Chances are that every time you hear this cliched adage by the old Aristotle- “(Hu)man is a social animal by nature”, you would raise your eyebrows, smirk a little and think- ugh, this again! At a time when crazy work schedules and the race to be the best have left us no time for even ourselves or our families, what social animal could Aristotle possibly be talking about? Perhaps 100 years ago, but as Arya Stark would say, “not today”!
On some thought, maybe there is merit to the contention that evolution has diminished our social nature. Still, then again, there is much that points to its inevitability, often, its power and potential.
Oddly, the starkest examples embodying the limitless potential of community emerge from the most challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, saw millions counting on each other for so much- from vaccines to hospital beds, to medicines, to even- oxygen & breathing. On other occasions, during wars, natural calamities, riots, or the like, the collective’s power becomes tangible, and its inevitability is reinforced. Maybe Aristotle isn’t so wrong after all.
But have you ever stopped wondering if human beings can brave through the worst of their challenges by coming together and acting in concert? How much more could they do if they came together to grow together? Instead of waiting for the worst to hit us, have you imagined the potential of forming a community and working towards shared goals and objectives? Do you see the potential of the team versus one person?
If not, read on!
A constant flow of MOTIVATION, and a lot of it!
Let’s face it- there’s no way anyone is always motivated. As human beings, we experience all kinds of emotions- happiness, sadness, exhaustion, anxiety, and more! Having a community around you guarantees that the days you don’t feel like it, or the days you are discouraged because that investment didn’t come in, or when that blog didn’t get many hits despite all the hard work- there is someone to tell you- hey, we’re in together, and we can get past this. As someone aptly pointed out, motivation is like bathing- you need it daily. Maybe the days you can’t walk to that bathroom yourself, having four more people throw that bucket at you is not such a bad idea after all.
YouTube, MOOCs, textbooks- each of these are excellent sources of learning without an iota of doubt. But a mutual exchange of ideas, discussions, debates, and interactions are force multipliers and create magic. All team members are different is an asset only a few recognise. Each member has a separate area of expertise, different experiences, and different sensibilities. This allows all members to learn something from one another- guaranteeing personal growth like nothing else.
The truth is said- feedback is the sine qua non for personal growth. As creators, businesspeople or anyone working on an idea, it is crucial that the audience connects with your thoughts and likes them. But before you take the plunge and put it all out there, your community is your guides you and shows you what’s right or wrong in your approach—working on a goal for yourself. Anyone who has already done it can tell you- why you must or mustn’t do it! Honest feedback does wonder in your growth journey.
Holding you ACCOUNTABLE
Committing your goal publicly to develop accountability is recommended whenever you start a goal. However, who is this public? Committing your goals and objectives to random people will seldom do any good. Committing to your goals in a community you belong to and being self-motivated to help you succeed would help to bring in the proper accountability. They allow you to pick yourself up on your low days and appreciate you on your good ones.
APPRECIATION where it’s due
A good community understands that giving comes before taking and hence takes a genuine interest in your goals and shares the joy in your success. Nothing pushes us more than getting appreciated for our hard work and achievements. Having a sense of people cheering for you and having your back makes you wake up from your bed and follow your goals even on the days you feel like quitting.
Before parting, take a moment and think about every award speech you’ve ever heard. Generally, it is a list of thank you notes for people who have helped in the success of the awardee. It’s a fact that life is not a lone race but a marathon where everyone is running together towards their destinations, and supporting each other in the run not only helps but also makes it worth the while.
Leave a comment below and tell us why you think a #community is a MUST for achieving personal growth.