Richard Dawkins, the author of The Selfish Gene talks about the concept of an evolutionary mismatch.
Your neural programming doesn’t have the genetic memory to understand the complexity of the modern world.
The end goal is understanding when to go with your gut, with what feels right – one of the myths is going with your gut. Remember that the devil is in the details and generalizations are never true in all circumstances.
The concept of evolutionary mismatch – the impulses that have served us at a certain point in history – certain instincts and impulses that have been passed on for so many generations, do not serve us anymore because the world has changed.
The old impulse would be – when you find sugar or fat which can be translated into extra energy, you should eat as much as you possibly can because you never know when you will eat again. In those times the average person was closer to starvation than they were to be fat.
Wiring changes very slowly, so I have the same brain, when I walk into Walmart there’s too much energy on the shelves, but the instincts are still “there may not be enough food tomorrow.” (dogs eat all like bears, they get fat then skinny).
Insomnia; we didn’t have light, instinct is being awake when it’s light, sleep when it’s dark. We have so many modern diseases (cancer, hypertension), even phones have light.
Sleeping in quiet bedrooms instead of hearing animals in the distance and natural sounds that tell us everything is OK is quite a difference.
Physically in search for good light the whispers of 10,000 generations seem to be on my side, and sometimes they are (walking across the street and the voice says jump out of the way), but most times it doesn’t serve me.
Understand when I can listen to my instincts, know it in detail! Wealth and health are very common areas. We are not hardwired to save money.
The mentality is to eat, drink and get married because tomorrow we die. I have to bypass that and save, it will take extraordinary effort, not to drink soda, because it tastes good (previously we only had honey once a month, that’s it!) We craved it, sugar feeds the brain.
Overcome eating so much sugar, salt, and fat. It hits you on the evolutionary level and overwrites what you know is good for you. More children are fat than skinny, from one food crisis to another.
The savings rate is 1% in America. Instead of “enjoying” the twenties, Bill Gates invested them. Robin Dunbar was studying that we lived in groups of 150 people. Because of modern technology you can live and communicate everywhere, sometimes the worse thing for their children are their parents.
The healthiest marriages are childhood friends, but now we move away (it used to be marrying someone you trust).
Sometimes the answers will be going back to old things (going to bed early sometimes). College is the last time when most people are able to make friends. Know the evolutionary mismatch to solve it (know why it is the way it is). “That’s because there’s something wrong with us, or we’re bad now”- we’re the same as we were, we’re just evolutionary the same, while the environment has changed. New friends are good, old friends are gold.
Prepare for a rainy day, save things. We are motivated and more happy with money. No man is an island. I need a certain volume of social interactions.
We’re highly susceptible to social wind. Revise old friendships, they’re the best!
Most people are too busy blaming their willpower, parents, country…they don’t realize what’s happening. Weekly, monthly review your life; to change what I can, accept what I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.
You can’t for example change cravings for salt, fat, and sugar; keeping these things around the house and expecting your willpower to deal with it- there are too many whispers of 10,000 generations.
Restaurants want you to come back, that’s why they don’t serve the food that would be in your best interest, they serve tasty food.
The average person eats 4 times/week at Fast Food restaurants, that can’t be me! Not if I want the good life.
Get a noise machine, go to bed when the sun goes down, turn off the lights, and use candles, go to your roots from time to time. Don’t do it every day, but it’s good for you sometimes.
Set up automatic savings plan; we’re wired not wanting to save. Try it, reach out to people you haven’t talked to for a while, not the bad ones, but there will be some people that are “good” (same track as you).
We didn’t evolve to read, you may like audio books better. Make technology your slave, don’t be a slave yourself.
Even though we have this whispers, we still have some control, maybe more than ever. Bend your knee to your evolution, you need to follow rules to do better than most people. There’s not a horse that runs so fast, as the horse that’s competing another horse.
I need competition, but also rules. I will not overcome them with willpower (temptation; food, not going to sleep at right times, bad states, keeping TV on with consumer advertisement; not investing, wasting money and be less happy). Even if you live 10.000 years, you’ll still have the same brain as people before Christ.
Controlling 10 horses can be very powerful, they could get you a lot done, but if you can’t control them, they will destroy you (number 2 killer of people a few decades ago were horses and bulls). The same is with keeping evolutionary impulses in your control; you’ll have more power than the average person.
Watch people eat food, watch people control the money; they’re not the master, they’re slaves. (socially, romantically)
Be a part of a community, groups- a part of being healthy. Amish people set up their lives so they have to rely on their neighbors.
When people get depressed it’s your brain telling you that you need to connect with other people, and most people fight it, thinking it’s something wrong with them, NO! You have to be a part of something big!
What is a specific area of your life where the whispers of 10,000 generations are not working, and what could you do to change it?