We humans are animals – animals with an advanced conscious brain. And so in as much as we can modify the natural environment, tame wildlife, play nature to our advantage, have advanced technologies such as the internet and even be able to influence/control fellow humans, we still remain to be animals – animals with advanced brains.
The animal you are is a social creature. You want to be part of other livings, but being part of other living beings is not just out of fear of loneliness; your being part of other beings also gives you survival advantages as evolutionary biologists have argued for many years. You join a group so that you gain more than you would gain on your own. And by being part of a social group, you also have to contribute something substantial to the collective well-being of the group.
Once you become part of a group, you naturally want to gain some degree of respect and validation – besides being a member of the group. This is because both your contribution to the group and your public image in the group influence not only the respect you gain but also the privileges you gain. For instance, in the old days, the best dancers would work less than the rest of the group members so that they help the group win in dancing competition. Similarly, common citizens would sacrifice some of their hard earned resources (not necessarily out of choice) to get their fighters some tools of warfare and food – so that they can fight and protect the village. Leaders are given more privileges than group members because they are often the think tank of the group – with their burden being to keep the group united and progressive.
As a member of any group, you aim for things that will make you be more outstanding than your fellow members, reason being the more valuable you are seen, the more the privileges you gain from the group. But you are not the only one that aims for these privileges. Your peers also aim for the same – and it may at times cause internal, indirect warfare among members of a group – simply because they want the same thing. I saw this during school days – where people competed for being the best in academia and/or sports. I have seen among working people – competing to gain a competitive advantage for an opportunity, sometimes at the expense of fellow friends/colleagues.
In the spirit of leading your life to reach your goals, today’s article aims to remind you of the power dynamics at play as we get along with fellow humans. These dynamics – some subtle while others are clear antagonism – play out every day and everywhere. They affect and modify your progressive journey towards achieving your goals. We have to remain vigilant and conscious of these group dynamics since they will always pose a threat or opportunity for you to advance a goals lifestyle.
Please take a moment and review the group dynamics at play in the groups your associate with. Do the dynamics at play play in your favour or not? Does your place in the group help you attain the advantages you need to continue leading your life to reach your goals? If yes, you are okay but if the answer be no, you ought to find a way to get the leverage you need to continue pursuing a goals lifestyle.