The Theory of Association: Change Your Outcome by Changing Your Circle


I ended the previous article by a sang froid response of Christopher Nolan on his attitude towards email and the other technologies that doesn’t matter to him.

if something is not helping you to become world class, then get that hell out of your way!

Christopher Nolan deliberately chooses his environment to create what he wants to.
Not only the virtual environment but also the kind artists he involves in his films. Most of the time he included Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Cillian Murphy in his cast. Also the Warner Bros Movies as the production company for many of his movies including the Batman trilogy, Prestige, Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk.
He did so, not just because they are easy to work with, but because they play at a different level of the game when It comes to film making.
It elevates Nolan’s work as the director and the outcome was always a world class movie.

Theory of Association

I have been thinking about why some people produce a remarkable work where the people of their same skill didn’t.
This is something I would like to call as Theory of Association.

Your circle determines your outcome. Change the circle so you change the outcome

Seth Godin wrote a few lines about it in his blog 8 years ago.
In it he says,

Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with.

And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes.

And the changes are what you become.

What interests me is his choice of the word “collision”!
In past our ancestors had to play around with only three category of tribes in total.
The social tribe, the work tribe and the religious tribe.
But right now, it’s not the same anymore!
We are all connected more than ever and we play around with many tribes online knowingly and unknowingly(may be more accurate).
Take a look at all those groups of people you are hanging around online. The facebook groups, the snapchat groups, the whatsapp groups and what not!

Your Browsing history is your new zip code!

In the past the zip code could have talked almost everything about your local and about you. But it doesn’t matter anymore!
Your Browsing history is your new zip code.
It’s the new virtual neighborhood you are hanging around now. It’s the neighborhood where the new collisions are happening.
Your original local is just a place to swear when someone cut you off the right in the traffic! Those people in our neighborhood doesn’t matter to us anymore and those tribes are less relevant for us now.

Choose the associations wisely to make meaningful collisions

Choosing slow people or tribe make you slow too. They are slow because they don’t want any mistakes to be made.
You will never make any mistake too but you will be slow to ship your outcome.
Choosing people who are much more counseling and talks about the deep human values makes your business more human if you want to be like that!
But I always go for faster people because they are fast to ship their idea and make a hell lot of mistakes. I don’t care about the mistakes. What I care about is I ship an outcome more often than others. I am creating something and not waiting long enough for someone to do that for me!
It’s all a choice. You cannot dream about that thing where you are hanging around with the circle of people that doesn’t add anything to your outcome. Make meaningful collisions to make associations that changes you and eventually produce an outcome of your dream!

Christian Bale’s rant during the filming of Terminator Salvation is popular on youtube. He freaked out to a film technician who tried to behave in an unprofessional way. From the transcript appeared on the telegraph, he ended up his ballistic encounter by saying these words

—– sake man, you’re amateur.You do it one more ——- time and I ain’t walking on this set if you’re still hired. I’m ——- serious. You’re a nice guy. You’re a nice guy, but that don’t ——- cut it when you’re ——- around like this on set.

I won’t say what Bale did was great but what one of the crew later explained to a reporter about Christian Bale’s behavior was this

When you are working with Christian Bale, you need to level up your game!

It’s evident from how much of a phenomenal actor Bale was able to become throughout his career.
He intentionally chose his collisions and changed the outcome to become world class!

Photo by ( Kaique Rocha )