Find your tribe

It turns out obesity is contagious. You are much more likely to be overweight if the people around you are overweight. Same for giving up smoking. Kicking the Habit!

I read somewhere that when people in the US hear the statistic “92% of Americans don’t get enough exercise,” instead of getting concerned and deciding to exercise more, they relax. If everyone else isn’t exercising enough either, I’m all good.

Social norms are massively powerful, much more powerful than we generally give credit to. We are tribal beings. We’ve lived in cities and suburbs for a heartbeat. We’ve farmed and lived in towns for only a fraction longer. For most of our existence we’ve been hunting and gathering as membersof tribes. And fitting in was crucial for our survival. Being expelled from the tribe literally meant death.

It’svery much part of our evolutionary hardwiring to conform to social norms. This doesn’t take much willpower.

So if you want to do something that’s not normal, find a tribe that’s doing that. If you want to run a marathon, find a tribe of marathon runners. If you want to write a book, find a tribe of book writers. If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a tribe of people starting and running their own businesses. Then rather than using all your willpower up trying to being different, your need to conform will kick in and you’ll naturally start taking the actions that the rest or your new tribe are taking.

Love to hear your thoughts – which tribes have you consciously joined? You can leave them below.