F4! Where can I sign up for that? Or at least 2 out of 4! All joking aside, the four items in the title may be the true parallels between ancient and modern life.
Whether you are considering the primal drives of the earliest humans, medieval life patterns like those in Game of Thrones, or the most basic endeavors of current-day people, various interpretations of feasting, fighting, fleeing, and fornicating are at the root of our existence. When we say that we are kicking ass in life, through the pursuit of ultimate wellness, peak performance, and maximum longevity, we are integrally tied to those four basic requirements. This concept of evolutionary biology has been discussed since the 1950’s by Pribram, Williams, and Dawkins, among others. Most suggest that these behavior patterns are eternal. As opposed to viewing those components in a somewhat barbaric fashion, I’d like to present these four linchpins of humanity from a more biological, and ultimately philosophical perspective.
- Feasting: Food covers the entire spectrum from surviving to thriving. Yes, practical and tactical nutrition is a part of our everyday lives. We seek out high-quality foods which contain the calories, micronutrients and macronutrients we require, and that support our training endeavors or weight management goals. We also have much tradition and ritual surrounding food as more than sustenance. Our feeding is deep nourishment and it is centered around sharing and rejoicing. It does not have to equate with gluttony or debauchery. It is also designed to be sporadic, and in balance with fasting or famine. Let’s keep the feast alive!
- Fighting: There is a time and a place for fighting. Always has been and always will be. However, instead of thinking of this as constantly being combative towards others or working not so intelligently and chronically being in a resistant (not flow) state, fighting in the modern context is really “fighting the good fight.” Once we minimize but still deal with conflict and confrontation, we can turn our aggression (or more appropriately our passion), toward doing good in this world. Making sound decisions, doing the right thing, being a strong leader, balancing objectivity and compassion, and helping others are what it’s all about. We all need to be fighting for justice, peace, and equality. However quixotic this may sound, that’s the good fight. Let’s fight it.
- Fleeing: Whether facing a prehistoric predator or a modern-day burning building, we are wired with the survival mechanism of escape. We require this capacity to be present, but hope to use it very little. Thus, fleeing has its emergent side but it also has a prospective side. By applying instincts and experience, we can avoid many dangers and maintain safety and survival. Sometimes we do need an immediate response (leaping from the burning building) but the preferred scenario is usually one of prevention (making sure the wiring in that building is up to code and not creating a fire hazard). Fleeing can be preemptive as well as reactionary.
- Fornicating: OK, yes, on the most biologic of levels, we procreate both for pleasure and in order to propagate our species. This is part of being a human animal and we benefit in health and longevity when our libido, fertility, and virility are optimized. The carnal motive is indeed a primal drive but we have much to gain by expanding this component into additional “F” words. We need to be all about forging relationships, maintaining fellowship, and fostering felicity. This focus transcends the mechanical and supports our interactive presence as communal enrichment.
The 4 “F’s” are in our genes. That can’t be denied. But we don’t have to deny F4 and we shouldn’t. This is our biology and our psychology. Let’s embrace it. When we use F4 to kick ass FOR life, we make the world a better place because we optimize performance and longevity, and our ability to serve and contribute is multiplied. And don’t feel ashamed, dirty, or guilty about embracing these terms. They are endemic to the beast that is human, no matter how sophisticated or civilized we have become. In summary F + F + F + F = F4, but also…F4 = Celebrate (C). Celebrate your human beastliness! And KICK ASS FOR LIFE!