Over the millenia our brains have gotten bigger and smarter, building on top of previous, less sophisticated layers.
The “lizard brain” is the base layer and can override our higher purposed, more human layers.
The lizard brain’s main concern is avoiding danger and figuring out if what’s in front of us can be eaten or mated with. I’ll call this the four F’s of the lizard brain : Flee it, fight it, fuck it, or feast on it. And don’t get hurt doing it.
Evolving in environments of scarcity resulted in our brains having a baked-in bias for conserving precious biological resources like our calories, water, body heat, etc. This bias creates a resistance to trying to become the risk taking, wide-ranging, remarkable geniuses we want to be because doing that will possibly use lots of resources our lizard brains want to protect or it feels dangerous.
Given that our brains are hardwired for conserving resources, which used to be hard to come by, we’re predisposed to taking the path of least resistance. Our brains encourage us to sit around, watch TV, and eat lots of sweet and salty food, often all three at once.
Our lizard brain can be tamed. If there’s lots of resistance to attempting something novel that seems ok, that’s probably the agitated lizard brain throwing on the brakes. Knowing what’s happening, allows you to acknowledge it, and to go on and do what your higher human brain wants to try. Knowledge is power.