· 2 min read

Need for Optimizing Inputs in the Modern World

How Our Needs, Environment, and Choices Shape Our Lives

Human Needs

Human beings and all other animals have needs. And these needs are what drive us to move. Unfulfilled needs lead to pain. And fulfilling that need reduces or mitigates that pain. We can call it pleasure.

Pleasure can be big or small. But the main thing here is: Needs drive us to pursue a solution that would reduce pain and move us toward pleasure.

The tradeoffs between different solutions

Like everything, there are multiple solutions to a problem. Some solutions are better than others. Some solutions are readily available. Some solutions require effort.

Our body, over a million years, has been adapted to respond to our environment and needs. A part of it is also repeated exposure and training. If the environment requires us to be stronger, like an instance where we are picking up a lot of weight. We become stronger.

If the environment no longer requires us to be stronger, the body will adapt and put its resources where they can be used.

The change our body & mind goes through is proportional to the problem we are trying to solve. If we are trying to solve a harder problem, our body and mind will adapt more to solve the harder problem and vice versa.

The Modern World

In the past, there were many problems we faced that are solved now with advances by human civilization.

For instance, we were required to be strong and develop the skill of hunting, that got replaced when agriculture came along.

So, apart from feeling up time that was used during hunting, the second-order consequence of this is that we aren’t as strong as our ancestors.

Think of this phenomenon in everything we input in our lives.

If the input in our life requires or pushes us towards becoming better, we’ll respond to the environment by becoming better. Similarly, if input pushes us towards becoming worse, we become worse.

Like the model of hunting, inputs can sometimes be eliminated or replaced by other inputs.


We face inputs all the time and more in the modern world. We can optimize our inputs so that the best ones stay and keep making us better. Over some time, we’ll find ourselves getting better and better.

In the upcoming series of posts, I’ll highlight how we can identify and eliminate negative inputs and find and incorporate positive ones. Doing so would make us smarter, faster, better, and more resilient.

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