Are We Really “Insatiable Wanting Machines”?

by Sarah Najem, Contributing Writer
English Language and Literature student at BAU, Jordan       

The incredible futurist Jason Silva said: “A human is an insatiable wanting machine, designed to desire”.

Sometimes I pause to think about this statement, and in what dimensions one can apply this idea. Why does he say that a human is insatiable and wanting, and how can he even consider calling humans machines?  What follows is the conclusion that I came up with:

Let’s go back in time to when our ancestors dwelled in caves and lived their lives in a brutal world, surrounded by dangers and predators, with limited resources of food. They, somehow, managed to light the first spark of fire, which helped them tremendously in defending themselves and led them to the discovery of cooked food, warmth, etc. leading all the way to the development of nuclear fission!

This first discovery of fire was probably the first sign that humans have an addictive personality: we’ve all been addicted to both fire and discovery every since.  Once ancestral man discovered fire, he was inspired to learn more.  He and his fellow man wanted to know in what myriad ways they could use this huge discovery to help them survive. And once they started, there was no stopping them! They knew that there was even more to discover in this world. Thus, we come to a conclusion that curiosity is hard-wired into our brains from the day that man lit his very first fire.

 “We are wired to seek out novelty”, Silva said in an episode of Impact theory with Tom Bilyeu.

We as individuals enjoy setting goals for ourselves, but what happens when we come to the point where we do actually achieve these goals and attain what we want?  Whether it be money, a car, a house, a scientific discovery, or a career, no matter how difficult achieving that objective was, we will always reach that inevitable moment when we know that we’ve met your goals.  Inevitably, it makes us start thinking:

Now what?

It’s that moment when the feeling of accomplishment starts fading; the rush and excitement slow down; we begin to forget all the diligent efforts that we put into it: that moment when something was at one point monumentally so important and appealing, yet now you have achieved it.  So now what?  Well, that is when you once again start searching for bigger and better things. Because what gives us pleasure today will not give us pleasure tomorrow.  Through repeated exposure (it becomes familiar), we all tend to lose interest.

And that is what I think Silva meant when he said that we’re insatiable and wanting.

But what about calling us machines? Personally, I don’t think he could have been any more accurate when he said that.

Everybody has their own endeavor.  Think of one incredibly important thing you’re working to achieve at the moment (aside from finishing reading this for sure).   You might be working on a really important project, or working your way through college, or you might even be developing all kinds of required skills that can land you that job that you’ve been dreaming of.  Thinking about that certain cherished goal which could be a game changer if accomplished, you would probably do whatever it takes to finally end up with the satisfying result of achievement, right?  Furthermore, since it’s important to you, you’d work diligently and consistently using all your power, pull all-nighters, and think about nothing but that seemingly elusive dream and the herculean challenge that it’s going to take to get you there, right?

Do you get it?

We totally become machines when it comes to what we really want. We just go, and go, and go…

The question is: is it innate that we sometimes behave that way?  Does it not need to be cultivated?   I think it’s already there, affecting different aspects of our lives in different capacities. Without already being hardwired to insatiably pursue what we desire, we could never have developed as we have and reached this far as a society technologically and scientifically.  If we weren’t hardwired as such, we would not be constantly break diving through the overwhelming obstacles of life.  If we weren’t hardwired as a machine meant to succeed, we wouldn’t so easily forget (or ignore) the agony of failure and defeat.  If we weren’t hardwired for greatness, we wouldn’t consistently try again, and again, and again.

That in my opinion is what has led humanity to have achieved so much since that very first fire.  So, contrary to initial appearances, it appears that it’s actually a blessing that we are super curious creatures.  It’s a blessing that you are “an insatiable wanting machine, designed to desire”.   It is for this precise reason that we always want to know, have, and evolve more!

While too much desire can be harmful, and rigidly pursuing something ‘like a machine’ may be detrimental at times, I nonetheless want you to be the strong machine that works at its best all the time towards reaching your goals.  And along the way, don’t forget to enjoy and be happy with what you already have.  In other words, life is full of things to learn and to gain, so make sure your journey is filled with accomplishments and learned lessons, while enjoying every step of the way.

The above is an original article written by Sarah Najem for the Break Diving Blog, and edited by Monroe Mann.  © 2017 by Sarah Najem, printed here through a non-exclusive perpetual license for use in any Break Diving materials.

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