Monday, April 12, 2021

Project Summary - The 30,000 Foot View - Version 3.0


This is the third version of the outline for this project. To see how these ideas have evolved as we've developed them, read the first version here and the second version here

The Big Idea

We're a collective of people, organized as a club, who care deeply about improving ourselves, our families, the members of our Tribe, and the members of our communities scattered throughout our Western Slope region. We affectionately refer to our club as "The Tribe." The Tribe is run by a Council of elected officials, and we've established several committees that are carrying out the various tasks related to the research and development of the project.

We achieve self-improvement through intentional actions that address the seven dimensions of wellness. Each member of the Tribe actively and continually grows in each of these dimensions, and actively and enthusiastically helps other members of the Tribe do the same. The dimensions are:

  • Physical Wellness - Includes engaging in healthy behaviors like exercise, good nutrition, abstaining from harmful substances, identifying early signs of illness, and protecting yourself and those we love from injury and harm.
  • Emotional Wellness - Includes developing the ability to feel and express the entire range of emotions in a healthy way, having the ability to love and be loved, and achieving a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. This also includes developing optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and an ability to share feelings.
  • Intellectual Wellness - Includes engaging in creative, mentally-stimulating activities, especially creative problem-solving applied to ourselves, our Tribe, and our community. We want to expand our knowledge and improve our skills, which includes staying up-to-date on current events and how they affect us, and routinely seeking out activities that actively engage our mind.
  • Social Wellness - Includes learning to interact with our families, our Tribe, our communities, and our world more effectively, and live up to the demands and expectations of our personal roles in each. We do this by learning better communication skills, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support network within our Tribe and our broader community.
  • Spiritual Wellness - Involves seeking harmony between what lies within us and the outer world. We accomplish this by developing a set of guiding principles, beliefs, and values that give our life direction and meaning. We develop high levels of faith, hope, and commitment. We question everything and develop an appreciation for that which cannot be readily explained or understood.
  • Environmental Wellness - Includes developing an awareness of our daily habits and how they impact our physical environment and developing a way of life that maximizes the harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. This also includes not just protecting our physical surroundings, but actively improving them as much as possible. .
  • Occupational Wellness - Involves making use of our gifts, skills, talent, knowledge, and experiences to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in our lives. We want to integrate a commitment to our chosen occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying, rewarding, and helps others in a tangible way. 
Different members of the Tribe have special skills, knowledge, and experiences in each of these dimensions, which allow us to help members who may struggle in one or more of these dimensions. In this way, the Tribe is sort of like a jigsaw puzzle with each member playing a role to creating something bigger. This cooperative interdependence, coupled with our diverse Tribe, creates a powerful collection of symbiotic relationships that forms a virtuous cycle of positive self-improvement for our individual Tribe members and the Tribe as a whole.
I call this process "Holistic Lifestyle Design." Each one of us considers each of these seven dimensions, our goals, and our values. Then we figure out what we really want in life, and how that can be integrated into the Tribe to develop mutually-beneficial win-win relationships. Finally, we develop a personal roadmap to make that happen in a a way that integrates every aspect of our lives that really matter to us.  
The Tribe, in turn, helps provide the guidance and resources to make real, concrete changes to improve the lives of the Tribe Members in a way that aligns with the values, goals, families, and community. 

Outlaws University - Teaching Holistic Lifestyle Design

Our Tribe is the vehicle we use to improve the individual members of the Tribe. While this certainly makes an objectively measurable improvement in the lives of our Tribe Members, the effects on the rest of our community are only limited to the impact we can make through our own self-improvement. We can radically amplify the positive effects we can have on the world around us if we teach others how to improve themselves across the seven dimensions of wellness. 

Enter Outlaws University.

As the name implies, we're a school that breaks the rules of education. We care about affecting real, positive change in the world in general and the Montrose and surrounding communities in particular. As a lifelong public high school teacher, I've spent my entire adult life trying to solve the riddle of how to help each and every one of my students. The system itself, though, creates barrier after barrier, usually in the form of rules, policies, and procedures, that severely limit our ability to reach every student. These barriers are usually created by well-meaning people who simply cannot foresee the unintended consequences of their actions. 

Our school solves this problem by distilling education down to its most basic element - we have a teacher who possesses some useful skills or knowledge and has a desire to teach something, and we have individuals who have an intrinsic desire to learn those skills or knowledge. We bring them together and allow them to negotiate how that transfer of knowledge will happen. We will be there to offer suggestions and guidance based on our own expertise in the psychology of education and learning, but we are a resource. Nothing more, nothing less. 

The specific topics we'll teach could be anything covered under the umbrella of the seven dimensions of wellness, but we adhere to the "oxygen mask" principle. When you're on a airplane and the cabin depressurizes, you're instructed to put your own oxygen mask on before you help others put their oxygen mask on. In the same way, our teachers will be people who have successfully applied what they're teaching to their own lives before they teach it to their students. This prevents a strong personal pet peeve of mine where so-called "life coaches" take money from people to give them guidance about living a better life when their own lives are complete train wrecks.

In future posts, I will spell out exactly how this will work in a practical sense.

The Current Lay of the Land

The State of the Tribe

Currently, our Tribe and the Outlaws University are in the development phase. Our Tribe has five Founding Members, one additional Tribe Member, and around four other people who are considering becoming Members. Given we're still developing these ideas, we're not actively recruiting new members. Too many chefs in the kitchen and what not.

Our Tribe members have a few extremely diverse shared interests, and we're currently weighing how to incorporate those interests into the project. The most notable shared interests include:

  • Regenerative agriculture and accompanying animal care
  • Brazilian jiu jitu
  • Boxing and kickboxing
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Yoga
  • Healthy nutrition
  • Developing social connections
  • Prepping
  • Teaching and learning primitive skills
  • Helping kids and adults navigate the negative effects of the COVID pandemic
  • Firearms and other self-defense training
  • Off-grid living
  • Personal self-improvement

This isn't a comprehensive list, but these are a few of the major topics we discuss, do, or are in various stages of implementing. Each item on this list satisfies one or more of the seven dimensions of wellness, and we either teach them now to people outside our Tribe, or likely will be teaching them in the relative near future. 

Our Surrounding Community

Making a positive impact on our community is a major goal of this project, so it will be helpful for readers to understand some of the features and problems that define our community. We define our "community" as the valley communities of Montrose, Olathe, Ridgway, Delta, Cederedge, Hotchkiss, Paonia, and surrounding areas loosely bordered by the Grand Mesa to the north, Black Canyon to the east, Uncompahgre Plateau to the west. and the San Juan mountains to the South. The area includes approximately 65,000-75,000 residents. 

Our interest in regenerative agriculture stems from the historical agriculture industry in the area. Outside of the aforementioned small towns, ranches and farms define the valley landscape. Western Colorado is in a bit of a pickle in regards to agriculture. For 140 years, irrigated agriculture has defined the area. But the rising temperatures of climate change, coupled with drought conditions seen only once before in the last 1,800 years, are slowly killing agriculture in the region. Simply put, there's not enough snow falling in the mountains, too much is evaporating as the snow runoff melts and fills reservoirs, and too much water is being diverted for use on Colorado's Front Range and the America Southwest. This article explains the problem in detail

The life of the typical rancher and farmer in the region has always been difficult, but it becomes increasingly difficult with each passing year. Not only is the water slowly disappearing, but the political winds of the state are shifting due to a population explosion on the urbanized Front Range corridor. As the population of the state becomes more urbanized, more and more laws and policies are being developed and passed that actively harm our rural farming communities. Like the reintroduction of gray wolves. Or the dumbass ballot initiative 16. Hopelessness, depression, and despair are rampant; far too many people are living exceptionally unhealthy lifestyles as a means to cope as their lifestyle slowly slips away.

These problems are exasperated by a growing trend where ranchers, due to impossible economic situations and no hope for the future, sell their land to developers and sell the water rights to various municipalities. This trend is creating a patchwork of developments being built in and around existing ranches. Given Western Colorado is a popular place to relocate, there's plenty of demand for houses in these new developments. City folk in Denver and the uber-expensive West Coast are searching for a quieter, slower, more affordable lifestyle, and the ample outdoor activities in the region prove to be a powerful draw. Indeed, the City of Montrose has been recreating itself into a regional outdoor recreation hub for a number of years.

Regenerative agriculture practices may or may not be able to save the area, but maintaining the status quo will result in a predictable, painful, tragic end to agriculture in the region. But more is needed than just altering the land management practices. The people themselves need support. This is where the Tribe and Outlaws University come in - modeling and teaching the seven dimensions of wellness with the goal of helping to make our neighbors healthier, happier, and better able to cope with the stressors of our rapidly-changing region. 

Our Tribe and the University can also play a role in helping smooth the relationship between the people who have lived here for generations and the flood of outsiders moving from cities. Rural America is a different world. I know; I grew up in the sticks of Northern Michigan. There's an entirely different culture with different norms and different ways of relating to each other, all born out of necessity. Many of the topics we would teach at the University, such as agricultural and animal-based skills or primitive skills, would be geared towards complete novices. Learning these skills would help urban and suburban dwellers understand and empathize with rural living, and help them gain an appreciation for the hard work that provides the food they buy from the grocery store.

Likewise, we can also play a role in helping the agricultural community see the influx of new people as a resource, not an intrusion. Regenerative agriculture practices requires significantly more advanced planning, as does advanced water management strategies. The influx of people usually brings some significant skilled labor, which will help integrate technological advancements in current and future agricultural practices. 

Or maybe we'll see a significant shift away from large-scale agricultural operations, and see a proliferation of small "hobby farms" popping up. In this case, our Tribe and the University would be well-positioned to help teach the basic skills required to run said hobby farms in a sustainable, responsible way.

Or perhaps the confluence of conditions proves to be too great to overcome and the entire irrigated agriculture industry in the region dies. While this would be our worst-case scenario, the Tribe and University would be an excellent resource to help people transition to other endeavors that would fulfill each of the seven dimensions of wellness. And, given the nature of the University structure, we could adapt whatever we teach to any sort of regional demographic shift. If the region does become an outdoor recreation mecca, we have the ability and infrastructure to teach any outdoor recreational skill. 


This is a far-ranging, ambitious project born out of a genuine desire to make our world a better place by a small group of talented, driven people. We believe, with the right structures and practices, that we can make a significant, positive difference in our lives, our families, in our Tribe, and in our community. 

The project is still in its infancy, but our goals and strategies get more focused and detailed as the project planning evolves. We have the structure of our Tribe established and have started interacting as a social group, and we're creating the structure of the University. Within a few months, we should have a bare-bones version of the University up and running.

This likely won't be the final version of the project, but it's getting relatively close. Stay tuned for more info, and check out some of the older posts on this blog to get a feel for some of the ideas and principles that are driving our vision. 

~ Jason


Monday, March 15, 2021

Choosing Your Family: A Discussion on Tribes and Voluntary Kin

Tribes serve all kinds of useful purposes. At the most basic level, they can be a safety net that can provide housing, food, and other life essentials should Tribe members fall on hard times. Tribes can help keep us safe and secure in a dangerous world. Tribes can make us feel respected, valuable, and deserving of dignity. Tribes can help us reach our full potential and give our life meaning and purpose. Tribes can also provide us with the physical and emotional intimacy we often associate with family. 

This post talks about that last concept - Tribes as a replacement for the elevated kinship we usually associate with our "real" family, whether we're talking about our blood relatives or the families we create legally through marriage.

The Nature of Family

In a perfect world, our family is a collection of people who, through thick and thin, are always in our corner. Family accepts us for who we are. Family wants us to reach our full potential. Family celebrates our success and comforts us when we fail. Family protects us and keeps us safe. Family steps back when we're ready to tackle life on our own. Family sees us at our best and worst, and loves us regardless. 

An authentic and real family is that which respects us as we are. Our minds, our individual voices, our personal choices, and our way of understanding the world. It gives and asks nothing in return. Reciprocity is not a game of power, but rather a balance in which recognition, loyalty, and understanding are key. Family does not need a reason to be with us each and every moment. We carry it in our hearts because we look after them, and they us. We give each other confidence, and we are always together and support each other. Any distance between us does not matter. We stick together through the bad times, and we enjoy a mutual understanding of each other in the good times. - Citation

Unfortunately, our world is not perfect. Sometimes our given family isn't so great. Sometimes the family to which we were born doesn't, won't, or can't fulfill those physical and emotional kinship needs. 

Maybe it's simply a matter of logistics. We move away from our families and we don't see them as often as we need. Or maybe death takes parts of our family from us.While these reasons are perfectly valid, I'm not going to focus on these particular dynamics in this post. Having (or having had) a loving, supportive family is certainly something that can be dearly missed, it doesn't create the slew of negativity in these next few scenarios.

Sometimes our families are... toxic. This toxicity can occur for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes the families we're born into don't accept us for who we are. When I was in college, I had several gay or lesbian friends who's family basically disowned them simply because they weren't attracted to the "right" sex. 

Sometimes a family might not provide the support we need. Family should be a solid foundation we can rely on to provide moral and emotional support as we venture out into life. Family should be our safe harbor; the thing we can rely upon if the challenges of life get too rough.

Or the reasons might be more toxic. Sometimes families are wrought with anger, blame, cruelty, disrespect, or chronic hurtfulness. When our families make us feel like shitty people, life becomes far way more challenging than it should be and prevents us from reaching our potential.

Or maybe the reasons are flat-out dangerous and overtly abusive. Sometimes families hurt us emotionally, physically, or sexually. In these cases, families can actively destroy any hope of a normal, fulfilling life. 

When our families create a toxic dynamic in our lives, we're often placed in the horrible, painful position of having to decide to maintain the shitty relationship or create distance. While that distance may provide much-needed relief from the chronic, insidious pain that defines dysfunctional families, it creates a slew of other problems - loneliness, a sense of emptiness, helplessness, and perhaps worst of all - hopelessness

Making the decision to create distance with a toxic biological family is never an easy decision. It's a strong taboo in our society. We live in a society that constantly reinforces the idea that we should tolerate any and all abusive behaviors because "blood is thicker than water."

Unfortunately, that's one of the most misquoted quotes there is. The actual quote is "the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb", meaning the bonds we create by choice are stronger than the bonds we have no say in. When confronted with a toxic family environment, the family we choose is a far stronger, more impactful "family" than the family we're given simply based on genetics.

As such, I strongly believe this misguided "family obligation" society forces upon us is among the most damaging beliefs we hold. Being socially shackled to people who do not provide the unconditional love and support all humans need is stunts our growth and potential. When those people actively harm us, it's simply unconscionable.

Choosing Your Own Family


If our given family cannot or will not provide what we need to survive and thrive, we have the power to create our own families. We can voluntarily choose the people who are willing and able to fulfill those familial needs of physical and emotional intimacy. 

The idea of "choosing your own family" is not new; historical records indicate the practice goes back as far as the first century. Over the centuries, this idea has went by many names - ritual kin, othermothers, alternative families, adopted families, voluntary kin... all describe a close-knit social unit we create.

The advantage of choosing your own family is obvious - we can choose members who are psychologically and emotionally healthy. We can choose people who build us up, not tear us down. We can choose people who treat us with respect and dignity, not people who use to to prop themselves up. We can choose people who bring us joy and happiness, not despair and misery. We even have good data supporting this idea.

The Tribe as a Chosen Family

A well-designed voluntary Tribe enriches the lives of the Tribe members. The Tribe provides safety, security, friendship, and most importantly - kinship. If the individual members of the Tribe are hand-picked to be trustworthy, humble, emotionally-healthy people driven by a genuine desire to help each other reach their full potential, a Tribe can serve as a perfect Chosen Family.

Why does such a Tribe serve as a great Chosen Family?

First, the Tribe members don't have to be there. Voluntary association, free of a misguided sense of societal, cultural, and legal obligation, matters. When people are there because they genuinely care about you, the bonds are far more meaningful.

Second, we can escape generational dysfunction. Far too many families have real, substantial problems that have been passed on through each successive generation. Problems like addiction and abuse pass from parent to child generation after generation. Breaking that chain often requires you to break free of the problematic family members and surround yourself with healthier friends.

Third, the Tribe lets us be ourselves. The Tribe is formed based on shared interests and like-mindedness. Tribes don't require us to conform to whatever outdated, misguided beliefs our biological family may have. Our Tribe shares our ideologies, which allow us to live real, authentic lives instead of creating a facade to create an appearance of normal. 

Fourth, the Tribe allows us to trust without being repeatedly burned. Dysfunctional families usually involve a pattern of sucking you into a trap of demanding trust, then breaking said trust. This usually happens as a function of obligation - your biological family will exploit the social pressures to maintain those familial bonds no matter what. Given the Tribe is voluntary, a breach of trust can and often does result in expulsion from the Tribe. As such, maintaining trust matters in the Tribe.

Tribes can give us all kinds of things that matter may be absent in biological families - providing protection and security, giving us a feeling of belonging, fostering emotional closeness, and giving us social support.

Our Tribe isn't explicitly designed to be a Chosen Family for all our members, but it does serve the purpose nicely. When Shelly and I were bumming around the country a few years back and when we eventually settled in San Diego, we learned a lot of life lessons. Living those lessons led us to develop some wonderful friendships that, for the first time in our lives, made us understand the value of surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who enrich our lives. Importantly, our circle of friends provided a foundation to embark on adventures. A safe-haven, if you will. When we settled in Western Colorado, we continued that trend. The people we befriended here created the foundation of what has become the foundation of the Tribe we're building. For us, our Tribe IS our Chosen Family, though the Tribe may not serve that same role for every member. Our Tribe, after all, provides all kinds of positive benefits beyond being a surrogate family. While our Tribe is still in its infancy, its certainly enriched our lives in an incredibly positive way.


We can't choose our biological family. For some of us, the luckiest of us, this works out perfectly fine. Our biological families provide all the unconditional love and support we need to survive and thrive. For the rest of us, though, our biological family may not be enough. Or they my be outright toxic. In that case, we have the power to choose our own family. A well-designed and deliberately-constructed Tribe can serve as an excellent Chosen Family. Yes, it's a little unorthodox, but it's your life. YOU get to make the rules.

Interested in exploring this idea more? Join our discussions in our Facebook group, which serves as a literal Think Tank for this project.

Live in the Western Colorado area and interested in forming your own Tribe or joining ours? Shoot me an email at eldiablobjj "at"



Post Script - If you're really interested in the academic aspects of voluntary kinship, check out this paper by Braithwaite and Wachernagel Bach (2010).

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Project Summary: The 30,000 Foot View 2.1


This is the second version of the summary. The first version (1.0) can be found here. This second version updates how the the Tribe and the School are framed within the Project, a change in our structural organization, the implementation of the club model (officers, meetings, committees, etc.), and a few other details.

This post outlines the plan, structure, and elements of our jiu jitsu and mma social club, which we refer to as "The Tribe." This plan is currently in development. As such, every aspect of this post may change in future versions.  

We're a jiu jitsu club made up of diverse but open-minded, adventurous people who are united by three motives: our desire for personal self-improvement, desire to help each other be safe and secure, and our desire to have fun with good friends.
  • Personal self-improvement is accomplished by empowering each other to become the best version of ourselves possible.
  • Safety and security is accomplished through assisting each other in times of need, making each other more physically, mentally, and emotionally resilient, and helping each other prepare for bad situations.
  • Finally, we have fun by treating training like play, holding frequent social events, and going on cool, exciting adventures together.

So that's the tentative elevator pitch. The club is what we refer to as the "Tribe." We're like a motorcycle club, but instead of riding bikes, we train jiu jitsu (and mma.) From this point on, I'll use "Tribe" and "Club" interchangeably. Aside from the tribal organizational aspect, the Tribe also runs a School (tentatively called "Outlaws University") that operates as a private, for-profit business that operates the gym where we train and offers classes in three major domains:
1. Health and fitness (including martial arts)
2. Primitive skills (survival and "frontier" skills)
3. Personal self-improvement
The profits from the school fund the physical space utilized by the Tribe for training and social interactions (kinda like our clubhouse), provide funding for the Tribe's adventures, and provide some income for the Founding Members of the Tribe. Tribe members basically get the benefits of belonging to a "family" of good, fun people that will meet a whole bunch of their needs (think Maslow's hierarchy.)

Guiding Principles

The Club's guiding principles include:

  • Teach what you know, learn what you need. We take a collaborative approach to martial arts training where our members’ expertise and past experience is highly valued. 
  • Training is a fun, socially-immersive event. We take our arts much more seriously than we take ourselves. We fully embrace the psychological value of laughter and play.  
  • Self-improvement and resiliency. We make each other better, tougher people.  
  • Competition and cooperation go hand in hand. Iron sharpens iron. The harder we push each other, the better the training partners we create, the better we get ourselves.
  • Community matters. We value our club, the friends of the club, and our wider community in the Montrose area. We want to foster a community with good jobs, strong families, safe neighborhoods, and a vibrant culture.

The Current Lay of the Land

Currently, we have a 3,000 square foot jiu jitsu and mma gym (El Diablo Combatives) in Montrose, Colorado, which has been operated by Shelly and I for about 16 months. Montrose has about 20,000 residents in the town and another 15-20,000 in the surrounding county. We're located about half way between Denver and Salt Lake City, an hour south of Grand Junction, Colorado, and about 45 miles north of the San Juan Mountains.

We operate the gym with a fairly standard martial arts school model where we offer yearly, six month, and monthly memberships for individuals or families (parents and their minor children.) We also sell ten class punch cards. 

We have six coaches, but we embrace a "share what you know" collaborative model that encourages everyone taking on teaching and mentoring roles. We have about twenty-five students, most of which have been with us since the beginning. Our student numbers are slowly ticking up, but COVID is still suppressing our numbers. Part of the rationale behind this project is to dramatically expand our student base by offering a wide variety of classes, workshops, and seminars. Based on market research, we have just under 1,000 potential students in our area.

Financially, the gym has not been profitable since we shut down for three months last winter/ spring due to the pandemic. We're getting closer to the black, though. Aside from COVID, we were also negatively affected by our last two buildings being sold, which forced us to move twice in three months.

We have two other jiu jitsu gyms in our town. While it reduces our student base, it gives our community several options as each gym has a distinct culture.

Who is Involved

Currently, our team consists of myself, Shelly, Brandy and Brandon Dalton, and Heather Keppen, which we designate as the "Founding Members." Prior to bringing the other three folks on board, I had mostly done the planning and testing of ideas on my own, though I regularly solicited advice and ran ideas by two of our coaches and a few other members. 

The new additions to the planning team has been a hugely important development as it's brought a lot of really good ideas to the table. Importantly, this has allowed me to solve some problems without having to run experiments, which is incredibly time-consuming.

We may add more people to the planning team, but because the Founding Team is also the beginning of the "Tribe" (discussed below), we carefully vet who we involve. The vetting process will consist of a "Prospect" phase and an "Apprentice" phase, which is intended to fully vet new members. The qualities we're looking for are based on the "Humble, Hungry, and People Smart" model explained in the book "The Ideal Team Player", a complimentary skill set and personality type (as measured with the Myers-Briggs-inspired test at, and most importantly, trustworthy people who express an interest in socializing with each other. After all, we'll be spending a lot of time together. I discuss this in more detail below.


The Organizational Model



Our organizational model starts with the "Tribe" we're naming "El Diablo Tribe" (members referred to as "The Diablos"), which is a social club organized around our shared love of the combat sports in general and jiu jitsu and mma in particular. The Club is governed by a constitution and bylaws, which are currently in draft form. The Club is run by a Council made up of elected officers. Our current Officers include The Chief (president), General Manager (vice president), Secretary, Treasurer, Social Liaison, and Competition Director. 

The Club maintains the School, which serves multiple purposes.   

First, it allows the Club members to share knowledge and skills with each other, which helps each member improve as a person.  

Second, by offering lasses to non-members, we generate revenue for the Club.  

Third, this allows the Club to maintain a physical space for training and socializing (a clubhouse, of sorts.) The School offers classes in three subject areas:

  • Health and Fitness. This includes all combat sports and programs related to strength, conditioning, flexibility, and nutrition.
  • Primitive Skills. This includes "pioneer skills", survival skills, and other practical hands-on life skills. 
  • Self-Improvement. This includes anything not covered in the other two subject areas that make us the best version of ourselves possible. 


Details of the Tribe

In the most simple terms, the 'Tribe" is just a collection of people who like each other enough to spend time doing stuff together, and organized as a Club.

The purpose of the Tribe is to provide for the five different things humans need to maximize our potential (yay Maslow!) Based on what we've discovered from fMRI brain data, we're pretty sure 'tribalism" is hard-wired in our brains. It's what allowed our ancestors to survive as cooperative social units. As I discussed in my Tribal Hypothesis post, forming the right kind of Tribe with the right kind of members can solve a whole slew of problems we face as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. In short, forming tribes is probably the answer to solving the bitter divisiveness that occurs as a function of the relative safety, comfort, and technological advancement of modern society. 

I've spent A LOT of time studying the history, psychology, and sociology of tribalism, and I've spent even more time observing different types of "tribes" and how they affect the members and their wider communities. I've also spent a lot of time observing people who do not have tribes. Without reservation, I can confidently say almost all humans absolutely NEED a tribe. The problem with our modern world is a great deal of the options we have for tribes are piss-poor. Many are simply poorly-disguised marketing plays (think "people with Apple stickers on the back of their car), quite a few are toxic (#MAGA and Amway), and a few are cults (Jonestown and Heaven's Gate.) Some are generally good, like most church congregations, fraternal organizations, or intentional communities and communes, but they're inherently ideologically exclusive. As I explain in the Tribal Hypothesis post linked above, that seriously limits their ability to survive and thrive, or even provide what is necessary to address all five of Maslow's fundamental human needs.

The other major problem with most of our tribal options in the modern world is leadership that ranges from mediocre to god-awful. Good leaders require a host of skills, which Jocko Willinck addresses in his excellent book "Extreme Ownership." But one skill in particular is absolutely essential to lead a tribe - the ability to really empathize with each and every member of the tribe. If an effective tribe has the required ideological diversity, the leadership must understand everyone. The reason is simple - every decision made has to be both good for the tribe and good for every member. If that's impossible and a decision negatively affects the tribe in general or an individual member in particular, the leadership needs to be able to a) actually make that hard decision with compassion and kindness, and b) explain the rationale behind the decision to the member or members who are negatively affected in a way that doesn't destroy tribal harmony. This is no easy task, and really good leaders also need to be willing and able to enlist as much help as they need. For our ancestors, good leaders were apparent as they matured from childhood to adulthood. For us, identifying good leaders is a far more difficult task. 

Taking all this into consideration, how do we build THIS tribe? As it turns out, a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym is a wonderful social filter. For our tribe, we're looking for a few very specific characteristics:

  • We need people who have a sense of humor, prioritize having fun, and aren't overly prudish, hence our gym's name and goofy chicken logo (if people know the joke, they're always "our people") and the URL of this blog. This means we need to avoid the overly politically-correct and the people who don't laugh at dick jokes.
  • We need people free of serious mental illness, drama queens, or prima donas. All people create problems; that's the nature of social interactions. But some people cause GOOD problems, like "I should clean the house, but I really want to go watch the UFC fights with the Tribe!". Other people cause BAD problems, like intentionally stirring up drama because daddy didn't love them enough.
  • We need people who are open-minded enough to accept ideological differences. While we can improve acceptance over time, people who have an emotional attachment to extreme ideologies, which includes belief in conspiracy theories, is a non-starter. It helps that I personally tend to identify and scare off bigots and overly judgmental people pretty quickly.
  • We need people who genuinely enjoy socializing with the existing group beyond just practicing jiu jitsu.
  • We need people who are genuinely kind and selfless. Selfishness and tribal harmony are incongruent. 
  • We need people who are humble. Ego always leads to toxicity.
  • We need people who are people-smart. They need to be able to read the room and absolutely cannot have grating personalities. Sometimes we call this "emotional intelligence." 
  • We need people who are hungry. Specifically, they need to understand that the benefits they receive from tribalism is directly tied to their personal contributions to the tribe. The more you put in, the more you get out. And the better the tribe gets. With the right tribe and the right matching of skills, personality, and roles within the tribe, contributing to the tribe and receiving recognition from the tribe is incredibly intrinsically-motivating. 
  • We need people who bring tangible skills, knowledge, or complimentary personality traits that will help the tribe in some positive way, and be willing to contribute to the welfare and improvement of the Tribe. Tribes absolutely cannot have dead weight. Freeloaders who are capable-but-unwilling to contribute cannot be part of the Tribe.

Each and every one of these traits can be discovered after training with someone on the mats for a few months, usually far less. In general, people can be good training partners, but may not necessarily be good tribe candidates. As such, our vetting process will end up being rather extensive. It's important to note not all students in jiu jitsu classes are Tribe members; jiu jitsu is merely the shared interest that unites the Club.

If you're reading this with the goal of maybe starting your own tribe, note these are the traits WE look for. Shelly and I have spent a long time meeting a lot of different kinds of people. It also helped that Garrick, the guy who started the gym before we bought it, had already started recruiting a lot of people that had those very characteristics. We're intimately familiar with the kinds of people we love spending time with and what kinds of people we need to avoid. The exhaustive list is a function of experience and really knowing who we are and what we value. Your mileage may vary.

So what purpose does the Tribe serve? Beyond the meeting of human needs, the Tribe serves three basic functions - mutual aid, protection, and socialization. We help each other when help is needed, we protect each other when we face any kind of threat, and we have fun together. These three dimensions cover a lot of territory, so I won't go into the intricate details here. But generally, in good times, the Tribe helps each other navigate the little shit, often logistical in nature, that pops up. Like maybe picking up another Tribe members' kids from school because they had a minor emergency, or dog-sitting while another Tribe member goes on vacation. Fixing a leaky faucet. Giving advice on how to cook macaroni. Stuff like that. 

And of course, socializing. We're building the Tribe with the kind of people we want to be friends with,which creates a really cool, fun group. Making friends in the modern world, once you leave school anyway, is one of the more difficult aspects of adulthood I would not have anticipated. While we train with each other a lot, we've found adding in social events gives our group the opportunity to really get to know each other, which is a tremendous tool for developing new, lasting friendships. This is especially helpful for spouses and significant others who may not train.

In the bad times (think "complete breakdown of the social contract"), the Tribe functions more like the tribes that allowed our ancestors to survive. As I mentioned above, the reality of what this would look like is likely wayyyy different than what most prepper-minded people imagine. We're not likely going to have a scenario where we're holed up in a fortified bunker we have to defend against roving bands of marauders. While there is always an aspect of protecting your resources against bad people, the reality is the vast majority of society would organize in their own tribes, and those tribes will mostly work cooperatively. There would be occasional bad people and there would be some bad tribes. But humans under stress don't turn on each other en mass for the same reason animals rarely if ever kill their own species - self-preservation is baked into our DNA. We wouldn't be here if our survival instinct led the majority of us to be ruthless killers.

Having said that, the organization of the Tribe does factor in the aspect of power. If the shit hit the fan, it would be better to be the most powerful tribe instead of the weakest tribe. Given the "power" of a Tribe increases as a function of the individual members' ability to work cohesively in specialized tasks, the tribe that has the most practice at this will be the most powerful. Further, if that tribe is benevolent and already has a great working relationship with the surrounding community, that tribe has an awesome capacity to lead the entire community in a way that would maximize survival. Thrive, even. Further, any community that consists of a collection of united tribes would be an incredibly powerful check on dangerous, malevolent tribes or individuals. That's kinda the meta-strategy of the development of this Tribe. 


The Details of the School

We chose a School as the cornerstone of the Project because knowledge is a flexible, versatile, valuable commodity that has infinite scalability and many opportunities to develop passive income steams. It can provide immediate, tangible, inexhaustible value to the Tribe and the wider community, will bring people together from diverse backgrounds, and can be used as a tool to unify people socially. Given the present state of the country, this is something we desperately need. Finally, s long-time professional educators and coaches, this is an industry we know inside and out.

The School will differ from other "schools" in that the primary focus will be on practical skills more than academic skills, though we'll likely develop some geeky stuff, too. The practical skills will cover life skills that are useful to survive and thrive in the modern world, and may cover anything from how to create a resume to how to do basic car maintenance. Part of the motivation for this stems from my experiences as a public school teacher. As we've increased our academic focus, more practical skills have fallen by the wayside. We will fill that "Why didn't they teach me that in school?!?" void.

Aside from modern skills, we will also teach more primitive skills that our society is quickly losing, such as food preservation, raising animals, gardening, and so on. Part of the motivation stems from a genuine desire to preserve the work of those who came before us, and part of the motivation stems from a desire to make our community in general and Tribe in particular more resilient. We're engaging in disaster preparedness, but doing so in a way that addresses the most likely reality. If we study the history and psychology of social collapse, circumstances rarely if ever play out like a typical "prepper" believes. If the shit really does hit the fan, our world will look less like "Mad Max" and more like "Little House on the Prairie."

The School will also be an extension of the jiu jitsu and mma gym we're currently operating. Given combat sports are THE common thread for the Club, this is an integral part of the entire Project. We'll expand the classes offered in the beginning to include a few classes that will be taught by members of the Tribe. Currently, we offer adult Brazilian jiu jitsu and MMA classes, and a youth jiu jitsu class. In the near future we'll be adding a striking class, a competition class, a "yoga for jiu jitsu" class, and a women's boxing class.

In addition, we all have expertise in specific subjects outside the martial arts paradigm, so these will be the classes we offer initially to test things like scheduling, duration, payment plans, different ways to utilize our physical space, etc. The school will use a variety of different educational models ranging from universities to public schools to homeschooling. The ideas borrow heavily from community life enrichment schools and the free school movement. 

The school will be the primary revenue stream for the project, which will pay the bills, fund future expansion, and possibly provide an income stream to the Tribe Members. Will will probably use the Profit First financial model for operations, which is a Dave Ramsey-esque accounting system.

Long-term, the goal is to acquire land to develop the new aspects of the School that we cannot do in our current downtown location. This land will also be used for the Tribe's recreational activities. Specifically, it will allow us to teach a wider variety of primitive skills and develop an infrastructure that will assist the Tribe in social bonding and provide resources in difficult times.


As of this second version of the project summary, this is still a tentative plan that's currently in development. The collaboration with the Founding Members will likely tweak aspects of the plan, or even change major elements. In the coming weeks, we'll have A LOT of conversations about these topics. New perspectives will give me new insight. New, better ideas will likely replace that which I've planned. We have a group of smart people with a lot of different areas of expertise working on this project, and we have even more smart people in our Facebook Group who may have thoughts and ideas. If this entire concept interests you and you'd like to be part of the conservation, join the group!



Relevant Links

These are the posts I've written explaining more aspects of this project in greater detail.

The Theory Behind the Project

Why I Think This Idea Can Fix the Bullshit Divisions and Craziness We See in America Today

Why We Need Tribes in Our Lives

How Tribes Can Make Your Life Better

The Process We Use to Find the Right People for the Tribe


Friday, February 12, 2021

The Art of Living: My Personal Experiences with Making Plans Versus Embracing Serendipity


Years and years ago, I read one of my second-tier favorite books, "Rework".  It's a business book, but also contains a Hell of a lot of great life advice. Once such piece of advice has to do with making plans. Specifically, the silliness of making plans. The authors make the point that all planning is, really, just guessing. Jason Fried, one of the authors, makes the point in their blog Signal v. Noise. Since I first read this years ago, the idea has had a profound impact on how I approach life. 

Those who know me well know I LOVE strategic planning. I can spend every hour of every day researching and analyzing all kinds of variables to synthesize a plan for the future. Solving complex, seemingly-unsolvable problems with weird, synthesized, unorthodox solutions gives me the kind of deep, primal satisfaction I can't put into words. 

But there's an inherent problem with this "hobby." I'm continually planning for a future that may or may not come to fruition. More often than not, it's the latter. Life sometimes throws you curve balls. And sliders. And changeups. And forkballs that start off right over the plate, then drop off the table. Hell, sometimes life buzzes your head with a 98 mph heater. </pitching analogy>

Anyway, even the best-laid plans can get blown up by unforeseen circumstances. Because planning really IS guessing. When those circumstances are bad, it's not too difficult to adjust course a bit to navigate whatever hardships arise. That's the the crux of being resilient. That's the crux of developing plans that can adapt.

But what if those unforeseen circumstances are good

The Life Story, Summarized

Prior to 2003, I had a life plan. I had meandered through high school, went to college, got a job as a teacher, and had been planning to repeat the same year again and again, complete with the white picket fence life, until I retired. Then I planned on a retirement filled with woodworking or some other mundane hobby until death. It was the plan society (and everyone in my life at the time) expected me to follow. And I had obediently complied.

But then unforeseen circumstances hit, both really, really bad and really really good. Not too long after Columbia disaster, I was faced with a choice that would turn out to have, in retrospect, a profound impact on my future. I had to choose. Stick to my life plan, or, for the first time in my life, take a real chance and embrace serendipity

I made the choice that terrified me.

That entire life plan I had been following to the tee was absolutely shredded and, for the first time in my entire life, I realized I didn't have to live my life according to the detailed plan society gives us. We can make our own plans. 

Since that time, I've always had a plan for the future. A roadmap, if you will. Something to point me in a direction. But it's little more than that - a plan to head in a particular direction. That approach led to all kinds of unexpected adventures. I ran 100 mile races, wrote books, learned how to do Internet marketing, became a fame-ish barefoot runner, traveled the country in an RV for two years, took up Brazilian jiu jitsu and kickboxing, wrote extensively on sex, gender, and relationships, did a pro MMA fight, started an online men's group, became a real estate agent, make a bunch of lifelong friends, and did a few things I'm not putting in print. :-) 

Which brings us to the recent past.

When Shelly and I decided to leave San Diego, we knew where we wanted to live (Colorado's Western Slope), and we had a vague idea of what we wanted to accomplish (eventually buy a house, eventually open a jiu jitsu gym, enjoy the quiet solitude of a rural community, and maybe eventually start dabbling in homesteading.) That was our direction. But we were incredibly open to embracing whatever came along. We knew our openness to new experiences coupled with our tendency to do shit that terrifies us would likely present some interesting opportunities. 

Life hasn't disappointed. 

When we first arrived, the rental market was terrible, which forced us to buy a house immediately. That turned out to be an incredible investment. Then, due to scheduling, we changed the gyms and befriended the owner who had to leave town due to family circumstances. So we bought the gym. Shelly, a college business major and high school teacher, somehow ended up as a badass animal control officer. At our gym, we've met multiple interesting, amazing friends who have enriched our lives in ways I never could have imagined. Then COVID came along and basically destroyed our business financially, but also brought a few people into our lives who, thanks to their sheer awesomeness, have taken our lives in a direction I would have never foreseen and, relevant to this blog, have inspired this very Tribe/ School project.

I've spent most of the last seventeen years occasionally reflecting on my life and the countless amazing adventures I've experienced. Sometimes that includes imagining the alternate reality where, back in 2003, I hadn't embraced serendipity. What if I hadn't made the choice that terrified me? What would my life look like right now, today? The thought of that rattles me to my core

We're All Going to Die


The Columbia disaster. That was THE event in 2003 that changed everything for me. As far back as I can remember, I've always been enamored with space. When I was in third grade, I checked out a book on the planets of our solar system every week for the entire year. In seventh grade, myself and two other students placed second in the nation in a contest NASA ran to design a moon colony. First place would have won us a trip to Space Camp. Even into adulthood, I watched shuttle launches. And re-entries. Including Columbia's last trip.

I was taking a mental health day from my teaching job in Michigan. I had been feeling pretty burned out. I hadn't gotten out of bed by mid-morning, and was watching TV and absent-minded flipping through channels. I came across one of the cable news channels covering Columbia's re-entry. About ten minutes into watching the live coverage, Columbia broke apart over Texas. I can't quite describe how I felt - it was some combination of disbelief, grief, and... numbness. I don't know how long I laid there blankly staring at the TV. I have no idea what the anchors were talking about. All I remember is a thought, which started as a tiny spark deep in my mind, slowly grew into an epiphany I had never really considered before.

I was going to die. 

I have no idea why the Columbia disaster triggered that first confrontation with my own mortality. But in those moments, my life forever changed. I assessed my life up to that point and came to the disturbing conclusion that I had never actually lived life. EVERYTHING I had done, every decision I had made, were done because someone else directed me. I had chosen the safe route at every turn in my life. And I got extremely emotional. Even writing about it triggers those emotions as if it happened yesterday.

The real kicker, though? I started assessing the things I seriously regretted NOT doing. Every time I took the safe route, there was an alternative route that promised some sort of adventure. And it was a looooong list. And, in light of my newfound sense of my own mortality, I started imaging myself on my death bed. And that growing mountain of regret I had been curating. 

That was the scariest thing I had ever imagined

A Life Worth Living

That fear of regret on my deathbed has turned out to be an incredibly reliable test for each and every life decision I make. When confronted with a choice between safe and comfortable and scary and adventurous, I ***always*** choose the route that terrifies me. YOLO! And it almost always results in something amazing. Even if it turns out poorly, it still gives me the opportunity to really grow as a person. Regardless of the outcome, it leaves me free of that god-awful crippling regret that defined the first 27-ish years of my life.

In the seventeen years since, I've truly lived a life worth living. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have no regrets. 

But I sure as Hell don't want to die tomorrow. In those seventeen years, with Shelly as my co-conspirator, I have truly learned how to LOVE life. And that always involves choosing the terrifying choice. As I sit here right now, today, we find ourselves on the precipice of all kinds of grand escapades, including this project and other terrifying-but-potentially amazing adventures. 

Magic happens when we open ourselves up to new experiences and have the courage to do that which terrifies us. 

So yeah... I have a plan for the future. But that plan really is just a guess. It's a direction. But as the distant and very recent past has proven, embracing serendipity is how you live a life free of regret. We're all going to die. When we're on our death bed and we're assessing the lives we've lived, remembering our adventures will be a hell of a lot better than wallowing in regret over the adventures we turned down because we were too scared.

Now go out and make the scary choices. Embrace adventure. Live a life worth living. 



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Happiness Isn't the Goal


Late last week, I had a conversation with a friend about the merits of tribalism, which of course is one of the main topics of this blog. The friend asked me a question I hadn't considered:

"How would a Tribe make you happy?"

I had to take a step back and actually ponder the answer. It's something I hadn't considered. Not because I don't think Tribes can bring happiness, but rather because happiness is a shitty life goal. 

In a nutshell, we're not hard-wired to chase happiness. Evolution doesn't care if we're happy. Evolution cares that we, in order of importance, a) survive, and b) have sex. Those two biological directives create the foundation for every other motivation and emotion we experience. "Happiness" simply doesn't factor into the equation. 

Don't get me wrong, happiness is a good thing. It feels good to feel happy. Our brains likely flood with dopamine, serotonin, maybe even some norepinephrine and endorphines. Makes us giddy. Makes us repeat whatever led to the happy feelings in the first place. 

But "happiness" is not sustainable, mostly thanks to a cruel mistress known as hedonistic adaptation. Or sometimes know as the "hedonic treadmill." Whenever conditions align that allow us to feel happy, our body soon adjusts (thanks homeostasis!) to that level of happiness by returning us to our normal slightly melancholic, slightly empty, state of vague wanting. Which causes us to chase a slightly more extreme situation that produces our next existential high. 

Yes, happiness is basically a drug.

And like any drug, chasing the high it creates is a fool's errand. Unfortunately, we live in a capitalist, individualistic world where material possessions and status symbols define our inherent value as human beings. We all have a drive to reach the top of the socioeconomic summit thanks to that aforementioned drive to screw. Since the agricultural revolution, the dude with the most "stuff" has been perceived as the highest value male, thus having access to the most desirable women. It's Ladder Theory 101. Or at least a big part of Ladder Theory. 

So we're incredibly prone to marketing that "sells" us happiness... if only we buy whatever the hell we're being sold. When we purchase anything, we're flooded with "happiness" at our purchase. In many cases, we get to show off our purchase to others, induce a little envy, and maybe move our social status up a tenth of a percent. Which quickly wears off, usually in a matter of days. So we buy the next thing that'll deliver that high.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is basically the reason we need to rent 1.9 BILLION square feet of storage units - we run out of room for the stuff we bought to make us feel good by impressing other people we probably don't like all that much in the first place. 

In summary, chasing happiness is a sucker's bet. 

So What DO We Chase?

In complex terms, the Tribe is set up to satisfy every level of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:


Each level of the pyramid contains both primary motivators (versus secondary motivators), all of which are also intrinsic motivators (versus extrinsic motivators.) This means they're infinitely sustainable (they're immune to hedonistic adaptation), infinitely scalable (we can use them to accomplish any goal, no matter how small or how big), and can be applied to individuals, a small group within the Tribe, or the Tribe as a whole. Any given behavior a member of the Tribe engages in within the context of the Tribe will likely fall on some level of the pyramid, thus fulfilling that particular need. When that need is met, we feel satisfied.

That's a pretty geeky explanation, so we have an even simpler explanation. Before I go on, you absolutely must read this article from the originator of this idea- Mark Manson:

The goal of the Tribe is to create the kinds of problems the Tribe in general and the individual members in particular like to solve. We do this mostly by focusing on things that matter. The Tribe's money-making "division" is a school, which create problems like "how can we teach people the stuff they want to learn in the best way possible?" Who doesn't love solving problems that make our world a better place?

Our Tribe doesn't try to make the members happy. The Tribe fulfills our needs by creating the problems we love to solve. THAT is how the Tribe "makes us happy."


Post Script: If you dig that mark Manson article above, you definitely need to check out his EXCELLENT book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck." It's a continuation of this blog post he wrote years ago synthesized with the idea from that linked article in the post above. This book will be part of our Facebook Group's Book Club we'll be reading in the near future.


Thursday, February 4, 2021

Our Quality of Life Statements


Our Project utilizes the Holistic Context decision-making framework. Part of this process involves developing a list of "Quality of Life" statements that are agreed-upon by all Members. This is our list, which was first developed at the first meeting of our Founding Members on 2/3/2021.

In short, these are the values we hold.

  • We have rich, supportive relationships with our fellow Tribe members.
  • We recognize our fellow Tribe members’ successes and contributions (social recognition.)
  • We challenge each other to become the best version of ourselves (personal challenge.)
  • We dedicate ourselves to self improvement, growth, and continual learning.
  • We value freedom and resist unnecessary barriers that prevent us from exploring all life has to offer.
  • We have fun.
  • We assure the safety and security of our fellow Tribe members.
  • We live authentically by assuring our words and actions align with our beliefs and values.
  • We make a positive difference in the Tribe, our School, our Community, and the World.
  • We are financially stable and generate enough income to allow us to grow through experiences and adventures.
  • We are physically and emotionally healthy.
  • We act in a way to assure we have clean air, water, food, and shelter.
  • We achieve healthy Life/Work balance.
  • We are family-inclusive.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Our Tribe is Our Port: When the Sea is Angry, the Tribe Keeps Us Safe

In an earlier post, I laid out the tangible benefits (and real costs) of belonging to a Tribe.The Tribe, in a sense, is kinda like a port on a small island. Normally, all of us are venturing out into the sea of life, carving out a living, raising kids, creating cool adventures... stuff like that. Our modern world is filled with amazing opportunities, and we should spend as much time as we possibly can exploring those opportunities.

But it gets a lot easier to really explore our world if we know we have a reliable "home base" to use as a foundation. A place to return to when needed. The Tribe is essentially a port. When the journey of life gets hectic, the Tribe is there to provide for us and protect us. It's a safe place to refuel, fix broken stuff, and most importantly, have fun

All those benefits I outline in that post I linked to in the first sentence align with some aspect of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which is intentional and the reason I love the Tribe model of social organization. The very organization of the Tribe puts the individual members in an excellent position to do great things because they're routinely getting all their needs met. Let's walk through each need, starting at the bottom of the pyramid.

Physiological Needs: Under normal circumstances, the Tribe isn't going to be providing these things, but the Tribe WILL be an important safety net if a Member of the Tribe isn't getting these needs met for whatever reason. Knowing you'll always have something to eat and drink and a warm place to sleep alleviates a nagging concern many of us have floating around in the backs of our heads, and hopefully gives us a baseline of security to allow us to take bigger risks

Safety Needs: By virtue of modern society and our effective law enforcement infrastructure, safety and security is one of those needs we frequently take for granted... until we're in a situation where we're not safe and secure. But there are times when we can't call the police for a variety of reasons. In that case, it helps having a Tribe who'll have your back. There's power and safety in numbers, especially when the Tribe trains all the time. 

Belongingness and Love Needs: Socializing with friends is one of the reasons I was deeply interested in this project in the first place. Once you reach adulthood and start having kids, friendships get logistically difficult. A major aspect of the Tribe are the social connections among the members. Given our vetting process, the Tribe itself is filled with kind, friendly, socially-intelligent, funny people who don't take themselves too seriously. In short, the Tribe is pretty decent at making friends and having fun. As you navigate life, casual friends come and go, but the Tribe offers a foundation of lasting friendships. 

Esteem Needs: The Tribe is, by design, a group of people who care for each other. These connections provide a powerful feedback loop where all of your significant accomplishments get recognized and celebrated by a group of people who respect you and admire you. No matter how good you are at internal validation, this kind of love and support is incredibly powerful and a prerequisite to taking that next step to...

Self-Fulfillment Needs: This is that motivation for personal growth and to reach your full potential. The Tribe's explicit goal is to make our world a better place by making our individual members the best people they can be. In a perfect world, all of us would be doing this all of the time. But you really do need every one of the other lower needs to be met first. This is where the purpose of the Tribe really shines. By providing a basis for each of the four lower needs, our Tribe Members can spend significantly more time becoming the best version of themselves possible. 

There you have it. The Tribe is a Port of sorts, providing our Members with everything they need to survive and thrive. 



Project Summary - The 30,000 Foot View - Version 3.0

  This is the third version of the outline for this project. To see how these ideas have evolved as we've developed them, read the first...