Woody Allen once said "Eighty percent of success is showing up." Some versions say that 80% of life is showing up.
I was listening to the TED Radio Hour when I heard Simon Sinek say the following:
Trust is a feeling, a distinctly human experience. Simply doing everything that you promise you're going to do does not mean people will trust you. It just means you're reliable. And we all have friends who are total screw-ups, and yet, we still trust them. Trust comes from a sense of common values and beliefs.
And the reason trust is important is because when we are surrounded with people who believe what we believe, we're more confident to take risks. We're more confident to experiment, which requires failure, by the way. We're more confident to go off and explore knowing that there is someone from within our community, someone who believes what we believe, someone we trust and who trusts us will watch our back, help us when we fall over and watch our stuff and look after our children while we're gone. Our very survival depends on our ability to surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe.
And there it is — human sociality in a nutshell. Belief systems are arbitrary and often delusional, but it doesn't matter because it's the shared sameness that counts. It's the group itself that counts because our very survival depends on our ability to surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe. That's how evolution designed us.
I discussed this in the third Flatland essay, but everything I've read and thought about and observed since then leads me to think that I have consistently underestimated the centrality of social instincts in human behavior. A re-reading of Matthew Lieberman''s book Social has revealed some deep stuff I missed the first time around. Other sources have confirmed it.
Here's a video to see you into the weekend.