Smells Like Team Spirit

Every man is an island onto himself.

Phooey.

By the inch it’s a cinch. By the yard it’s hard.

There’s a lot of arena-filled, grandstand speechifying these days about unity, unifying, and bringing our nation together, and which man or woman is best qualified, best prepared to wrangle a fractured populace closer into a single file line in these crucial times of disappointment and dare say bitterness.

Not every one works well in a team. Some of the world’s greatest art and literature, and inventions come from the biggest loners ever to pick up a paint brush or pen or slide rule. Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Pollock, Ford, and Eli Whitney were said to need a lot of alone time. Lots. We also hear the same for that guy who invented the Chia Pet. Required lots of alone time.

But most of us are social animals — in one way or another, to varying degrees we need the energy of the pack to keep us moving forward. Deep inside, life amongst a pack give us assurance of evolution. For basic survival, our first pack instincts are obviously honed within our family. Here, our values about right and wrong are shaped, as well as our sense of our place in social hierarchies. For the remainder of our social lives, we fall into our pack of friends, cultural and ethnic identities, workmates, places of worship, cafes, fraternities and sororities, sports teams, civic associations, infantries, political parties, nations, corner bars, and now online social networks.

Whatever our pack, we are expected to conform to its majority values: that’s what makes a pack. Its declared values are what defines a pack’s purpose, its goals and objectives.

Our need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves is an ancient yearning. Scratching along with others to grab hold of that next inch of turf is an old, familiar yearning. Teamwork fulfills this yearning.

Balancing this primal urge to be a part of and fulfill the values of a group with your primal need to be an independent minded, free willed individual is the never-ending quest of civilized humankind. It’s the struggle mused by philosophers, scholars, politicians, coaches, and working single moms sorely in need of just one precious quiet waking hour a week to herself to be herself for self and sanity’s sake.

Knowing the difference between satisfying teamwork among the pack, and going along to get along is key to this balancing act between protecting your sovereignty and free will as an individual with the unyielding demands of a collective. Through true teamwork, everyone ultimately wins, even if the scoreboard says differently at the final buzzer.

Teamwork is about inclusion. Inclusion includes valuing diverse opinions, viewpoints, experiences and backgrounds as the sum total and merger of an reinforced, durable whole.

The aim of peer pressure is to force an exclusionary standard onto subjects not falling into line or accordance with the prescribed values of the pack for the sake of the pack. Free will can be life threatening to some packs.

On the other hand, without respect and value accorded to the supreme notion, pursuit, and realization of free will, some packs would never survive. Such is the highest ideal state of Union.

Stomp on that, mate.

Change of Mind, Part 2: Minding Your Resources

What do we like about Tony Robbins? Well, for one, we’re glad he finally got past his suspenders wearing phase. But mostly, we like Tony for always telling it like it truly is:

Your own personal power is your best resource.

How do you mind your resources?

After 23 minutes from Mr. Robbins, that pretty much says it all for today…unless of course you watch it again….and again…. and again.

Go ahead.

Please — feel free.

Change of Mind – Part 1: We feel you, Al

Yo, brother, can you spare 23 minutes? Sure you can.

Ever wonder what it might be like to set a Presidential candidate straight on his game?

Well, get a load of this meeting of the minds. By the way, some of the language used by this major brain trust may not be suitable for delicate or tiny ears, so be warned.

Wait for it…wait for it:

Booh-Yah! Did you catch that, Chief?

We really dig seeing Al Gore in the room. No matter how big your britches, great minds get greater by keeping company with other great minds.

From a man who was just a fraction of a few votes away from becoming the President of the United States to a Noble Prize winner on a larger than life mission to literally save the Planet Earth — man, talk about turning a personal and national tragedy into a global triumph.  Now, that’s mojo.

Bravo to Tony for having the mojo (read cajones) to say exactly what so many have wanted to say to Mr. Gore for years. Whew! Finally, somebody said it!

Which brings us to this point — just how prepared are you to ‘speak truth to power’?

Here’s a big brain teaser on this point of order: Speaking truth to power doesn’t necessarily start with getting up in the grill of someone else with titled power and influence. Speaking truth to power starts with being truthful with yourself. By keeping in touch with what truly motivates you, with what your emotions or instincts are telling you is right for you is what makes you truly powerful.

Real personal change comes from daring to speak your own truth. This is your power source to invent the life you really want — the internal nuclear power plant that generates change in your own life, the lives of others — and ultimately our collective future on the Planet Earth.

So, go ‘head — groove on that.

Change is good. Just ask Al.

No More Mr. Nice Guy

It’s so nice to be nice. – Cinderella and cast, Into the Woods

It’s also nice to be nice about not being so nice all of the time. But then there’s being nice to the point that it is not so nice. Follow?

Are you the strong and silent type? Is your motto ‘walk softly and carry a big stick’ ? Or are you really just simmering below the surface trying to keep from popping your cork?

Sometimes being nice is not so nice. Ever heard the saying ‘nice guys finish last’? Hate to admit it, but there’s some truth to this adage. Hey, we’re about being groovy. Being groovy doesn’t mean being a push over, though.

Don’t let your Mr. Nice Guy qualities turn you into a doormat.

Don’t fall down.

Walk tall. Walk proud.