The reason humans are the dominant species on this planet isn’t because we like sex, or because we feel fear; all living things have that. The reason we are at the top is because our brains have a huge frontal lobe we call consciousness, which allows us to transcend our survival instincts. We can plan and build and design. We can use tools.
The way to beat our regression to the lizard brain through unintentional MVP-esque design is to think about the future, not today or tomorrow, where our present troubles can still threaten us, but hundreds of years into the future.
Imagine what that future could be. Will Earth look like Mars, as some have predicted? Or, will humanity look more like it does in Star Trek, where people don’t have to work to eat, where money has long been abandoned, where humans regularly travel to and from the stars, where our scientific reach and our philosophical and moral grasp are nearly parallel?
Once we have a vision of that future, we can begin to think backwards about how that amazing time came to be. We can reverse engineer that future until we break it down into manageable components, to a series of things we can do today.
When we have a plan to reach the ideal future we can hope again, and not in a naive abstraction that leads to hippy communes in the woods, but in a practical way with real things we can actually do today. We can make the future we want, but it takes defining that future and living pragmatically, in ways that makes our hope an eventual reality.