when an individual is first undertaking something at the edge of their ability it is often helpful to be surrounded by other individuals doing the same. it is good to have teachers, people who have been there before, and peers who are engaged with the struggle at a similar level. we are comparative creatures and benefit from the camaraderie of suffering. we can look around, and in that moment that we wish to quit can see that thought mirrored in our peers, and also see that they are still going. the group can drag the lagging individual up, force them to find ways to work harder, and smarter, and eventually overcome.
because overcoming is the point. most of us do not travel with a pack, we do not have the luxury of constantly being surrounded by honest and hard workers. many of us face our worst challenges with only the voices in our head to keep us company and that fact must be respected and reflected in out training. remember that the group exists to push you beyond yourself, to protect you and inspire you and to give you the confidence and the skill to exist on that level apart from everyone else. if your performance is hampered by training alone, than that is a sign of an imbalance and should be addressed accordingly. the group is a tool, a stage, a station… we do our time and progress. not that we should abandon our pack, just be sure you are able to stand on your own.
ideally groups are designed, comprised of individuals with certain qualities, qualities chosen to enhance the entirety, to balance and expose and encourage each member. the wrong combination of qualities can hinder growth, while the proper mix will bring a tangible force, a knowing. be mindful of your surroundings, and if you are lucky (and strategic) enough to build that community, take full advantage of it. embrace it. internalize it.
what purpose does your community serve?
what do you bring to your pack?
what do you take from it?
plan accordingly… act deliberately.