Seth Godin is an author who wrote a book called Tribes, about building your network. This principle can certainly apply to our personal lives, as well. One of the topics he blogs about is how you can look at things a different way, to maximize your connections. In life, I always find it essential to see things from a different lens. There are times to view things a different way and recalibrate.
Marriage, for instance, and friendships. You get married and you’re one person, but then six years later you awake to find the one you’re sleeping next to seems like someone else entirely. But is it the spouse who has changed, or is it you? I was talking with a friend recently about a neighbor who is getting divorced – after years of marriage. Their son just entered college and the couple split. “That’s common,” my girlfriend said. “Most divorces are initiated by the woman, in her fifties, after the kid goes away.”
So is it the woman who has changed? or is it the man,or both? Who else is in the tribe? I’d say our smallest tribe is the one right before us. We all focus on achievement and business and friendships and it’s easy to forget the most important tribe of all. We are all in our houses together, yet we are connected to many different people on the “outside,” through text, email, and Facebook or blog conversations. It’s not uncommon for many moms I know to be blogging at night, while the kids are playing and the husband watching television and the teenagers Myspacing. So in a five person family, there may actually be twenty people in the house. Have you ever thought of it that way?
We give ourselves away.
Who is in your tribe, and who needs to be let go? How’s the health of your innermost circle – your family tribe? Life is complex and it’s this complexity that I write about in my latest book The Compass. Jonathan is on a journey of self discovery, after a tragedy within his tribe. In the end, what we want to know, is will he get it back, or will he unravel, and end up like some without connections to humans – those who are in dark despair after having lost, or disconnected from, their tribe?
One of my favorite concepts is that words are currency – they have so much power to build, and to destroy. With a word you can build your tribe, or bring one down. Build a relationship or damage one. Words build governments, nations, teams, organizations, and most of all, families.
In the end, a lot of it is up to the decisions we make each moment, of each day. (and the words that we say)