There is no winning at most of what we do. Yet, most of us – including me, play as if there is a way to win at relationships, money, and community.

Over the last two weeks, I listened to three different podcasts about very different topics:

  1. Money, currency, and relationships.
  2. Finite Vs. Infinite Games
  3. Sportsmanship

Yet, each one got me thinking about relationships. I’m still processing, but I want to bring you into the conversation because it seems timely, relevant, and mindset shifting.

  1. Listening to Emotional Currency: How Money Shapes Human Relationships from the Hidden Brain podcast, I discovered insights about money and relationships. It turns out that societies did not move from economies based on barter to currency. Instead, we have moved from relationship-based economies to transactional marketplaces.
  2. Simon Sinek, the author of Start With Why and one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time, shared his insights from his new book, The Infinite Game, during a Jordan Harbinger podcast interview. Simon’s ideas gave me words to begin to describe how I’m feeling about many leaders. Many leaders operate as if there is a way to win at business, work, or politics when in fact, relationships and connections are more important than trying to “win” at a game that has no endpoint.
  3. Listening to Seth Godin, one of my favorite authors and the host of the Akimbo podcast, he dug into the topic of winning at all costs. The opposite would be sportsmanship. In a recent blog post, Seth wrote, “There’s always someone who is more willing to play the short-term game than you are. Someone who is willing to cut more corners, send a more urgent text, borrow against the future, ignore the side effects, abuse trust and corrupt the system–somehow justifying that short-term hustle with a rationalization (usually a selfish one) about how urgent it is.”

These three thought-provoking works also reminded me of the work of one of the three MKP Founders, Bill Kauth and his partner Zoe Alowan, on tribes, community, and family of choice. They are learning by doing and teaching how to form and live in a deeply bonded group, which they call a tribe.

Ultimately, I’m grateful for the many circles, communities, and relationships I’m a part of because I know I’m not alone. I have a safety net, and I’m able to lend a hand up when other people need one too. And thus, I can take more emotional risks and seek to make a more significant, more positive impact in the world.

Perhaps this has been the essential gift of insight I’ve gotten from being a part of the ManKind Project.

Go Answer the Call