My dear,

We no longer hunt for a living. We no longer go out and risk our lives literally to put food on the table.

So where are now?

We now live in a society where our prebuilt natural survival mechanisms go haywire, from long time underuse, and label everything as a life or death situation… when they aren’t.

Writing that essay tomorrow? Life or death situation; we sweat, put it off until the last minute, and write it with fast-beating hearts throughout it. Starting that business that might fail? Life or death situation; we procrastinate, say we can’t do it because of this or that, overthink about the possibilities of failure, and give up because we don’t want fast beating hearts.

What we need to do to solve this is to fail more often. Fail in less dramatic situations if need be, but overall we need to continue trying new things and failing in new ways.

Every time you fail you realize you’re not going to die.

And in the process you teach your prebuilt survival mechanisms that they’re drastically overeating and need to seriously calm down.

Falsely yours,
Merlin Mann