Understand Human Nature To Understand Yourself
Few things are life-or-death.
Yet your evolutionary wiring tricks you into thinking there is a threat around every corner.
This makes you make a big deal about minor things, leading to unnecessary anxiety, worry, and dread.
This was the best survival strategy for our ancestors—a negative, fear-based bias that kept them treading very carefully.
That was helpful then, and it's a liability today.
This evolutionary wiring supports every aspect of human existence and culture.
Every culture consists of the same thing: humans. Humans fear and desire the same things because Natural Selection shaped our ancestors based on what worked best in the wild. We are the lucky recipients of the survivors that developed the behaviors that worked best in that setting.
To understand yourself, study your ancestors.
To understand people, study your ancestors.
To understand optimal nutrition, study your ancestors.
To understand human fulfillment, study how hunter-gatherers live.
To understand war and genocide, study our ancestors and how the agricultural revolution, which led to a population explosion, has made the last 10,000 years of rapid change so brutal.
When it comes to homo sapiens sapiens, everything is built upon evolutionary biology/psychology, just like this universe is built upon the laws of physics.
The point I want to make today relates to this excerpt from YouTuber Ali Abdul:
Most things are not a big deal, yet your genetic hardwiring tries to convince you they are.
Our ancestors did not live in a constantly connected, distraction-rich environment, and we do. That's why WE MUST CONSCIOUSLY SHAPE OUR BEHAVIOR AND THOUGHTS to best adapt to this new environment.
Looking at the state of modern humans—unhappy, stressed, anxious, sick, and getting worse—you see natural selection happening at a speed and scale that would have made Darwin's head spin.
Here's a straightforward summary:
1. Our modern environment is the opposite of our ancestors'
2. This creates a "mismatch" between what our genes think we're getting vs. what we are born into.
3. Most cannot control their behaviors to adapt to this new environment, so they lose the evolutionary struggle to survive. They will live shorter lives and have fewer offspring. Over time they will go extinct.
4. A few are winning in this new environment by using tools, knowledge, and self-control to further separate themselves from those that are not.
This boils down to this: Choose thoughts and behaviors that help you thrive in your current environment, or pay the price.
You have the ultimate power to control your behaviors to bring about the effects you want (health, wealth, happiness).
You'll pay the price if you let the environment around you choose.
Cause and effect.
If you want a better effect, you need the right cause.
Here are a few tactical things you can start today to regain control of your environment.
Turn off negative, fear-based media and replace it with positive, practical, helpful media.
Remove harmful and toxic people from your life and replace them with their opposite.
Remove everything in your environment that tempts you—like removing all junk food from your house and getting a safe for sweets (we keep one in the fridge for ice cream and one in the pantry for chocolate... mostly so I can't get to it without help).
Create a setting that encourages you to engage in the actions you seek and discourages those you would rather avoid—remove the TV from the bedroom, turn the colors off on your phone (try going black/white... it's super powerful for breaking a scrolling addiction), so on and so forth.
Remember, it's all your choice. Whether you take conscious control or let others do it for you, the effects always lead back to the cause.
Cause and effect.