One of the strange things that separates us humans from the rest of the primates is that we don’t have much body hair. We also sweat, which is something no other animal does. And we have arched feet. Surprisingly, these three traits allowed us to do something very useful in our very ancient evolutionary past.
As soon as humans learned to hunt, we started to develop tools. One tool we discovered that helped was fire. There are two distinct periods in the fossil record where they can tell before fire was invented and after fire was invented.
In some caves, the areas beneath ash, which represent before fire, they find complete animal bones and gnawed up human bones. But above, or after the ash, they find complete human bones and gnawed up animal bones.
Prey Becomes Predator
Fire also helped humans hunt by burning large areas and knowing where the animals would come running out. Then they would position a few guys with clubs who would wait and pick them off as they came running out.
One common expression that is pretty popular among self-help types is that genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety nine percent perspiration. But one possible misunderstanding of this is how we commonly think about the sequence these two events.
We tend to imagine, or it’s commonly portrayed in the movies as some famous inventor coming up with a genius idea FIRST, and then next he spends the 99 percent perspiration making his invention come true.
Not Failure – Success
A very common example of this is Edison trying 10,000 different filaments of a light bulb before he finally figured it out. First he got the idea for the light bulb, that was the inspiration. Then the perspiration was the continual trial and error of him trying 10,000 different types of filaments before he finally found the winner.
But often, inventions come in the midst of perspiration. When the path to an outcome has already been established. When somebody is doing something, over and over and over to achieve an outcome. When they’ve learned how to achieve that outcome to the point of unconscious competence.
When achieving that outcome has become automatic. Boring and monotonous. And so while they are busily performing those tasks, over and over, their conscious brain has a lot of extra thinking power. They use this to daydream, or they use this to think of better ways of doing that.
Gotta Be Moving
What if this is the best way to come up with new ways of doing things? What if the true genius of invention only comes within perspiration? What if the idea of a daydreaming genius is made up?
What if the only way to invent new things is to be already in the process of creation? What if the only way to create new ways of doing things, of being able to come up with new ideas, is to find a way to increase that which you are already in the process of creating?
This is essentially what happened during the Industrial Revolution. You had a large portion of society that was busily doing repetitive labor. And with enough people doing enough different types of repetitive labor, you would have a kind of critical mass of continuous invention.
Everybody In The Game
A critical mass of people doing things over and over and over while thinking, “There’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a more effective way. There’s got to be an easier way. There’s got to be more efficient way.”
And if you can get enough people in any given society thinking that, you are bound to have plenty of people inventing things. But the Industrial Revolution had one more ingredient that isn’t usually discussed. And that was that during that particular time in human history, a regular person, no matter who it was, could work hard, save their money and buy land.
The harder you worked, the more money you could save, and the more land you could buy. This meant that anybody could become a landowner. This added an important element to that idea of invention in the midst of perspiration. And that was those people were thinking back then that if they DID manage to figure out a better way of doing things, they could make a ton of money.
I Will Become Rich
This is what drove Edison. He knew of that if finally found the right filament for his light bulb, and was able to produce it cheaply enough, he would get paid a ton. What is also not usually mentioned in that famous story of the 10,000 filaments is it wasn’t Edison who was painstakingly trying all those filaments.
By that time in his career, he was already successful enough to hire a whole team of lab technicians to do the testing for him.
And this is the true nature of invention. Once you invent something, and it gets you paid, then you think there’s got to be a better to do that. You start to invent new ways to invent new things. This period of explosive growth in human history came shortly after the Industrial Revolution.
We’ve come a long ways from ancient hunters. One of the first ways that ancient proto-humans hunted was something called persistence hunting.
Turns out that being able to sweat through skin not covered by body hair is a very effective way to regulate body heat. No other animal can do this. This allowed humans to literally chase after much faster animals.
Since those much faster animals couldn’t release heat other than panting, they would have to stop after a short sprint to release body heat. But humans didn’t need to. We could just keep jogging after them. Every time we’d get close, the animals would have to sprint up ahead.
But every time the animal stopped, they wouldn’t be as effective, as they weren’t designed to escape from predators that could just keep coming. They evolved to out sprint predators that could only regulate body heat like them, by stopping and panting.
Ancient humans had the ability to sweat, had much less body hair, which let them regulate heat. They had also developed arched soles, which served as shock absorbers so as to not mess up knees and hips, as well as add to our jogging efficiency.
It was very much like the race between the tortoise and the hare. The poor animal would sprint up, have to stop to let off body heat, but these god damn humans would just keep coming, like an ancient terminator.
Chase Dinner All Day
When ancient humans were hungry, they had to essentially go jogging several miles before they could kill something. And you can bet every single one of those jogging hunting ancient terminators, while they were slowly jogging their prey to death were thinking the EXACT same thought:
There has GOT to be a better way to do this!
Mind Persuasion has plenty of books and courses to teach you how to speak hypnotically and persuasively.