Life is about people — A letter to my younger self.
Dear younger me,
If I could teach you one thing that would change the way you live your life, it would be that life is about people.
I’ve come to an epiphany, at the age of 32, that human life is about spending time with people.
Every facet of humanity stems from people being a communal species.
We build roads to help PEOPLE get from place to place.
We build restaurants to help PEOPLE satisfy their appetite.
We form governments to help PEOPLE live together as a community.
Failing to understand this basic principle can lead to a life of sadness and loneliness.
On the other hand, learning this lesson can have the opposite effect, leading to a life of true happiness and joy.
Why is life about people?
Every living creature has the primary motivation of preservation and expansion — in other words, survival and procreation.
As part of millions of years of evolution, humans evolved to express traits that give them the best chances for survival. The most successful humans survived working together.
Just like how a lion works with a pride to ensure its survival, humans band together to ensure their survival.
It is a natural survival instinct, not only with humans but with other living organisms, to work together. Living together gives organisms the best chance to fight off threats and carry on preferred genetic traits.
Living together is so deeply baked into the human operating system that people experience powerful emotions like love and joy when spending time with others. That’s why people feel good when they’re appreciated and surrounded with people and living creatures.
At some point in their life, even the most lonesome people need the companionship of another person to have a child and raise a family. If they don’t find that companionship, their affinity towards living alone will die with them without leaving a genetic legacy.
Community is natural to humans.
How can understanding the communal motivations of people impact your life?
If you want to live a sad life, avoid people. Spend time alone and be a selfish person. Don’t serve others and don’t share experiences with other people.
If, on the other hand, you want to live a happy life, spend time with people. Spend yourself serving others and working towards helping the human race. Share experiences, share conversations, and give people your time.
A rule of thumb — meet people where they feel comfortable. People will appreciate you when you see them for who they are instead of expecting something or expecting change.
You can serve others by committing to simple acts of kindness, like giving gifts, feeding people, and offering a safe place for shelter. Help others solve problems. Give people your time and attention. All these things lead to cultivating strong relationships.
When you live with the goal of building strong relationships, you’ll experience a life filled with joy and happiness.
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