If there is something great in you, it will not appear on your first call. It will not appear and come to you easily, without any work and effort. —RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Humans are a conundrum. Nature designed us to expend as little energy as possible because calories were survival to our hunter-gather ancestors. Since our brains use an estimated 1/4 of all calories consumed, people don’t like to think. So they like being told, and they look for gurus and leaders to follow because that saves them the hard work and energy expenditure to come to their own conclusions.
Modern humans have access to technology that allows them to meet their needs at the push of a button. We can go to a restaurant and sit on our smartphones while others expend energy to bring us delicious food. And we don’t even have to clean up after! Delivery services will remove the driving to a restaurant for you. You can sit on your couch, order from your phone, and then walk to your door as hot food shows up like that. Our ancestors would have been floored.
With this convenience comes a cost. That cost is why you hear the phrase “Comfort is killer.” As we become more addicted to the comforts of pushing buttons to get what we want—which includes letting others think for us—we become further detached from our biology. The reason we have biological “needs” that are too strong for most modern humans to overcome is because Nature programmed these traits into our species to ensure we’d go out and do the hard work of hunting, foraging, having sex, and spending years raising offspring.
The modern environment offers you products and services that take care of as many of these needs as possible in the cheapest, fastest, tastiest, and less painful way possible. And that’s why the most prosperous nation in the world—America—is also one of the sickest, mentally and physically. With an obesity rate of 50%, you have a population that has set the stage for a Wall-e-like future. As modern humans become more reliant on the system, they become easier to control. YOu can scare them with virus propaganda or the newest potential WW3 conflict (Russia and Ukraine right now as i write this in 2022).
Nation-states and corporations have long ago figured out how to convince people to buy their products and services. And make no mistake about it: government is a service that justifies its existence, and it’s involuntary taxes through selling propaganda (information designed to make you think a certain way).
Now, I could go on and on about the problems of modernity, but that’s not all that actionable. Let’s talk about you instead. The simple point I want to plant into your mind is the importance of doing hard things. You might intuitively grasp the importance of things like hard work, consistency, showing up even when you don’t want to, etc., but how much is that perspective manifesting in your everyday life? That’s the big question you must answer.
To further specify my point, what I want you to think from here on into eternity is how you think about hard things.
I want you to embrace hard things and to seek them out, to relish in their difficulty, to smile in the face of insurmountable obstacles. I want you to do this because you have a principled perspective that understands the duality of life. You understand that everything is defined by its opposite—light defines darkness, hard defines easy, good defines bad, so on and so forth.
Nothing has any value without knowing its opposite. If you’ve never suffered, you cannot appreciate a lack of suffering. If you’ve never done hard work, you can't appreciate rest. If you’ve never lost someone, you will never appreciate how fragile life is.
How this relates to hard work is easy—work as hard as you can so you can enjoy life as much as you can.
Instead, if you avoid doing hard things because you push buttons and things happen for you, you’ll eventually descend into misery. If you have everything, you have nothing. When you don’t work for things you have, you cannot appreciate them, and they leave you soon enough because you don’t know how to keep them. (This is why most athletes go broke after their contract is up.)
There is greatness inside of you. But it will never come out without pressure, without hardness.
Iron sharpens iron, as it says somewhere in the bible.
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- Welcome to the Better Human Podcast Show, I’m Your Host, @ColinStuckert and I’m here to help you opt out of your broken society so you can take your thinking and and life into your own hands.
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