Food & Drink Magazine

Let’s Talk About Grok

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

I Wanna Eat Something More!Last week we started talking about Grok, your inner caveman.  So this week let’s spend a little bit of time really getting to know him.  What does Grok do?  What does Grok want?  What motivates Grok and what is he scared of?

Let’s think about this for a second.  What would you do if you were dropped naked and with no tools into the middle of the rain forest or the Serengeti?  What would be your top priorities?  For me, top priorities would be finding water and then finding food while evading large predators which might consider me food.  While doing this I would try to conserve energy and do everything as efficiently as possible.  Once I got those basic needs out of the way, I’d try to find other people, form a social group and procreate.  Why procreate?  Because knowing I was eventually going to die, I’d want to leave my genetic legacy behind, that’s the basic imperative of all life on this earth.

Think about that and see if that matches your own plan.

Short Term Goals

  • Water
  • Food
  • Conserve energy

Long Term Goals

  • Socialize
  • Procreate

Note that in all of these cases you’d probably go to extremes.  What does that mean?  It means that if you’re starving you’re not going to eat a small meal when you find a dead antelope.  You’re going to stuff yourself and then move on somewhere to digest because you know your next meal may not be coming very soon.  The same applies to pretty much everything in a life ruled by scarcity.  The basic rule is “if you can do it, do it now, do it a lot and don’t stop doing it until you have to” which applies just as much to eating as it does to procreating.

Why The Hell Am I Talking About Caveman Life?

Go back to the top of this article where I say “your inner caveman”.  I mean that.  Grok is alive and well inside each of us and he’s (or she in the case of a Grokette) is making a lot of our decisions for us.  You may not think this is true, but that’s because you like to believe in things like freewill and willpower.  The truth is that your subconscious makes most of your decisions for you before you’re even aware of them and most of the work your conscious mind makes is nothing more than justifying these decisions.  And what’s your subconscious interested in?  Easy:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Conserve energy

As much as possible, as often as possible so you can procreate as often as you can.  (Sounds like most college freshmen, doesn’t it?).

Which means that while you’re struggling to eat healthy and exercise, your subconscious, the piece of your brain that’s making most of your decisions is screaming out “MORE FOOD!  MORE FAT!  MORE SUGAR!!  NOW SLEEP!”  like a three year old that’s impossible to ignore.  You may think you can control Grok and you may even be successful for a day or two, but sooner or later Grok wins out.  Sooner or later you’ll find yourself justifying Grok’s decisions (“I’ll just skip dinner”, “I’ll exercise twice as hard tomorrow”, “I can eat this chocolate cake because it’s my coworker’s birthday and that’s special”) instead of making the intelligent and healthy choices you’re so determined to make.

Compete or Cooperate?

Now most people would think “ok, so how do I beat this problem?”  How do I stop my inner Grok from running my life?  Unfortunately, you can’t stop this completely.  This is just the way the human brain works and there’s not much we can do about it.  So what do you do when you can’t beat something?  That’s right, you join it!

No no, I don’t mean you should give in to all your basic urges and go out there to binge eat, drink and procreate (although that does sound like a fun weekend in Vegas).  What it means is getting Grok to work with you rather than against you.  How do you do that?  Stick around and I’ll tell you.

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