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You are not designed to be happy (and what to do about it)

Topic
Happiness

Today we are talking about the fact that you and I, as humans, are not designed to be happy, especially in a modern environment.

We are surviving replication machines—e.g., procreating and protecting offspring until they can get old enough to do the same.

That's it. That's our biology's selfish prerogative.

Why should you care about this?

Well, if you don't understand your biology, how are you going to utilize it to live a happy and successful life, which is what you want. I know you want that. I want that. I want everyone I know to want that.

And what most people do under the guise of happiness is seek pleasure and distraction.

They seek it through media and quick dopamine hits in the form of content, entertainment, drugs, alcohol, and self-inflicted drama.

And what's tragic about this is how long this can go undiagnosed.

Then people wake up one day, and they have all this abundance and comfort around them, and they have no ability to see it. They have no gratitude for it.

That's usually when the mid-life crisis stuff sets in, which can lead to other destructive behavior that only further exacerbate the problem.

No Bueno.

So let's assume you get this, and you understand our evolutionary past and how your genes are hardwired to do certain things, and you know that you have to keep yourself in check.

How can you be happy?

I don't have enough time to cover this fully, but here are a few quick takeaways for today to keep in your mind and take action on:

  1. Gratitude practice - a journal, a morning/nighttime routine
  2. Get off your phone - use airplane mode, turn it off, don't go into social media feeds, turn notifications off.
  3. Be in the moment always and as much as possible. Meditation, mindfulness, etc., yoga, fitness, and other engaging flow-state-inducing activities are designed to help you be supremely in the moment so you can silence your monkey mind.
  4. Take it slow. Be patient. In our hyper-connected, constantly new, and moving world, we feel the need always to be doing new things like the rest of humanity. We get FOMO easy. There is always a new book, movie, podcast, or thing to consume.
  5. The reality is, going slower is better. Less is more—action through inaction, wu Wei.