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Built in Framer.Use the code partner25proyearly to get 3 months free off Framer Pro. [Get Framer]

The #1 Notion Startup system, StartOS is $369 $279! [Get Notion]

Built in Framer.

Use the code partner25proyearly to get 3 months free off Framer Pro. [Get Framer]

The Unintuitive Secret to Fulfillment

The Unintuitive Secret to Fulfillment

You are your value system

Logo of Thinksightful: Counterintuitive ideas from the world's best minds

Thinksightful

Thinksightful

July 31, 2023

As social creatures, we have an evolutionary need to belong. B

ut does it get in the way of us actually living our best lives and fulfilling our full potential?

Consider this microcosm:You walk quietly into the apartment. An acquaintance of your friends is hosting a party. You don’t really like him. You don’t even want to be there. Yet you are.

He walks up to you and offers you a glass of wine. You don’t drink, but you hesitantly take it and put it to your lips.

He asks you whether you like it.“I love it, it’s amazing”, you say.

Inside, a part of you is dying.

I have been guilty of people-pleasing too.

Especially the wrong ones — the ones tugging me in the opposite direction of where I want to go. I just wanted to fit in. Be accepted. But something never felt right, deep inside. Now, I know why.

Our need to belonging is biologically wired, but so is our need for growth

Humans are social creatures.

We were wired to live in groups by evolution as we do not possess any great physical advantage over other animals. This tribal sense of belonging helped us survive.

It’s biological programming, and nothing to be ashamed about!

In “The Code of the Extraordinary mind”, author Vishen Lakhiani refers to this phenomenon as adhering to “Brules” or bullsh*t rules.

These are rules society accepts as is, without challenging and expects you to too. And you do, because you want to feel accepted.

But does this desire to feel accepted get in the way of our need to thrive?

Humans are also biologically wired to grow. Watch an infant learning to speak, or a child learning to ride a bike and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, the goal of our existence is to fulfill our potential.

Above is the famous hierarchy of needs created by Abraham Maslow in 1943.

The ultimate purpose is to reach real fulfillment, by achieving our full potential.

Notice something?

The need for belonging falls below the ultimate goal of self-actualization as well as the need of esteem. It is no surprise then that we need to feel “part of a tribe”.

Define your own value system. Make it non-negotiable

This is a social influence game. The more your care about your inherent values, the more resistant you are to social manipulation.

I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t even touch soft drinks.

I gave up religion as my experiences from living in five different countries showed me how much more we are alike than unalike. I take risks and try radically different approaches to solving problems. Sometimes I fail miserably. I would be lying to say I don’t get judged for my choices.But does it even matter? There are 7.5 billion people in the world. That’s 7,500,000,000.

A hundred not liking you is so insignificant, it’s funny!

You will never be able to please everyone, so stop trying.

Instead, use your value system as a sieve to filter out people who are detrimental to your development as a human being.

Economist Nassim Taleb uses the term antifragile to describe systems which “increase in capability to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures”.

But how do you overcome the inertia and the discomfort of change?

After all, some of these people are probably long-term acquaintances.

For me, it always started with keeping in mind the macro end-goal. The final destination.

It’s okay if you think it is impossible right now.

Figure out what you need to get there.

What skill sets do you need?

What mental traits do you need to develop?

For example, the reason I don’t drink is to wire in delayed gratification. It trains my brain to trade the short-term high for a long-term goal i.e. health. To me, delayed gratification is the single most important trait that will aid the pursuit of my long-term goals.

Every time I succeed in keeping it away, its a big W mark on the calendar.

Define what values are core to your being. Maybe you want to be a teacher and need to learn how to be more patient.

Or you want to be an elite athlete and eating discipline is crucial to your progress. Reject everything that is taking you away from these non-negotiables.

If your circle tries to change you into someone you don’t want to become, its time to change your circle.

You only need to take small incremental steps and things will add up over time

Inertia is real. We're designed to resist change, but this is just another protective evolutionary mechanism that we can turn off.

Transformative changes however, rarely happen overnight, they are a series of small deliberate steps that compound over time.

So start small.

Weed out small habits and influencers you feel are keeping you away from your goals. Gauge how it makes you feel.

Do you feel energized and happier? Then weed out some more.

Observing the positive change and how it brings me closer to where I want to help overcome the inertia of change.

You will find a plethora of elite athletes telling you what they sacrificed in terms of eating and drinking to reach their superhuman levels of fitness.

Do you think they were not subject to the judging eyes?

They didn’t give in to fit in, and you don’t have to either.

Being your own self may distance people whom you currently consider to be your closest friends. But that is okay!

We all feel uncomfortable when we let go of something familiar.“

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”- Thich Nhat Hanh

But what about the fear of being alone and isolated? This was something I had to deal with in my early twenties. Looking back, I realize it is just an irrational evolutionary instinct.

Embrace your individuality and your tribe will form around you

Sounds too good to be true?

I definitely thought so. Until it actually worked for me.

It started with a mindset shift.

The fear of being alone by not fitting in made me try to shoehorn myself into situations I never wanted to be in.This was a scarcity mindset.

I realized people close to me love me for my uniqueness and I didn’t need to try so hard to be someone I am not. For every judging eye, there was a comforting hand on my shoulder.

There are plenty of people around who will love you for who you are! This simple shift to an abundance mindset helped me overcome the irrational evolutionary fear of isolation.

Consider this.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before in human history. Ten thousand years ago, you could not choose your tribe, you had to deal with the hand you were dealt. Today you can.

Make that choice.

There will always be people in your life that seem to be “static”. Since you are here, I am guessing you are not one of them! While you are chasing your dreams, these people are quite content not trying.

Just because someone fits in amazingly well at some time in your life does not mean they will do so forever.

Think of when you moved to a new city or left your close family for the first time. Maybe it was to join your dream university or pursue your career. Maybe you moved for your better half. Do you have any regrets? I am guessing the pros outweighed the cons!

Most of the time, our best lives are hidden behind the change we are most uncomfortable about making.

Closing Thoughts

I’m sure you have met people who leave you energized and motivated after every interaction. They are your tribe!

They don’t have to be in the same profession or geography as you. They don’t have to be of the same culture or religion.

But it’s likely they are on the same journey as you- one of growth and excellence. Wouldn’t you want to make space for such people in your life?

You become what you are surrounded by. You attract what you become. It’s a positive feedback cycle.

Every time I dissolved a relationship or friendship that was restricting my growth, almost immediately I met someone who resonated with me.

“Nature abhors a vacuum”- Aristotle

Removing growth deterrents from your life makes space for growth accelerants to take their place.

So, it’s really not about not fitting in.

Rather, it’s about not trying to fit into a circle that does not resonate with you.

Be the best version of yourself and your tribe will form around you.As unintuitive as it sounds, chasing the need for self-actualization will help you find belonging.

So, go on. Chase those dreams. Don’t compromise on your core values.

And let the Universe work its magic around you.

As social creatures, we have an evolutionary need to belong. B

ut does it get in the way of us actually living our best lives and fulfilling our full potential?

Consider this microcosm:You walk quietly into the apartment. An acquaintance of your friends is hosting a party. You don’t really like him. You don’t even want to be there. Yet you are.

He walks up to you and offers you a glass of wine. You don’t drink, but you hesitantly take it and put it to your lips.

He asks you whether you like it.“I love it, it’s amazing”, you say.

Inside, a part of you is dying.

I have been guilty of people-pleasing too.

Especially the wrong ones — the ones tugging me in the opposite direction of where I want to go. I just wanted to fit in. Be accepted. But something never felt right, deep inside. Now, I know why.

Our need to belonging is biologically wired, but so is our need for growth

Humans are social creatures.

We were wired to live in groups by evolution as we do not possess any great physical advantage over other animals. This tribal sense of belonging helped us survive.

It’s biological programming, and nothing to be ashamed about!

In “The Code of the Extraordinary mind”, author Vishen Lakhiani refers to this phenomenon as adhering to “Brules” or bullsh*t rules.

These are rules society accepts as is, without challenging and expects you to too. And you do, because you want to feel accepted.

But does this desire to feel accepted get in the way of our need to thrive?

Humans are also biologically wired to grow. Watch an infant learning to speak, or a child learning to ride a bike and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, the goal of our existence is to fulfill our potential.

Above is the famous hierarchy of needs created by Abraham Maslow in 1943.

The ultimate purpose is to reach real fulfillment, by achieving our full potential.

Notice something?

The need for belonging falls below the ultimate goal of self-actualization as well as the need of esteem. It is no surprise then that we need to feel “part of a tribe”.

Define your own value system. Make it non-negotiable

This is a social influence game. The more your care about your inherent values, the more resistant you are to social manipulation.

I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t even touch soft drinks.

I gave up religion as my experiences from living in five different countries showed me how much more we are alike than unalike. I take risks and try radically different approaches to solving problems. Sometimes I fail miserably. I would be lying to say I don’t get judged for my choices.But does it even matter? There are 7.5 billion people in the world. That’s 7,500,000,000.

A hundred not liking you is so insignificant, it’s funny!

You will never be able to please everyone, so stop trying.

Instead, use your value system as a sieve to filter out people who are detrimental to your development as a human being.

Economist Nassim Taleb uses the term antifragile to describe systems which “increase in capability to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures”.

But how do you overcome the inertia and the discomfort of change?

After all, some of these people are probably long-term acquaintances.

For me, it always started with keeping in mind the macro end-goal. The final destination.

It’s okay if you think it is impossible right now.

Figure out what you need to get there.

What skill sets do you need?

What mental traits do you need to develop?

For example, the reason I don’t drink is to wire in delayed gratification. It trains my brain to trade the short-term high for a long-term goal i.e. health. To me, delayed gratification is the single most important trait that will aid the pursuit of my long-term goals.

Every time I succeed in keeping it away, its a big W mark on the calendar.

Define what values are core to your being. Maybe you want to be a teacher and need to learn how to be more patient.

Or you want to be an elite athlete and eating discipline is crucial to your progress. Reject everything that is taking you away from these non-negotiables.

If your circle tries to change you into someone you don’t want to become, its time to change your circle.

You only need to take small incremental steps and things will add up over time

Inertia is real. We're designed to resist change, but this is just another protective evolutionary mechanism that we can turn off.

Transformative changes however, rarely happen overnight, they are a series of small deliberate steps that compound over time.

So start small.

Weed out small habits and influencers you feel are keeping you away from your goals. Gauge how it makes you feel.

Do you feel energized and happier? Then weed out some more.

Observing the positive change and how it brings me closer to where I want to help overcome the inertia of change.

You will find a plethora of elite athletes telling you what they sacrificed in terms of eating and drinking to reach their superhuman levels of fitness.

Do you think they were not subject to the judging eyes?

They didn’t give in to fit in, and you don’t have to either.

Being your own self may distance people whom you currently consider to be your closest friends. But that is okay!

We all feel uncomfortable when we let go of something familiar.“

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”- Thich Nhat Hanh

But what about the fear of being alone and isolated? This was something I had to deal with in my early twenties. Looking back, I realize it is just an irrational evolutionary instinct.

Embrace your individuality and your tribe will form around you

Sounds too good to be true?

I definitely thought so. Until it actually worked for me.

It started with a mindset shift.

The fear of being alone by not fitting in made me try to shoehorn myself into situations I never wanted to be in.This was a scarcity mindset.

I realized people close to me love me for my uniqueness and I didn’t need to try so hard to be someone I am not. For every judging eye, there was a comforting hand on my shoulder.

There are plenty of people around who will love you for who you are! This simple shift to an abundance mindset helped me overcome the irrational evolutionary fear of isolation.

Consider this.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before in human history. Ten thousand years ago, you could not choose your tribe, you had to deal with the hand you were dealt. Today you can.

Make that choice.

There will always be people in your life that seem to be “static”. Since you are here, I am guessing you are not one of them! While you are chasing your dreams, these people are quite content not trying.

Just because someone fits in amazingly well at some time in your life does not mean they will do so forever.

Think of when you moved to a new city or left your close family for the first time. Maybe it was to join your dream university or pursue your career. Maybe you moved for your better half. Do you have any regrets? I am guessing the pros outweighed the cons!

Most of the time, our best lives are hidden behind the change we are most uncomfortable about making.

Closing Thoughts

I’m sure you have met people who leave you energized and motivated after every interaction. They are your tribe!

They don’t have to be in the same profession or geography as you. They don’t have to be of the same culture or religion.

But it’s likely they are on the same journey as you- one of growth and excellence. Wouldn’t you want to make space for such people in your life?

You become what you are surrounded by. You attract what you become. It’s a positive feedback cycle.

Every time I dissolved a relationship or friendship that was restricting my growth, almost immediately I met someone who resonated with me.

“Nature abhors a vacuum”- Aristotle

Removing growth deterrents from your life makes space for growth accelerants to take their place.

So, it’s really not about not fitting in.

Rather, it’s about not trying to fit into a circle that does not resonate with you.

Be the best version of yourself and your tribe will form around you.As unintuitive as it sounds, chasing the need for self-actualization will help you find belonging.

So, go on. Chase those dreams. Don’t compromise on your core values.

And let the Universe work its magic around you.

As social creatures, we have an evolutionary need to belong. B

ut does it get in the way of us actually living our best lives and fulfilling our full potential?

Consider this microcosm:You walk quietly into the apartment. An acquaintance of your friends is hosting a party. You don’t really like him. You don’t even want to be there. Yet you are.

He walks up to you and offers you a glass of wine. You don’t drink, but you hesitantly take it and put it to your lips.

He asks you whether you like it.“I love it, it’s amazing”, you say.

Inside, a part of you is dying.

I have been guilty of people-pleasing too.

Especially the wrong ones — the ones tugging me in the opposite direction of where I want to go. I just wanted to fit in. Be accepted. But something never felt right, deep inside. Now, I know why.

Our need to belonging is biologically wired, but so is our need for growth

Humans are social creatures.

We were wired to live in groups by evolution as we do not possess any great physical advantage over other animals. This tribal sense of belonging helped us survive.

It’s biological programming, and nothing to be ashamed about!

In “The Code of the Extraordinary mind”, author Vishen Lakhiani refers to this phenomenon as adhering to “Brules” or bullsh*t rules.

These are rules society accepts as is, without challenging and expects you to too. And you do, because you want to feel accepted.

But does this desire to feel accepted get in the way of our need to thrive?

Humans are also biologically wired to grow. Watch an infant learning to speak, or a child learning to ride a bike and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, the goal of our existence is to fulfill our potential.

Above is the famous hierarchy of needs created by Abraham Maslow in 1943.

The ultimate purpose is to reach real fulfillment, by achieving our full potential.

Notice something?

The need for belonging falls below the ultimate goal of self-actualization as well as the need of esteem. It is no surprise then that we need to feel “part of a tribe”.

Define your own value system. Make it non-negotiable

This is a social influence game. The more your care about your inherent values, the more resistant you are to social manipulation.

I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t even touch soft drinks.

I gave up religion as my experiences from living in five different countries showed me how much more we are alike than unalike. I take risks and try radically different approaches to solving problems. Sometimes I fail miserably. I would be lying to say I don’t get judged for my choices.But does it even matter? There are 7.5 billion people in the world. That’s 7,500,000,000.

A hundred not liking you is so insignificant, it’s funny!

You will never be able to please everyone, so stop trying.

Instead, use your value system as a sieve to filter out people who are detrimental to your development as a human being.

Economist Nassim Taleb uses the term antifragile to describe systems which “increase in capability to thrive as a result of stressors, shocks, volatility, noise, mistakes, faults, attacks, or failures”.

But how do you overcome the inertia and the discomfort of change?

After all, some of these people are probably long-term acquaintances.

For me, it always started with keeping in mind the macro end-goal. The final destination.

It’s okay if you think it is impossible right now.

Figure out what you need to get there.

What skill sets do you need?

What mental traits do you need to develop?

For example, the reason I don’t drink is to wire in delayed gratification. It trains my brain to trade the short-term high for a long-term goal i.e. health. To me, delayed gratification is the single most important trait that will aid the pursuit of my long-term goals.

Every time I succeed in keeping it away, its a big W mark on the calendar.

Define what values are core to your being. Maybe you want to be a teacher and need to learn how to be more patient.

Or you want to be an elite athlete and eating discipline is crucial to your progress. Reject everything that is taking you away from these non-negotiables.

If your circle tries to change you into someone you don’t want to become, its time to change your circle.

You only need to take small incremental steps and things will add up over time

Inertia is real. We're designed to resist change, but this is just another protective evolutionary mechanism that we can turn off.

Transformative changes however, rarely happen overnight, they are a series of small deliberate steps that compound over time.

So start small.

Weed out small habits and influencers you feel are keeping you away from your goals. Gauge how it makes you feel.

Do you feel energized and happier? Then weed out some more.

Observing the positive change and how it brings me closer to where I want to help overcome the inertia of change.

You will find a plethora of elite athletes telling you what they sacrificed in terms of eating and drinking to reach their superhuman levels of fitness.

Do you think they were not subject to the judging eyes?

They didn’t give in to fit in, and you don’t have to either.

Being your own self may distance people whom you currently consider to be your closest friends. But that is okay!

We all feel uncomfortable when we let go of something familiar.“

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”- Thich Nhat Hanh

But what about the fear of being alone and isolated? This was something I had to deal with in my early twenties. Looking back, I realize it is just an irrational evolutionary instinct.

Embrace your individuality and your tribe will form around you

Sounds too good to be true?

I definitely thought so. Until it actually worked for me.

It started with a mindset shift.

The fear of being alone by not fitting in made me try to shoehorn myself into situations I never wanted to be in.This was a scarcity mindset.

I realized people close to me love me for my uniqueness and I didn’t need to try so hard to be someone I am not. For every judging eye, there was a comforting hand on my shoulder.

There are plenty of people around who will love you for who you are! This simple shift to an abundance mindset helped me overcome the irrational evolutionary fear of isolation.

Consider this.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before in human history. Ten thousand years ago, you could not choose your tribe, you had to deal with the hand you were dealt. Today you can.

Make that choice.

There will always be people in your life that seem to be “static”. Since you are here, I am guessing you are not one of them! While you are chasing your dreams, these people are quite content not trying.

Just because someone fits in amazingly well at some time in your life does not mean they will do so forever.

Think of when you moved to a new city or left your close family for the first time. Maybe it was to join your dream university or pursue your career. Maybe you moved for your better half. Do you have any regrets? I am guessing the pros outweighed the cons!

Most of the time, our best lives are hidden behind the change we are most uncomfortable about making.

Closing Thoughts

I’m sure you have met people who leave you energized and motivated after every interaction. They are your tribe!

They don’t have to be in the same profession or geography as you. They don’t have to be of the same culture or religion.

But it’s likely they are on the same journey as you- one of growth and excellence. Wouldn’t you want to make space for such people in your life?

You become what you are surrounded by. You attract what you become. It’s a positive feedback cycle.

Every time I dissolved a relationship or friendship that was restricting my growth, almost immediately I met someone who resonated with me.

“Nature abhors a vacuum”- Aristotle

Removing growth deterrents from your life makes space for growth accelerants to take their place.

So, it’s really not about not fitting in.

Rather, it’s about not trying to fit into a circle that does not resonate with you.

Be the best version of yourself and your tribe will form around you.As unintuitive as it sounds, chasing the need for self-actualization will help you find belonging.

So, go on. Chase those dreams. Don’t compromise on your core values.

And let the Universe work its magic around you.