The more society seems to regress the more tribal we shall become. So if I must choose a tribe let me do a self analysis of my values and describe my tribe. All members of the tribe I long for acceptance in uphold these values, we may not always reach them but we strive for them. 1. Total personal responsibility. Tribal rule #1 takes away excuse making, blaming, comfort seeking, and propping up ego. It says no matter what shit happens to me its my shit and my responsibility to work on myself to change it. It means what happens outside is not my true focus but how I react is. It means I begin to not understand the news, social media, and ego driven tribes. Everything is about my personal discipline, perseverance and creativity. I start to welcome challenges, discomfort and pain. I grow cautious in times of comfort or triumph. I vow to never accept my condition is due to my socioeconomic status, my skin color, my place of birth, my sex etc. I embrace that where I am is because of me and me alone. And ultimately I have complete control of me and not the external circumstances. 2. Principle guided living not emotionally guided reacting. Our tribal rule #2 seeks to live by time honored principals not temporary emotions or feelings. Behind my feelings and emotions there aint a damn thing. But behind every principle is a PROMISE. I strive to distrust my emotions, particularly fear... and trust principles. When my ego says “you are losing, you are a loser” I lean on the axiom story of the tortoise and the hair.... and I keep moving. When my ego says ”see they are right, you cannot do that” I recognize that as fuel and leverage the axiom of “the little train..I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!!! When the “Champion of the world” looks at me and chuckles I remember the movie ROCKY and I look that motherfucker in his eyes and take his very soul ( and my tribe understands this happens in the mirror!). I lean on faith and promises not fear and rumors. The first step in the faith paradigm is recognizing when fears are popping up and facing them, not feeding them. As I advance in practice I seek and hunt my fears like a blood hound on the trail of an escaped killer. I place myself in his company until the moment he realizes I am no longer afraid and I take his very soul. All of this drama happens within. And its my job to work on it everyday. 3. Perseverance is the greatest and only possession worth having. Its of the highest value. With it I never lose anything, without it all is immediately lost. I have many set backs and battles not won but I never lose if I do not quit. My tribe comes from broken families, their own marriages and families are often fragmented, they’ve likely made and lost fortunes, they’ve suffered physical challenges, they’ve almost all have been bullied relentlessly at some time in their journey but they don‘t blame....they LEVERAGE and plod forward. Give me 2 minutes in conversation with someone and I can tell you if they live by the PERSEVERANCE value. People with big challenges are blessed I pity the man never challenge. The daily walk of my tribe is almost always lonely far from the bandwagon. But my tribe finds encouragement because we are alone and not on the bandwagon.
4. Competition with others is not real. Competition with myself is very real. I do not compare myself to others so as to make an excuse to rest. I vow not to look at others and say ”well he was born with it” or “he has this advantage” so I don’t and can quit trying. I instead focus on myself and all the blessings I was given and challenge myself to get better each day. I vow to be a warrior and fight with what I have. The “system” is not set up against me, the “system“ is set up FOR me, to challenge me, to help me grow! My journey is not a straight line but a labyrinth and I embrace that. My challenge is MYSELF. My enemy is my ego. I shall not be diverted by false gods and the lavishness of excuse making. 5. My only job is to be ME. To live my purpose. I know that can only happen by standing up to my inner fears. Fears that say “you can’t do that” “You can’t have that” “You are not worthy of that” “Your DNA can’t make that” “You don’t deserve that” “You just are not good enough”. I shall not accept these voices. I will not back down. I vow to work on ME until my dying breath. I will recognize these fears and challenge them every damn time. and when weak people tell me a lie such as it is selfish to work on yourself I will say “NO! You are the selfish one!” I shall not be held hostage in caustic co-dependencies of any kind- work, relationships or substance. Strong, independent inner competition is my tribal value. 6. LOVE- I shall love life. With gratitude being the highest form of love. I shall spend the majority of my time seeking things to be grateful for. As a sailor looks for his port. As a man in the desert seeks water. I know that if even 51% of my mental effort is towards gratitude and not complaining/blaming a tectonic paradigm shift in my life will occur. There is always something to be grateful for. I recognize everyday I have far more than the majority of humans on this planet. I recognize all the hard work and sacrifice of those who came before me so I can live a lavish life today. I am so grateful for so many things. I recognize my only true failure will likely be to not give enough gratitude, particularly when I am in tough times. My greatest heroes show gratitude in the most challenging times. I am so grateful for those people and their example. THIS IS MY TRIBE! What are your values? What attributes exist in your tribe? What standards are you striving to reach for? This exercise of beginning to define my tribe is very valuable for me. I am grateful for this Sunday morning and time to clarify my TRIBE.