Extract written for “Join the Vikasa Tribe” Chapter from forthcoming book “Happiness is a Choice”

“We are much stronger together and this is something becoming increasingly more obvious as the world’s great problems become increasingly more urgent. The issues of mental health, sickness, inequality, environmental crises, political corruption and general disconnectedness can only be solved by bringing people together, not widening the gap further by shutting ourselves away and sticking within our small, local boundaries.

The world has gone down the route of being all about the individual, all about looking after number one, all about dog-eat-dog and survival of the fittest, for too long. It has led to a world of selfishness, competition and fighting for resources. Of creating nations and political cliques and dogmas and sects and tribes which oppose each other, concentrating on the differences and aiming to solidify them or persecute based on them, rather than our similarities.

Yes, we are a tribe too! But one of inclusiveness and one which seeks to grow and is open to anyone, regardless of nationality, race or any of these outdated forms of separatism, which are no longer serving us as humans. The Vikasa movement ultimately is about growing this tribe and bringing in as many new people as possible, regardless of where that person started from. In that respect, it’s a tribe unlike most in the traditional sense.

Our aim is to raise the consciousness of the planet. Whilst this might sound a little ambiguous or outlandish or spiritual fluff to some, put simply it means getting people to become more aware – more conscious of their thoughts, feelings and actions. Most people are living their lives on rails – blindly running through life with seemingly little choice about where they go and what they do. They are just existing in fact, not truly living. They are not aware, not conscious of their day-to-day activities and so cannot see the choices and opportunities which are available for them to change course into something better; healthier, more meaningful, more fulfilling.

But every person who does eventually become more aware, more conscious and ultimately, happier, is another person who now is able to help others to raise their consciousness. In this way, step by step, person by person, we set examples to others in a tangible way, rather than just theory, such as reading about success and change or hearing about it second-hand. The Vikasa Tribe aims to bring more and more people to this state of awareness because it is only through individual change that the collective (the planet) becomes a better place to thrive, not just survive.

Our current institutions have it the wrong way around. They try to force individuals to fit into their systems and become another faceless number – a copycat member of a group that generally is seeking to compete against or force its ideals onto others. Instead, The Vikasa Tribe seeks to show people the way – their own way. Not force people into the same boxes or dictate how it should be done. Not using strict dogmas and rules and making everyone a clone.

The assumption many people make is that they need to be someone “special” to be a catalyst for change in others. The truth is that everyone has the potential to be a leader, a change-maker, an inspiration. We all have it in us already but most never have the belief to tap into it, explore it and allow it to rise from within, like a phoenix from the flames. Many of the people in the stories you will have read in Happiness is a Choice, I’m sure never perceived themselves as “special” either – yet here they are, proving their worth and rising from the ashes, hopefully to inspire you.”

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