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Some research indicates that the size of the human brain reached modern proportions around three hundred thousand years ago. Evolution never stops, of course, and the shape of the structure appears to have continued to evolve in meaningful ways until it reached both modern size and shape sometime between one hundred thousand and thirty-five thousand years ago.

Research has shown that the ability to delay gratification is one of the primary drivers of success. It has been pointed out to me by a few readers that many wild animals do face chronic stress. For example, baboons and other mammals experience stress related to social status and rank within their tribe.

I will be reading more about these nuances and, if necessary, I will update my thoughts in a future post. Even many of the acute problems we face today are very different from the acute problems of Immediate Return Environments. Consider turbulence on an airplane. This is an immediate, short-term problem that makes many travelers feel stressed and anxious. Unlike acute problems in the wild, however, there is nothing you can do about it except sit there. When you saw a lion in the grass, you could at least run.

But our environment has changed so much that many of the acute problems we face, we can no longer take action on. We can only sit and worry. Yet another reason to focus on the system and not the goal. You can get more actionable ideas in my popular email newsletter. Each week, I share 3 short ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question to think about. Over 1,000,000 people subscribe. Enter your email now and join us. James Clear writes about habits, decision making, and continuous improvement.

When you are hungry, you walk over and munch on a tree. When a storm rolls across the plains, you take shelter under the brush. When you spot a lion stalking you and your friends, you run away. The Evolution of the Human Brain The human brain did not evolve for life in a delayed-return environment. Instead of worrying about living longer, focus on taking a walk each day. Instead of worrying about whether your child will get a college scholarship, focus on how much time they spend studying today.

Instead of worrying about losing enough weight for the wedding, focus on cooking a healthy dinner tonight. When I publish an article, the quality of my life is noticeably higher. Additionally, I know that if I write consistently, then my business will grow, I will publish books, and I will make enough money to sustain my life. By focusing my attention on writing each day, I increase my well-being (immediate return) while also working toward earning future income (delayed return).

I experienced a huge shift in well-being when I learned to fall in love with exercise. The act of going to the gym brings joy to my life (immediate return) and it also leads to better long-term health (delayed return).

Last year, I posted my public reading list and began reading 20 pages per day. Now, I get a sense of accomplishment whenever I do my daily reading (immediate return) and the practice helps me develop into an interesting person (delayed return). Footnotes Thanks for reading. About the Author James Clear writes about habits, decision making, and continuous improvement. It makes a difference. I donate 5 percent of profits to causes that improve the health of children, pregnant mothers, and families in low income communities.

We have helped over 30,000 people so far. The more we allow infections to occur, the more likely changes will occur. When we have lots of people infected, we give more chances to the virus to diversify and then adapt to selective pressures," says Ray, vice-chair of medicine for data integrity and analytics and professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

If this occurs, he says, "we will have an ineffective vaccine, essentially. These vaccines could be more easily and quickly adapted to respond to a new, more vaccine-elusive variant. For example, if a mutation changes the spike protein and vaccines no longer recognize it, a manufacturer could identify the new protein and incorporate that in a new mRNA vaccine. In contrast, a virus that causes people to get so sick that they isolate or die, thus halting transmission, works against viruses surviving evolutionarily.

Some viruses also mutate to become milder over time, but that has not been the case with SARS-CoV-2, Ray says.