Thursday, January 29, 2015

#8 - Break on Through

When everyone else is doing it, do you do it, too?
(This was such an awesome game.) 
I was thinking about this because a guy I know from an online forum asked the group about money advice. 

Oh man, I had some good names and sites I could recommend. 

When I looked, there were already over a dozen comments. As I scrolled through I saw pretty much all the names I was going to post.

Ramit Sethi with Yep - was going to suggest him.

Tim Ferris. Uh-huh. 

Tony Robbins. Just listened to an excellent podcast interview of him. Of course! They must have heard of it from my blog post #4

And several others. These were affirmed with likes and repeats by a bunch of other users, too. 

I thought it was fascinating that so many of us followed the same authors and bloggers. 

Wait - were we all just lemmings thinking the same and following the crowd? Is the guy who posted the question just going to join in on the ever-growing cult of personal finance foot soldiers?

Perhaps, as the saying goes,"great minds think alike."

But let's see here. This online group is a collection of people who have sought out others on the same path. Intentional beings striving toward personal growth and self-betterment. 

So perhaps these authors and thinkers are simply doling out high quality wisdom, and those of us who persisted eventually discovered them. If something works, word will get around. 

I think this is exactly what Seth Godin call a Tribe. (Now I have to look it up). 
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” ― Seth GodinTribes: We Need You to Lead Us
To me, this means what you seek is what you find.

So if you are into cars and fast machines, you will find yourself surrounded by people who also love engines and belts and wheels.

If you love fashion and beauty, you will attract and be attracted to others who appreciate the same.

If you're into parties, you'll find yourself with a tribe of partiers.

Maybe it's not "You are what you eat," it's "you are what you seek." (if I am what I eat then I guess I'm Chipotle.)

In the end, I think for most of us this is a good thing. It means if you're at least trying and looking for something in life, you'll eventually meet others along the way to support you.

You will find your Tribe.

This whole business also connects to an article I just read in Forbes about how Steve Jobs' success was mostly due to his open network. He constantly interacted with different groups of people and therefore exposed himself to a plethora of ideas and perspectives.

He was a nexus for a variety of Tribes.

My conclusion is this: If I find myself surrounded by a bunch of others who are thinking and liking the same thing - I shouldn't necessarily panic. It doesn't mean I'm a lemming, I'm simply with a bunch of awesome and intelligent people who happen to have come to the same conclusion.

And yet I should also break out and make sure I'm exposed to other ideas from other Tribes. Purposely seek out a diversity of experiences and interactions. Open up my network.

If we're in just one Tribe, we can do as Jim Morrison said:  "Break on through to the other side."

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