Basic Instincts: Why You Should Listen To Your Inner Animal

This guest post is by Lucas Kleinschmitt of

You’re smart. You’re sophisticated. Your world is complex. In your life, there’re art and culture, education and social norms, business, networks, the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook. The number of choices you have available is infinite—and rising.

Your world is a paradox. It’s difficult. Sometimes, you feel overwhelmed by all the opportunities. What should you do next? And when? In which order?

Back to the basics

In the end, it all boils down to just two questions:

First: “What do you want?”, and then: “How will you get it?”

The second question is the reason we spend hundreds of dollars and thousands of hours on information products. The first question is the one that matters more.

Do you want a 5-star restaurant dinner? This or that person, and absolutely no other, as a date? Thirty thousand Twitter followers to support your highly complex new business venture?

No. Forgive me, but you’re simpler than that. I know I am.

Image by irishwildcatWe want an abundance of good food. Sex with an attractive partner. To be part of a social group. We want to leave our footprints on this planet in a way of which we can be proud.

We want to follow our basic instincts.

A happy person is…

2010 is great. I love the 21st century. But from time to time, we need to forget about it. We need to close our eyes and listen to our inner animal.

Slowly, the 5-star restaurant disappears. Twitter and Facebook vanish. Even your iPad is gone. Instead, you find a list of simple things. Things like:

  • healthy food
  • good personal relationships
  • making and raising kids
  • being part of a tribe
  • moving your body
  • breathing fresh air
  • making a difference

Suddenly, life is easy. You do sports. You invite your neighbor over. You cook with fresh vegetables. You help others. And, when you see something that needs changing, you change it.

Life really is that simple—in 2010 A.D., as it was in 10,000 B.C. Just follow your basic instincts. You know what to do.

Before I leave you now, I would like to give you a short quotation to think about:

“A happy man is too pleased with the present to worry about the future.”

That’s something Albert Einstein said, but I’m sure any chimp would agree.

Lucas Kleinschmitt teaches you personal productivity, made in Germany, for less stress and more success. Check out his brand-new blog at

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  1. True, true, true!

  2. Lucas,

    Back to basic is what I like. Sometimes we make things too complicated. I like simple and basic.

  3. I try hard to ‘live in the moment’. I’m not great at it, though. Not because I don’t appreciate what I have; I just feel like there is so much to look forward too.

    I do know that I’m good at not looking back, however. For example, some parents spend a lot time lamenting the fact that their child isn’t a baby anymore. I don’t. Not because I didn’t love them at that stage–because I did–but for each year they get older, they are so much more fun to be around! (Important note: I do not have a teenager yet.)

    • “Not because I don’t appreciate what I have; I just feel like there is so much to look forward too.”

      Tara, this really sounds familiar 🙂 I’m always excited about the future, which is generally a good thing, but sometimes, it can really lure you away from the present…

      As far as the past is concerned, well, we’ll talk again when you have a teenager 😉 Just kidding.

  4. The thing that I really like about this post Lucas is that it reminds me that if we try to fill our lives with things and gadgets and the like without ensuring that those basic animal needs are met, we won’t be happy. We do need to start out meeting our basic needs first in order to experience happiness from that level on up. Wonderful post- thank you!

  5. Hello Lucas,
    thank you for your very insightfull post. I recently arrived at very similiar conclusions and reading your thoughts makes me happy. Thank god I am not the only “chimp”. Btw, I believe “insticts” is a huge topic and needs further discussion to cover all its day-to-day implications. Looking forward to your next post,


    • Hey Max, thanks. Yes, instincts is a huge topic indeed. I’m reading a book by psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer at the moment, titled “Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious”. He argues that our gut feelings are based on very clever assumptions and often lead to better results than rational analysis. I believe that science will bring some very interesting insights on these issues in the next couple of years.

  6. Good advice. I find the “making a difference” point especially interesting. My life pretty much revolves around the effort to make a difference, and while I couldn’t possibly be happy without doing that, at the same time it can be a very frustrating path. I find that the more I try to make a difference, the more I notice all the differences that need to be made. It can be very discouraging.

    • Lianne, I know exactly what you mean. There’s no quick solution, but there are a couple of things that can help.

      Next time you get that feeling, write down all the differences you have already made that you can be proud of. Then, create a list of the differences that you still want to make. Next, order that list in terms of priority. Create a plan stating which things you will change in what order.

      Take the changes, take the challenges one step at a time. And when you complete one, always celebrate and look back on your achievement.

      • Thanks for the advice, Lucas. 🙂 I’m a big fan of list writing in general, but I’ve never thought of listing the differences I want to make. I’ll be sure to try that!

        • Thank you for your post and your comments, Lucas. Lianne, I really know what you mean. We have a life in which we do not only want to survive but also to make a difference… I want to do something good every day to make this world a little better. Step by step.

          I really believe in what I do, I believe in my projects. But sometimes I question everything and ask myself if it is really gonna make a difference? I believe everybody can change the world!

          Lucas, I like your idea of writing a positive “already made” list. Thank you! I am going to start that now and look on it whenever I need some motivation:-)

  7. I like the perspective – going back to basics, not making things so complicated. We often lose sight of what is “really” important in life.

    But we have so many layers, no? As the writer talks about – basic needs (biological) and basic wants (emotional, social, family/community) – which are arguably, the most important and wonderful elements of life.

    But then there’s those who are extraordinary – some called to be (through unexpected opportunities for leadership, for instance), but some who work their tails off to achieve their own greatness. It takes confidence, guts, the willingness to fail, the determination to never give up – and so many other qualities that can’t necessarily be tapped by our biological makeup – but rather something that almost seems far greater than ourselves.

    So then, the question I ask is – how do we tap in to this power?

  8. Hi Anna, thanks for your comment 🙂

    “It takes confidence, guts, the willingness to fail, the determination to never give up” – I agree, but I believe these characteristics can ben found deep within us, I believe they are part of our instincts.

    So, to answer the question of how we can tap into this power, I think we should look inside ourselves. It’s really about removing barriers inside ourselves, to enable us to tap a source of power that’s inside us rather than trying to find an outside source of power.

    But that’s just my opinion, I realise there are many possible answers to your question 🙂

  9. Thank you for this post!

    You are right, life should be simpler than what most people try to make of it. No wonder most people aren´t happy. It is our life, isn´t it? So we should make the besst of it: do what feels good and right, do what we believe in and listen to our heart, which wants to be happy.

    It would be paradise if everybody could be a happy chimp who loves his life:-)

  10. An excellent post, thank you! *thumbs up*

  11. I’m not an animal! This is outrageous!

  12. Agree at 100%

  13. Thanks 🙂

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