Genes adapt very slowly and give the wrong impulses. We need to be aware and control them

We live under an “evolutionary mismatch“, due to the fact that our genes (changing only 1% every 10,000 years) change much slower than the environment (radically changing every hundred of years).

A crystal clear example is food: just a few hundreds of years ago, people very more likely to die for starvation than from eating too much, and that’s why we have the impulse to eat sugar and fat to prevent that. Nowadays that is nonsense, and – like other impulses – we need to take them into account, to prevent them from potentially causing depression, insomnia, general unhappiness, or – in some cases – chronic disease.
Other examples:

  • Our body is still not used to artificial light. We need to lower the intensity to better sleep;
  • Our body was used to hear sounds of the crackling fire and other humans/relatives in the same tent. Nowadays is still easier to sleep with people around us, and nature sounds
  • We didn’t use to live long thousand of years ago, so we are still wired to make friends in our 30s, and fewer later on.
  • In our primitive stage, we tended to consume all the resources around us, and for similar reasons, we have an impulse to buy the next item (compulsory shopping, well known by marketers).

From a certain point of view, it’s like our willpower against the “voices of the 10,000 generations”, so it’s not always easy to ignore them.

By being aware of those impulses, we can find solutions. Examples: eat at home (to avoid having too much sugary found accessible in front of us), set a regular money saving plan (to resist the urge to consume/spend resources), go to bed closer to dusk and get up closer to dawn (to fight insomnia), avoid using screens before bed (blue light suppresses melanin production).

See related short blog article about Adaptation and also another long one around inner chimp inside us.

(inspired by Tai Lopez Step 11 – The Whispers Of 10,000 Generations, Dunbar’s 150 & Evolutionary Mismatch)

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