#8 Find your tribe – 52 weeks of Happiness

I’ve been working hard recently. Locking myself away from the world and staring at a computer for hours on end. Slowly but surely I found success coming into my inbox but my happiness dwindling, wafting away with each day I spent on my own. Lally, noticing this, suggested I start listening to my own advice a bit. I needed to rediscover my tribe.

This morning I went back to hang out with the fitness community, Project Awesome. The hugs were much needed, the adrenaline washed out the bad vibes,  and it was such a joy to see the new and old faces smiling and laughing like kids in a playground. London IS our playground! (As is Edinburgh and Bristol)

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Humans are all looking for their tribe. To be part of an organisation that supports you and your ideas, and shares a common goal.

What is your tribe? Now this takes a bit of work. It requires you to look within yourself to find that thing that excites you and makes you feel good. If that doesn’t spring to mind I’d look back to when you were at school. Engage with that 11 yr old child. What did they like? I would bet my bottom dollar you’d still like doing that thing as an adult – as quintessentially you haven’t changed. Your DNA is still the same. You’re just a little older and probably a little more grumpy.

It could be knitting, badminton, wrestling, reading, or bog snorkelling (yes this is a thing. My sister and I may also be the world record holders) – there are 8 million people in the world. Whatever ‘your thing’ is there are people who want the same as you. If that tribe doesn’t exist yet – set it up – people will thank you for it!

My tribe is Project Awesome – a FREE fitness movement that starts at 6:30am in the morning. It’s bright and colourful, we start each session with hugs and shouting. We work out and we go for coffee. It’s simple. What started as a fitness group turned into a tribe. Going back to Seth Godins description, our shared interest is fitness and the coffee shop is our place for communication. Religions, cults, associations all follow this same format.

The gains that have come from this tribe are far from simple. Like most fitness groups we have members who have gone from zero to hero. Take Laura Maisy who had an operation as a kid and used that excuse to avoid any sports throughout school and beyond. BUT she liked the look of our vibe and turned up at a session to watch. A bit of persuasion later she was walking hills as we ran them. She woke the next day saying it felt like she’d been in a car accident. But she came back. For more of the vibe. Fast forward 12 months and Laura returned from a holiday in Rome. I say returned. She ran home from Rome. What a complete legend.

Other members have alleviated symptoms of depression. Quitting their mental health meds for a new prescription: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Project Awesome.

A newby came to Project Awesome and in the coffee shop told me he’d always wanted to Kayak the Amazon. Another newbie, overhearing, said “That sounds cool.” Two months later the two guys stopped coming to project awesome which was sad. But 6 months after that they came back telling stories of how they Kayaked down the Amazon.

If Project Awesome sounds like your kinda tribe then you should come along and meet the crazy awesome folk who get up at 5:30am to workout at 6:30am.

A tribe supports you mentally, physically and helps make your ideas a reality – even if your ideas are crazy!

[Picture by Helen Proudfoot]