Finding Your Tribe


We’re the average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

While I get what he meant, I think it can be somewhat misleading if we take what he said at pure face value and without some additional context.

I’m mentoring a young person who is at the start of their career. They want help getting into and progressing in a particular career.

In one of our sessions they mentioned that their immediate friendship groups aren’t as motivated as them. So the mentoring is also an opportunity to have some of the types of conversations that they don’t currently have.

On reflecting over the conversations with my mentee, I remembered that at 18 I left Birmingham to study in Manchester. After 8 years in Manchester I decided to move to London to further my career.

In all that period of time, I hadn’t ever thought that for every location or career move I made, I had somehow always managed to find my tribe. Whether it be like minded work colleagues or finding a local rugby club to play for, I had always actively sought out people that I could resonate with.

Over the course of my adult life, I have ended up with different tribes for different purposes. Some of those tribes slightly overlap. But for the most part, they are distinct and that is just fine. I appreciate that I don’t need to find everything I want from a friendship or relationship in a single person or group.

I’ve recently individually caught up in person with several friends. At the core of each of these friendships is the desire to live a purposeful life.

Each of the conversations I’ve had with them have enriched me in some way. Whether it be encouragement, bouncing ideas off each other or just listening to the other person vent their frustrations without being judged.

We each give, without the intention of receiving something back and so we always leave our conversations happier, inspired and energised.

A few of my tribes are:

  • School dads I (badly) play football with once a week and who organise a social once a quarter
  • Ex-colleagues who share a love of rugby and/or 80s/90s hip-hop
  • Widows & widowers who have also lost partners at a young age and are solo-parents
  • Friends from university who I’ve known for nearly 30 years, in some cases
  • A bunch of entrepreneurs working on projects that excite them

Part of my resilience practice is about connecting with my different tribes because they enrich my life. While I didn’t realise this initially, I now understand the impact that this has on the various aspects of my life.

I don’t solely identify as a man, dad, solo-parent, widower, brother, uncle, friend or entrepreneur. I’m all of those things and more.

Therefore, I’m the average of all of my tribes and I’m more than happy with that.

Do you have any tribes and what do they bring to your life? If you don’t have any, have you considered ways that you might be able to actively seek one out?


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