If you ask an older adult about their greatest regrets, they’ll probably tell you they regret not spending more time with loved ones, and spending too much time on work. As they near the end of their lives, they attest more and more that relationships matter most. And yet so many of us remain focused on professional goals rather than the relationships closest to us. Hopefully, we can learn from the regrets of others and embrace the power of relationships now as one of the most important aspects of a life well-lived. This is especially important for leaders of mastermind groups as they help each member become the best and most fully realized version of themselves.
In Western culture, we are often taught to overlook the importance of family, friendships, and relationships because of the emphasis placed on individual growth towards material success. Our education system focuses on accumulating knowledge and skills that you can apply to your career. However, students are rarely taught about the tradition of philosophical thought in different cultures, and how to be introspective enough to decide which values are ultimately most important to them.
Part of a complete education should be finding the courage to ask profound questions so that students can arrive at their own personal philosophical conclusions. This way, hopefully, we’ll have fewer people with regrets at the end of their lives.
Uniting through our Common Humanity
When individuals engage in an honest process of introspection, which often only happens later in life, many arrive at similar conclusions. One of the most crucial values that you will realize is of utmost importance when you really think deeply, is your connection with others, especially those that you love.
This idea might not sound altogether new to you, since David Osborn and Pat Hiban wrote about it extensively in their book Tribe of Millionaires. Through their writing, Osborn and Hiban made clear that your relationships with those in your tribe are not only the most important factor for material success, but also for spiritual fulfillment.
Through meaningful and profound connections with others, you can more clearly understand your deepest passions and purpose. In this sense, other people in your tribe act as a mirror reflecting parts of your personality and spirit you may have overlooked. This dynamic is one that Osborn and Hiban referred to as the connection effect.
The connection effect is doubly important for you and all mastermind leaders because it provides the foundation for your group and its members to have meaningful relationships with one another. One of the most powerful impacts of a mastermind group is that it allows people to truly and vulnerably connect with others without fear of judgment. Although this process is quite rare for many in our Western culture, it remains one of the cornerstones of physical and emotional health.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for specific ways to initiate this process in your mastermind members and even yourself.
The Importance of Community
We all know that meaningful relationships make us feel more alive and emotionally vibrant. But you might be surprised to find these benefits even extend to the physical realm. In fact, several scientific studies and meta-analyses have found a strong correlation between individuals’ social networks and their longevity. In other words, deep social bonds and a sense of community make you not only more satisfied with your life, but also likely to live longer!
Some of the longest-living populations in the world include Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy, Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Ikaria, Greece. Common among them all is a strong cultural emphasis on family and community relationships. While diet and genetics also play a big role, it’s a mistake to assume that lifestyle choices are completely separate from community relationships. One obvious example is that for many of these populations, a strong cultural emphasis is put on cooking and eating together with friends and family. This includes the ritual of sharing fresh, often plant-based meals which allow for powerful social bonds to form.
Perhaps even more powerful than social rituals such as eating together is the act of intentionally meeting others with the express purpose of sharing yourself and forming profound relationships. That’s where a mastermind group comes in.
Since modern culture often leaves us feeling isolated, mastermind groups are the perfect way to meet with others to purposefully build and cultivate a tribe. In this sense, a mastermind group can serve as the modern-day campfire: a place where everyone in a tribe can come together to share stories, help each other, and impart wisdom.
Through this process of connecting with others, you and your mastermind members will be able to look past their own individual and egotistic struggles to see the bigger picture and find out what truly inspires them.
How can you, as a mastermind leader, take advantage of the connection effect in the weeks to come? Learn how to reflect the best parts of others back to them, and learn from what others share with you. Don’t wait until the end of life to invest deeply into relationships. This will help you and your members grow as professionals to be sure, but more importantly, you’ll cultivate greater life satisfaction.
Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more tips on how to use the connection effect to supercharge your mastermind group and change the lives of its members.