Blogpost, self-reliance

Kill the Deer or Plow the Field

No one can deny that we’re a long way from our ancestors. A caveman would be completely baffled by our world. Even our relatives from 100 years ago would find our confusing. Things that they would have considered challenges have been completely conquered. While things that we consider relevant would be laughably inconsequential to them. At the tip of the spear of time, survival is much less of a concern than it has ever been even in a pandemic. Despite the huge difference between our worlds, we exist with basically the same hardware as our ancestors inside of our heads.

Mother nature was smart when she set up the human animal. We are wired to get pleasure out of the things that are going to keep us alive. It’s almost comical that now that we don’t have to “survive” as much, many of those joyous things are the ones that are killing us. But I digress. Historically speaking, humans have been largely hunters or farmers/gatherers. Keeping the simplicity of this in mind, recognize that these are two different skill sets. Both require a form of patience but one is more active. Tracking and hunting often took days. Planting and harvesting took months. Both take skills. Some that were innate and others that were learned. Despite never having experienced our modern perception of a computer, our ancestors had both an operating system and “apps.”

By looking at it in a similar fashion, you need to realize that you have a similar operating system. However the applications that you’re running, don’t always work well with the system. Things tend to develop glitches when your apps don’t align with your basic programming (no computer language pun intended).

Your body/mind want to survive: physically, mentally and socially. Keeping this in mind is important. Even though you’re unlikely to perish in your day to day existence, your basic programming is still trying to avoid it. So whatever problem it is that you’re having, it is probably a disconnect between your modern life and your body/mind’s prehistoric programming.

That assignment or paper that you’re avoiding. It’s not a bear or a lion or even chipmunk but it still causes fear. Not because it is going to kill you. It’s a disconnect between your modern view of school and your prehistoric brain’s need to live in a tribe. If you do something that offends the chief or hurts the tribe, you might be banished and you’ll never make it alone. It’s the possibility of planting seeds that you need for the winter and a drought coming.

The extra pounds that you’ve put on are a disconnect between your modern sense of “attractive” and your prehistoric mind’s need to take on calories whenever they’re available. Set up a system for getting food after a successful “hunt.” Remember that chasing down a deer might have taken days. So our ancestors were probably working on light food until they hit the big score.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with, there is most likely a portion of it that can be traced to a mismatch of your operating system with the world that we live in. On the one hand, this is slightly annoying. On the other, it is liberating. Freedom can be found in the fact that you’re almost never in as much danger as your brain is interpreting. So you’re starting from a place major advantage. Knowing what signals to ignore and how to leverage the helpful ones is your job as a modern day human. Set your mind up so that you can win the ancient game of survival that you’re playing.

Good hunting!

Pete

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