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A Lesson from The Jungle Book about Finding Your Tribe

The movie Jungle Book tells the story of a little boy who grew up in the jungle raised by wolves.

As he begins to come of age, he’s encouraged by the elder members of his wolf pack to leave the jungle and go make his home among human beings. While embarking on an adventurous journey to the land of men, the boy realizes that his true home is the jungle and that his true family is the wolf pack.

Even though he wasn’t an animal, he felt most at home among the animals. Even though society said he should have lived among humans, he had the self-knowledge and courage to defy those rules and make his home where he felt his greatest sense of belonging.

In other words, he found his tribe

Here’s the interesting part:

Finding his tribe did not solve all his problems.

Even among the animals, there were many areas where the boy did not fit in. In fact, he was chastised very often by his elders for using “tricks that don’t belong in the jungle” whenever he used creativity or human tools to solve problems. So once he solved the problem of finding his tribe, he still had to wrestle with the issue of not always fitting in with the members of his tribe.

The jungle boy still had to learn how to embrace and express his individuality when it made him look strange among the members of the very group with which he closely identified. He still had to learn important skills like thinking for himself, trusting his gut, and experimenting with unconventional ideas.

In the end, he succeeded. In the end, he realized that having a tribe was not a substitute for being an individual. He realized that having a group was not a reason to always think like the group. And by realizing these things, he was able to add unique value to his tribe.

Here’s today’s two cents:

Don’t just find your tribe. Challenge your tribe, evolve your tribe, and add value to your tribe.

Your tribe will improve your life by affirming, validating, supporting, and enhancing your core values. On the other hand, you must improve your tribe by bringing new ideas, fresh insights, and different approaches.

You can’t help a community grow if you treat that community as an excuse for not having a personality, for not having your owns tastes, for not having an opinion, or for not being an individual.

Your tribe can’t be a tribe unless you have certain qualities that make you just like everyone else. If you stop there, however, your tribe will die. Even among the people with whom you have the most in common, push yourself to see the value that lies in your differences. And find ways to translate those differences into assets that benefit the entire tribe.

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