Why We're Unhappy
We are living, breathing hunter gatherers stuck in an age of robots.
Our vacations are planned out like scripts for actors.
Our classrooms and workplaces are scheduled to the dot.
Our meals are identical to each other day by day.
But let’s rewind 12,000 years, right before the agricultural revolution began.
And let’s look at who we were back then.
Nomads without fixed homes.
Omnivores without packaged meals.
Explorers without GPS maps on our phones.
But over the course of the next 12,000 years we got a beautifully packaged gift with coal in it: comfort.
The “comfort” of a home, a farm, a tavern, a school, and gradually a workplace, a gym, a car, a grocery store, and a phone.
And we gradually got sicker.
And because we became unhappy we decided to comfort ourselves with medication: antidepressants, painkillers, mood suppressors.
So it’s the paradox of the modern age: why has all this comfort made us so uncomfortable?
Because we forgot about our evolution.
We forgot about our roots.
We forgot that our ancestors roamed under the hot Eastern African sun with no guarantee of food, water, or survival.
Author Nassim Taleb wrote, ‘Consider that all the wealth of the world can’t buy a liquid more pleasurable than water after intense thirst.’
And by our very nature we’re built to be thirsty. Thirsty for adventure, risk-taking and discovery. We’re built to seize every moment as if it were our last, because we knew it might very well be.
Seeking discomfort is a mantra that goes hand in hand with humanity. We are natural-born discomfort seekers.
The magical head rush we get from unique experiences: talking to a stranger, going to a new country with no plans, discovering an abandoned building, are so innate and so pure that we can’t help but feel blissful, empathetic, elated and HUMAN afterwards.
So if you feel robotic, go for it, get uncomfortable.
And prepare to feel human again.