Tai Lopez on How to Live the Good Life

Avoid this one thing if you want of a life of good health, wealth, love and happiness.

Mary Delaney/The Oracles
Tai Lopez

This article was written by The Oracles member Tai Lopez, an investor and advisor to many multimillion-dollar businesses, who has built an eight-figure online empire; connect with Tai on Facebook or Snapchat.

There is one thing sure to kill your hopes and dreams. It's the "mismatch."

And there is one thing sure to bring you "the good life" of health, wealth, love, and happiness. It's avoiding the "mismatch."

What do I mean by this concept of the mismatch?

I was reading Daniel Lieberman's "The Story of the Human Body." The book covers much of this mismatch and explains how the hardwiring of your brain is adapted to be really good at living in a small village of about 150 people.

A village where you go to bed around 7:30 p.m., sleep eight hours, eat a ton of vegetables and a little meat, and where you fall in love and have kids with an old friend that you've known since childhood.

In that village, you have two or three career choices but not more than that. It's a village where you are encouraged to save and not spend everything you earn.

But guess what? That world's long gone. The world that the hard wiring of your brain works best with has been replaced with a modern, crazy world.

I live next to Hollywood. I can look out my window and see 13 million people. That's a lot more than the 150 that Robin Dunbar, the Oxford anthropologist, said is the optimal number for my brain. I see the billboards selling me things I probably don't need. My brain is designed to trust people. These advertisements are trying to take advantage of that trust.

My house has lights that let me stay up all night and not get enough sleep; I would feel a hell of a lot better if I went to bed like the Amish do, when the sun sets.

I have the option to pursue 1,000 career choices and invest money into 10,000 different stocks. My brain isn't good at weeding out so many options. So I'm left thinking that maybe I'm missing out on some big business opportunity.

I can press one button on my phone and have Chinese, pizza or fast food delivered in 30 minutes. My body is not designed to always have that many calories on demand.

Like the Nobel Prize winner Christian Lous Lange said, "Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master."

The modern world is a blitz of options. You have been taught that having all these options is the final culmination of man conquering nature, using technology. Unfortunately, almost all of those options are the "mismatch."

Farmer and author Joel Salatin once told me, "Tai, humans can now create technology faster than they can anticipate the consequences of using the technology." For example, last year the modern world's agricultural technology produced about 1,300 million metric tons of sugar! That's enough to make half the world fat and diabetic.

I was on a plane to Sweden and I bought a Sprite (it helps with my motion sickness). I read the label. There was like 40 grams of sugar. That's double what I should have in a whole day!

We humans have gotten really good at making technology that tempts us into doing the wrong thing.

Psychology Today wrote a top-10 countdown list of all the evolutionary mismatches we face each day:

10. You are surrounded in your day-to-day life by a higher proportion of strangers than would ever have been true of our pre-agrarian hominid ancestors.

9. You run into a higher total number of people each day than our pre-agrarian hominid ancestors ever would have.

8. You have the option of spending 90 percent of your waking hours sitting at a desk—and you often exercise this option.

7. Your extended family includes people dispersed across hundreds or thousands of miles (think New York and Florida).

6. You have been exposed to more images of violence than ever would have been possible for pre-agrarian hominids.

5. You were likely educated in an age-stratified system—spending each of several years in a group comprised of about 25 others who matched you in age—being taught in a classroom environment by a few specially designated "teachers." You likely spent a lot of time sitting behind desks in the process.

4. You are exposed regularly to politics at a global scale—often discussing or being involved in issues that potentially pertain to thousands, millions, or even billions of other humans.

3. You were raised in some variant of a nuclear family—with less assistance from aunts, uncles, older cousins, and grandparents than would have been typical of our nomadic ancestors.

2. You spend a great deal of time interacting with "screens" and "devices"—having the evolutionarily unprecedented possibility of almost never having to be bored at all.

1. You can eat an entire diet of processed foods—and you live in a world in which processed foods are cheaper and more accessible than natural foods.

You and I have been tricked by the mismatch of the mind.

I recently spoke with Jonathan Haidt, the NYU professor and researcher on human happiness. He says we have to all get on the right "path." Haidt means we have to be part of a system. We cannot use willpower to become happy. We have to get in the right environment and then, over time, happiness and fulfillment will hit us.

The first way to start down this path is to remove all "learned helplessness." This is a psychological concept pioneered by Martin Seligman.

Once a monkey is put into a zoo, it gets depressed because it feels helpless to hunt for its own food and control its own destiny. Even when you take the monkey out of the cage and return it to the jungle, it usually will still act helpless and just sit and starve to death. It doesn't realize that it's no longer helpless now that it's out of the zoo cage.

It's the same with you and me. The modern world and its many choices are like a cage. If you're not careful it will trap you and bounce you around from one thing to another. Most of which are not in your best interests.

The good news is that we can live in a world that, for all it's bad, also has tremendous good.

We have the option to cut the sugar, to sleep more, to find true love, and to find one career and stick with it for decades (which by the way, is by far the best way to make a lot of money).

That's all for now. Stay strong.

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