Risk, pleasure, and success

The human mind evolved to protect you, not make you happy.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins could not say it any truer. We are wired to survive, not to be happy. So our mind is always on the lookout for danger. Things that could harm us. But gone are the days when physical danger plagued mankind on a daily basis. So this mental programming is no longer as applicable as it was back before we were civilized.

Also, as a result of the constant dangers we faced back then, our minds would constantly seek pleasure in the little things. This, combined with our always being on the lookout for danger, makes a depressing combination in our present age.

We have become unnecessarily averse to risk and at the same time, addicted to pleasure.


Dopamine is the pleasure hormone, responsible for our short-term happiness. It’s usually released when we do something exciting like have sex, go on a rollercoaster ride, or receive an award. Obviously, scrolling through social media and watching online videos have the same effect. And since we spend many of our hours during the day looking at our phones and idly scrolling through media, our brain is on overdrive releasing this pleasure hormone, resulting in a form of addiction. The kind that’s akin to drugs, smoking, and alcohol.

How do you quit drugs? Smoking? Alcohol? Our responses to these questions vary but it largely depends on two factors; how strong our wills are and how deep we have entrenched ourselves in the addiction. Consequently, these two factors are sometimes interdependent i.e. the deeper entrenched we are into the addiction, the weaker our will to quit them. In other words, it’s almost always guaranteed to be a downward spiral.

I’ve found this to be the same case when it comes to digital media addiction. It’s not so worse that I get physical jitters when I’m not touching my phone just yet. But I do find myself longing for its constant presence. Not a day goes by when I don’t look at my phone.

So now I try to actively stop myself from touching my phone if without good reason. But relying on your willpower alone is not always effective.

How do we go around this?

They say it’s in the micro habits. I’m talking about success. Success lies in micro habits.

What are micro habits?

Micro habits are the little things you do that seem inconsequential but in reality, take up most of your day. The most common among these is our consumption of different forms of media, predominantly that from our phones.

Ironically, productivity videos in YouTube and TikTok, both social media platforms, espouse that we drop watching YouTube and TikTok videos because of the negative effects constant media exposure has on our brains. We watch them preach about not watching them.

So here I am, trying. I’ll write more as I go through this journey. This is just a morning journal / rant.