“One of the most powerful resources available is a great group of guys that you can do activities with and support each other in all facets of your life.” ~ Nate Lind
The idea of the lone wolf is an idea glorified by Hollywood, like the image of John Wayne riding off into the sunset after he saves a village on his own. The reality is that in nature, the lone wolf perishes and the pack survives.
There are countless good reasons to Grow Tribes and surround yourself with other men to create a men’s activity group, or simply find other men that you can enjoy activities with. Men don’t do particularly well sitting in circles, knee to knee, and sharing their feelings – Rather, it comes much more naturally when you’re doing something fun, doing something exciting, and you begin to build relationships with the men around you. From time to time, you extend the olive branch and share something that is important to you, or perhaps you ask for a favor, for help or instruction. The point is, when it’s all based around activity, it becomes a really powerful way to bond with other men, and men do exceedingly well when they’re put in the right environment, and allowed to see that opportunity to arise. It all comes down to activity, sharing, and bonding.
The Importance of Your Tribe
Isolation – even by way of social reclusion and tendencies to seek autonomous activities or even just avoid a crowded bar – can be necessary from time to time in order to clear one’s mind and decompress. But this type of behavior over long periods of time can have detrimental impacts on not only your well being, but your physical health and wellness.
Psychology Today points out in their 2014 article “The Health Benefits Of Finding Your Tribe” that: “One study examining the people of Alameda County, California, found that people with the most social ties were three times less likely to have died over a nine-year period than those who reported the fewest social ties. Those with more social connections were even found to have lower rates of cancer. In fact, a Harvard study examining the lives of almost 3,000 people found that those who gather together to go out to dinner, play cards, go on day trips, vacation with friends, go to the movies, attend sporting events, go to church, and engage in other social activities outlive their reclusive peers by an average of two-and-a-half years. Finding your tribe is not only fun. It can also save your life.”
If you’re a natural introvert who is apprehensive about the idea of building a tribe and surrounding yourself with friends, peers, and likeminded individuals, remember that it’s about more than being in a group; it’s about your personal well-being and longevity, and the continual evolution of who you are as a person.
The act of sharing experiences with others is an inherently bonding type of event and actually elevates our levels of enjoyment. In fact, it’s scientific fact.
A 2014 report from EurekAlert! cites that the act of being near others isn’t always enough; it’s what you’re doing with others that has the biggest impact on the intensity and sentiments on any given experience. According to psychological scientist and lead researcher Erica Boothby of Yale University, “We often think that what matters in social life is being together with others, but we’ve found it also really matters what those people are doing. When people are paying attention to the same pleasant thing, whether the Mona Lisa or a song on the radio, our research shows that the experience is much more pleasurable.”
So before you head out on that solo adventure, remember that sharing activities with your squad can actually make those experiences better, and more memorable and enjoyable.
How Sharing Creates Bonds
So we know that sharing experiences can not only make those experiences more enjoyable, but can also have quantifiable health benefits that may add years to our lives. But there is more to shared experiences than only the personal benefits that they bring.
By taking time to spend time with a group of friends and likeminded peers, we can easily and healthily grow the bonds between us and form relationships that will help sustain us through the ebbs and flows of life – Both personal and business-related.
In her article “How We Create Connection Through Shared Experiences,” Dr. Sara Taylor, BSc, MD explains, “Shared experiences can help us find shared meaning. [J.M.] Gottman, a notable relationship expert, outlines this concept as a way to build connection. He says it helps settle conflicts to collectively pursue the goals that matter, and when two people find meaning, they are willing to support one another’s dreams, even when there is little to gain from doing so. He states that recognizing another person’s values, goals and dreams, and talking about it, can be a tremendously helpful way to build emotional connections. We can also find shared meaning through the use of rituals – by engaging in meaningful activities that draws people together emotionally. One great example includes the ritual of evening meals – they can be the greatest source of connection and engagement in a given day.”
Whether romantic or platonic, and whether between two people or several, the concept of bonding through the navigation of experiences and the pursuit of common goals applies to all forms and variations of human relationships.
Finding your tribe strengthens you as an individual and as a team player, and when it comes to your business ventures you absolutely need to be rock solid in both aspects. Leaders must be willing and able to weather the stress and responsibilities of their venture and have the fortitude to make tough decisions. But they also need to form strong bonds with their team, their partners and their vendors to create an atmosphere of trust and respect that he is known for universally. A General leads his army, but can’t march into battle alone – And no army will follow a man they don’t have faith in.