celebrating what we are doing and what we do have. It’s the quickest way to drain out all of your positive energy and joy.
My current tribe is filled with my extended family who, God love them, are a hot mess most of the time! I have several wonderful friends with talents well beyond mine, photographers, musicians, choreographers, technical geniuses, mechanical masterminds, absolutely amazing show stopping mothers, basically bosses each in their own right! My pups are part of my tribe, they could care less about anything other than the fact that I’ve walked in the door at home and have some love for them. My kiddos, they don’t care that I brought store bought cookies to their Halloween parties, they only care that I showed up! I’ve got an amazing group of students in my class right now who want to hear real life work stories from me, and what impact my decisions (good or bad) had on the end result. They don’t care one bit that I’m not a seasoned professor with perfect teaching methods. My project teams at work and my corporate peers are part of the tribe. They know that I’m not so good at having a “thick skin,” which can be critical in the consulting world. They love me for being loyal to them, trusting that no matter what happens I’m going to do my best to take care of them and lead them to success.
My tribe isn’t huge, but they’ve all bought into the idea that we all have our strengths and weaknesses. We support each other, cheer for each other, celebrate successes together, and cry on each other’s shoulders with no shame when life gets hard.
So buck the system, quit trying to live up to some standard of “success” that deprives you of the small wins, of being present, and drains the joy from you. Join me in saying screw it, I’m living this life my way and I’m proud of it!
Let’s start a movement!