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Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

The paradox of the modern age is that we’ve never been more connected, yet we’ve never felt more isolated. I read lately that returning to physical catchups after extended time in lockdown is like scuba diving. We need to rise to the surface slowly so we don’t get the bends. As we return to collaborations, shindigs, and gatherings, it’s worth being intentional about our tribe.

Which are the relationships that really help you make the change you want to see in the world?

Write them down.

Consider: how many real relationships can we actually maintain?

Practice: identifying the sages, supporters, sponsors, and sparring partners in your closest circles.

Decide to: quietly review relationships with a cultivate or cull mindset.

Building our tribe

According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, the ‘magic number’ is 150; a figure now known as Dunbar’s number.[i] He became convinced that there was a ratio between brain sizes and group sizes through his studies of non-human primates. Through his studies, Robin concluded that the size of the neocortex – the part of the brain associated with cognition and language – is linked to the size of a cohesive social group. He and his colleagues found remarkable consistency around the number 150.

According to the theory, the tightest circle has just five people: our loved ones. That’s followed by successive rings of 15 (our extended family; good friends), 50 (friends), 150 (meaningful contacts), 500 (acquaintances) and 1500 (people you can recognise). People move in and out of these circles, but the idea is that space has to be carved out for any new entrant.

Thank you to everyone who’s joined our now 15,000+ strong community (Dunbar’s number for movement-making!) of Easy Tiger and Love Mondays readers. We appreciate your readership. If you’d like to help us spread the word, why not share Love Mondays with a friend?

Love your Mondays