Avoid Your Primitive Instincts

Our emotional brain was handed down to us by Homo Sapiens who lived in a completely different environment than the one we live in today.

And it’s their lifestyle, environment and dangers that they encountered that our emotions were designed to address.

The way we think, feel and act is greatly influenced by the experiences our ancestors went through millions of years ago.

This is known as “The Whispers of a Thousand Generations.”

What this means is, if you want to accumulate wealth, find love or be healthy, then you have to learn to avoid the “whispers” of your ancestors. 

Often time, our primitive instincts are wrong and they lead us to make poor decisions.

Not all of our primitive instincts are bad instincts. Some are good. But learn to understand when you can trust your instincts and when you cannot.

Wealth

Our ancestors didn’t live long a thousand generations ago. As a result, they spent most of their time trying to use up their resources instead of storing them.

Consequently, we now have this same instinct.

The idea of saving things for our long term future goes against our genetic instincts.

This is why it’s so hard for people to save money because most people’s instinct is to just spend their money.

When it comes to wealth, you have to go against this consumer impulse, our human nature, and move towards an investors discipline.

A big part of happiness is being financially independent and you wont achieve this by acting on this instinct.

Love

In relation to love, jealousy for example is one of many instincts we must avoid.

Our ancestors who could find a mate were more likely to survive than those who couldn’t.

Mates when found meant that they had to be kept.

If you lost a mate to someone else, it was harder to survive so we adapted to feel jealous in order to prevent that.

Jealousy is a natural impulse and it’s okay to feel jealous, but too many people take this instinct to an extreme, which leads to violence and vigilance.

If you’re not careful, these instincts, such as jealousy, could stop you from feeling as happy as you could be in your relationship.

Health

In an interesting article, anthropologists Peter Brown and Melvin Konner talk about health from an evolutionary perspective.

Brown and Konner say that we adapted to be obese because we’ve evolved to crave salt, sugar and fat.

For our ancestors, being obese was a reproductive advantage. Mothers needed the extra energy to support pregnancy and men needed the extra fat to hunt without feeling depleted.

But food was scarce back then.

Throughout human history, food was hard to find so when you found sugar, fat, or any other extra energy, we ate as much as we could because there was no guarantee that we would ever find it again.

Nowadays, we’ve adopted our ancestors tendency to crave salt, sugar and fat, but we take this instinct to extremes, which leads to many health problems.

When it comes to health, you can’t rely on your body to make good decisions, you have to help it.

You can’t consistently willpower yourself to not eat cake every night, you have to get rid of it because willpower is not going to help you out in the long run.

Happiness

In the book “The Story of The Human Body,” Daniel Lieberman, who is a biologist and anthropologist at Harvard University, says,

No organism is primarily adapted to be healthy, long lived, happy, or to achieve many other goals for which people strive.

We see this with fear.

Fear serves an evolutionary purpose to keep us alert and cautious so that we would avoid danger and live to see another day.

Fear is a human adaptation, meaning it was a reproductive advantage that led to survival.

But we’ve also adapted to be worried, anxious, and stressed, and this causes much unhappiness and misery in our lives, which negatively affects our happiness today.

Many of our adaptations did not necessarily evolve to promote physical or mental well-being.

Parting thoughts

Remember that our gut instincts are not uniquely our own, but are the product of those who came before us.

Ask yourself, what area in your life is the whispers of your ancestors doing the worst damage?

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13 thoughts on “Avoid Your Primitive Instincts

  1. Interesting. The ghost whisphers…. I never have believed that my ancestors are homo sapiens – which is a theroy un it self. I believe we are all souls and we adapt a human body to express ourself. The world us a dynasty therefore there is varying degrees of intellugence and capacity. Aling with this karma plays a part. We have capacity to be quite intelligent. We the orginal qualites are divine and highly intelligent bur because of rebirth we fall and become a bit jealous etc …because we have forgotten who we are. I think on tuesday or wednesday this week i will be posting an intro in the soul. If you look at ancient egypt … there was a serious amount of intelligence to build the pyramids. In eastern beliefs we talk about ages of the world..golden , silver, copper and iron. The golden and sikver ages we are highly soul conscious …but after rebirth we fall a small degree. In the golden ages the average age is 150 years. But as we become body conscious we fear we get jealous… tge copper age is where the pryamids where built showing some intelligence remains..

    I plan to share all this in weeks and months to come.

    I think ghost whispers is interesting. I see in sime family members where their parents arent intelligent or simply cant be bothered the children are the same.. but some children have a spark in their tummy and become more.

    I know belief in the soul is nit main stream…but i feel and through my meditation and spirtual practises that i am more thsn this body.

    Sorry I have disagreed with theroy of us humans steming from homo sapiens ever since i learnt it at school. But appreciate what i believe can be riped apart as it a belief.

    Interesting articsle as always…sorry i side tracked

    Like

  2. I think of all your posts, I have enjoyed this one the most! But that has to do with the fact that I am a biologist. Linking our emotions to our ancestors is definitely interesting! I don;t know how much of it is true but it makes for a good line of thought. Thanks for the post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Evolutionary psychology!! Great..I’m going to google that right after I type this comment. Thanks 🙂
        Well I am a researcher. I am going to start with my phd this October 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I see here in Washington state many people make ” corrections” through hypnosis. They lose weight, forget fears that had held them back and in general have a better over all view of life and themselves. They erase the old and imprint the new. Seems to be working!

    Liked by 1 person

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