When Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into Nature and you will understand everything better,” he was right! If our goal is to understand and enjoy life and navigate around the inevitable roadblocks on our path to success, looking deep onto Nature and discovering our amazing similarities to animals is the first step.
This new perspective can change how we see ourself, our family, our coworkers—even our world. Once we realize that humans are animals, too, and that an Inner Animal with hard-wired instincts lives within each of us, we may never look at life the same way again or feel powerless or victimized by it. We can actually take more control of it — “animal style.”
We humans are, for all practical purposes, just animals in clothes and like other animals, we are innately selfish, defend our property, and seek pleasure over pain.
Did you know that “horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids” or that “ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up”? According to Peter Wohlleben in his groundbreaking book, The Hidden Life of Animals, these facts are all true. (Wohlleben, 2017)
“Wow!” you say, “Animals are just like us!” My point exactly, although more accurately we could say it is us that are quite like animals. Our emotions of love, grief and compassion, along with our basic survival instincts are more deeply rooted than we realize. We humans are, for all practical purposes, just animals in clothes and like other animals, we are innately selfish, defend our property, and seek pleasure over pain. We are competitive, jealous, bully, seek out and hoard resources and, yes, we use sex as power. Human animals are also “birds of a feather” and group with others with the same characteristics or beliefs.
When we stop trying to apply logic to human behavior, we can take a step back and understand it from the perspective of these basic instincts. As Albert said, “you will understand everything better.”
With this new perspective, not only can we understand the behaviors of others instead of reacting to them, but we can also use our awareness of the Inner Animal to influence or redirect behaviors of others instinctively to help achieve our own goals. Managers can get greater cooperation from their staff by understanding the needs of their Inner Animal instead of insisting solely on logic. Promotions can become easier to get when we understand how to develop a relationship of deeper trust with our boss’s Inner Animal. Teams can be more cohesive and productive when delicate instincts are respected and the emotions in the group are understood.
Indeed, getting to know your Inner Animal may be your most important tool in your quest for success! At long last, you can begin to cultivate stronger and healthier relationships that produce willing cooperation instead of conflict or pushback. Success is on the horizon!
Adapted from my book: HARVEST YOUR HAPPY: A Farm Girl’s Guide to Leading, Succeeding and Living Your Best Life. Available now on Amazon, paperback and Kindle.