How We’ve Lost Our Tribal Mentality – And Why it Hurts Us As A Society

tribal mentality

What is a tribe?

A tribe is a group of people that care for each other and look out for each other no matter what. They are bonded by a strong sense of shared values, meaning, and purpose in life. In most cases, they are even willing to fight and die for each other.

In the new book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, journalist Sebastian Junger shares his experiences and research on what it means to be a part of a tribe. The book shows how we’ve lost our tribal mentality and this is greatly hurting our ability to find happiness and meaning as a people.

The book opens by describing how before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin noticed a strange phenomenon between English settlers and American Indians. There were many cases where English settlers would voluntarily join the tribes of American Indians, but very few where the reverse would happen. Even when settlers were kidnapped by American Indians, they would sometimes refuse to be returned to their settlements when given the opportunity to escape.

Why did many choose to stay with the American Indians, despite their lack of technology and modern day civilization? Franklin theorized that it had to do with their tribal mentality and their strong sense of belonging built into their way of life. He knew that if American society was going to persist, it needed to somehow adopt a similar tribal mentality and sense of unity.

While Sebastian Junger makes it clear that we shouldn’t romanticize the American Indians’ way of life (and they were certainly far from perfect), this difference touches on a fundamental human need that has very much been lost in modern day civilization.

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How to Plant Powerful Ideas in People’s Minds That Actually Take Root and Grow

Our memory is a very fickle thing.

We are constantly being bombarded with new stimuli and new information, and only a very small percentage of it is actually remembered. So if you want to be a thought leader, marketer, or persuader of any type, you need to learn how memory works and how you can create ideas that take root in people’s minds.

In the new book Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, cognitive scientist Carmen Simon shares how to create messages that are easy to process, hard to forget, and impossible to ignore. She fuses the latest science in psychology and neuroscience into very practical tips on how to improve your message no matter what it is.

According to Simon, a good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind is that your audience is only going to remember about 10% of whatever your message is:

    “Despite a lot of forgetting, there is the opportunity for a small percentage – that ‘10% – to become part of our audiences’ long-term memory, and it is important not to leave it to chance. I’ve been asking this question of business professionals, ‘What is your 10%?’ – to challenge them to identify the critical message that they want to make memorable to their audience.”

This is a great question to keep in mind whenever you are presenting an idea to your audience. But how do you determine what 10% they will remember? This article will share key tips and guidelines mentioned in the book to help you create that memorable 10% that takes root in your audience’s mind and motivates them to take action.

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Self Improvement Is a Puzzle: We Need All the Pieces to Fit Together


Self improvement is a lot like a puzzle – it requires that we work on many different pieces in our lives and find a way to get them to all come together harmoniously. Focusing on one area in your life can be helpful, but in the long term we need to consider this “complete picture” mindset if we want to become the best person we can be.

Gorilla Mindset is a great book that provides this “complete picture” view of self improvement. It covers all the different areas of self improvement (including our awareness, thinking, habits, relationships, and health) and shows you how each piece feeds into the next.

In the book, Mike Cernovich shares a wealth of tips, advice, and life lessons based on his own experiences and struggles with self improvement. Despite growing up poor, fat, and being a constant source of bullying and failure – Cernovich had to take an active stance in his self growth to become the person he is today.

While self improvement is a long and never-ending process, this guide provides a wonderful breakdown of the many things you’ll want to focus on to make yourself a better person. By the time you’ve finished this book, you’ll have a much clearer idea of the things you’ll need to work on in your life.

In this article, I’ll share the key pieces behind this “self improvement puzzle” and how they all fit together and work off of each other.

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Hive Mind: The Synergistic Effects of Being Around Really Smart People

IQ is one of the oldest and most reliable measures in all of psychology.

While IQ isn’t a perfect measure of intelligence, most research has found it to be strongly associated with a wide-range of mental ability including memory, attention, reaction times, and problem-solving.

Many of these general mental abilities translate in the real world into the form of higher incomes, higher social status, better job performance, and even better relationships.

In the new book Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own, economist Garett Jones discovers that IQ at a national level might be even more important than IQ at an individual level.

Throughout the book, Jones describes the synergistic effects of being surrounded by high IQ people. He calls it the “hive mind” effect. And in fact, due to this “hive mind” effect, it might be better to be a “less intelligent” person in a “high intelligence” group rather than a “more intelligent” person in a “low intelligence” group.

As Garett Jones describes it in the book:

    “It’s typically better to be the less-skilled honeybee in the highly productive hive than to be the highly skilled honeybee in the less-productive hive: your neighbors have an important influence on what you can accomplish.”

A group of smart people can often feed off of each other and become more than the sum of their individual parts. They bring out the best in each other – and this is just as true for a business or organization as it is for a nation as a whole.

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Meditation Is A Type of Technology, Like a Telescope or Microscope

meditation is technology

Meditation is a popular subject that comes with many different connotations. For many, it is seen as a type of magical or esoteric tool that connects you with a supreme force of the universe.

However, according to The Mindful Geek: Secular Meditation for Smart Skeptics, meditation is simply a type of technology for your mind.

We often associate the word “technology” with machines and computers, but technology is any type of process, skill, or method that is designed to improve our lives and how we navigate through the world. In this sense, meditation is no more magical than a computer or cellphone.

Throughout the book, Michael Taft does an excellent job breaking down the basics of meditation in a realistic and practical way that doesn’t involve any type of religious or spiritual doctrine. It’s a technology that anyone can use without any supernatural belief.

Taft compares meditation to other types of technology – like a telescope or microscope – which are ultimately designed to extend our awareness toward sensations that we are otherwise unable to detect with the naked eye.

Just like a telescope can extend our sensory experience to distant stars and planets, or a microscope can extend our sensory experience to cells or atoms, meditation too can extend our sensory experience to our inner world of sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

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