The potential of the human individual to set their mind to something and accomplish something great is incredible. The worth of one person dedicating their every capacity of intellect toward a single driven purpose can pull off some amazing feats. However the age old wisdom that “two heads are better than one” certainly seems true as well. Even when one person is the driving force behind an idea or a purpose, there is almost certainly surrounding that person several others persons equally responsible for the success.
Multiple minds combined together is certainly more powerful than one, for good or ill. To help explain this, let me walk through the concept known as the 3rd Mind. When you are working on an idea by yourself, it is only your mind at work. However, when you start working with another person, you and that other person actually formulate a collective think, a 3rd mind that is the combination of your collective contribution. This 3rd mind takes on its own characteristics, has its own behaviors and in a weird behavioral science irony, the 3rd mind created by two people actually exhibits the clinical definition of a conscious entity.
So whenever you have a relationship with another person, you are creating this 3rd mind. Time to do a health check. Think this through, is that 3rd mind mentally healthy!? Is it reckless or dangerous? Is it caustic and damaging to others around it? Perhaps it is good, do you see that this collective group think is benefiting you or others? You may not have ever considered that the relationship you have developed with this other person has actually produced a sort of intelligence that makes decisions and acts almost as if on its own. What is really interesting is if you start considering the 3rd mind developed by a larger group of people. There is a much greater chance of disharmony in this instance and certainly a whole lot of dysfunction.
However, what if you were keenly aware of the 3rd mind and you actively nurtured, fed, and made sure that it was healthy and that all the members were aligned well. The power of group think, focused in a singular direction, would be amazing for sure. I daresay that the most successful people in the world have most likely had really powerful 3rd minds, and perhaps more than one. When I considered this today, I thought a lot about my work life, but I also considered my family life as well.
My wife and I have absolutely developed this 3rd mind and it is uncanny sometimes how we just assume that both of us are fully understanding what the 3rd mind is up to. We will actually find ourselves thinking of something and just naturally assuming we are talking to the other person when we actually are not. Luckily for us we have always had the ability to talk well with each other and as a consequence have spend a long time developing and working on this 3rd mind. There are problems, no doubt, but the 3rd mind has built its own coping mechanisms, own reactions and way of dealing with situations.
Relationships with others are powerful, perhaps the most powerful thing that you do as a human. I suggest using this concept of the 3rd mind to carefully consider the relationships that you have with others. By visioning the combining of multiple people into a symbolic representation will help you realize challenges, see areas for improvement and figure out what is working for you.