Balance, Hunter Gatherer Societies, Modern Work and Veneka Updates
Sapiens is one of my favorite books. When Yuval Hariri describes our hunting and gathering ancestors, he estimates they worked for 6 hours a day, including the time it took to chop wood, prepare meals, make fires, etc. They’re known by anthropologists as ‘the original affluent society’. Juxtaposing our ancestors schedules with our modern demands, I can’t help but ask if we’ve depleted the quality of our working lives. By no means am I suggesting we romanticize hunter gatherer societies. Given their high rates of infant mortality, tribal warfare and incurable diseases, I don’t wish to travel back in time. I do wonder what we need to re-learn about living a life of balance.
I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. Not the temporary respite from bingeing a TV show, but the pursuit of a perpetually maintained balance of internal resources. A way of living that fills one up with refreshed energy while wiping away the stressors of yesterday, everyday.
Despite the shift to remote work, much of how we work still comes from the manufacturing assembly lines of a bygone era. Too many of our current metrics of success are output vs. input based. I hope in the future, in addition to training for a trade, colleges teach the cultivation of sound work habits. There is value in tracking the length and depth of our focus, in addition to crossing items off our to-do list. And, remember fun? While offering to babysit my toddler, someone suggested I ‘go have fun’. I didn’t know what to do with the F bomb that had just dropped on my tightly coiled lap. “Fun?” I repeated, flabbergasted at the suggestion. She laughed. I don’t think she realized how serious I was.
I was hesitant to write this in fear of sounding like a self care cliche. So many ‘self care rituals’ in advertising and social media are vacant. I’m not in pursuit of an easy life, I’m in pursuit of a balanced one. I want to be stretched to my appropriate tautness, not more nor less. I was lucky to discover Vipassana meditation years ago, but have had difficulty keeping up a regular routine. I'm reading ‘Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life’ and it has been eye opening. I now cling to my morning routine of exercise and meditation like oxygen. I block off regular times to eat and schedule fun.
How can we use our thousands of years of collective wisdom and current exponential technologies to create a way of living that makes us, not our ancestors, the more 'affluent society’?
I think about this a lot as Veneka grows. We've been extra busy lately and are thrilled to share a new website. It's not a wholesale move. Rather, a renovation that will make mobile use, shopping from your capsule and overall speed easier.
I hope you live in your own abundance of balance and affluence.
CEO & Founder, Veneka
About the author
Shivika Sinha is the CEO & Founder of Veneka. She's an award-winning social entrepreneur on a mission to transform business into a force for good. Visit Meet Our Founder & CEO to read her story.
Read more from Shivika:
"The Shared Experience of All Women"
"10 Days of Silence & Meditation: What I Learnt & Why I did Vipassana"