One of the great mental health scourges of our time is loneliness. The world has never been more crowded and more connected – even so, it’s like we’re walking it alone.
Religious leaders like to blame technology for this. If only everyone ditched their smartphones, everything would be okay.
With respect to them, they’re wrong.
This isn’t a technology problem. It runs much deeper.
We humans evolved to belong to tribes. No one could be much of a hunter-gatherer alone – it made sense to team up, divide the labour and specialise.
Even if you could forage by yourself, you couldn’t have children that way. If you didn’t belong to a tribe, your genes would die out eventually.
We carry that instinct with us today.
The problem is we don’t need close-knit communities to survive. You can work alongside folk you barely know, buy groceries from strangers and pay your bills to faceless corporations.
You can survive without a sense that anyone needs you.
And that’s how you can feel lonely while being surrounded by people.
Once you know that, the solution appears before you – find a tribe that appreciates you.
There’s something strange and powerful about finding Your People. A group of folk who “get you” can make all the difference in your life.
There’s the loneliness side of things, of course. Belonging can make you happy – happier than you’ve felt in a long time.
It can also be useful in more practical ways.
The more folk you know – and who like, trust and respect you – the easier life becomes.
Need a place to stay for a night or two?
Looking for a new job?
After some advice or guidance?
The bigger and better your tribes, the more likely you are to find what you need.
That’s why you should find a new tribe. Let’s talk about how.
You can make a list of everything you are and do. Maybe you like politics, gardening, movies and supporting the local community. That’s at least four tribes right there – probably many more.
Find groups of folk enthusiastic about each of these. There are probably plenty within spitting distance of you. After all, you’re not the only one looking for connection.
And if you can’t find the group you want?
Consider starting one.
Figure out the group’s purpose, capture that in a little spiel and start promoting it online or at a community centre. Chances are you aren’t the only one with your interests.
So that’s one way to enhance your life.
But if self-improvement really interests you, what would you do with more techniques than you can use?
Like, say, 60 of them?
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