Scarcity Brain: Fix Your Craving Mindset and Rewire Your Habits to Thrive with Enough (Hardcover)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Comfort Crisis asks: Are we hardwired to crave more? From food and stuff to information and influence, why can’t we ever get enough?
“Reveals the biological and evolutionary foundations behind your brain’s fixations, so you can stop seeking and start living.”—Melissa Urban, Whole30 CEO and author of The Book of Boundaries
“Michael Easter’s genius is that he puts data around the edges of what we intuitively believe. His work has inspired many to change their lives for the better.”—Dr. Peter Attia, author of Outlive
Michael Easter, author of The Comfort Crisis and one of the world’s leading experts on behavior change, shows that the problem isn’t you. The problem is your scarcity mindset, left over from our ancient ancestors. They had to constantly seek and consume to survive because vital survival tools like food, material goods, information, and power were scarce and hard to find. But with our modern ability to easily fulfill our ancient desire for more, our hardwired “scarcity brain” is now backfiring. And new technology and institutions—from dating and entertainment apps to our food and economic systems—are exploiting our scarcitybrain. They’re bombarding us with subversive “scarcitycues,” subtle triggers that lead us into low-reward cravings that hurt us in the long run. Scarcity cues can be direct and all-encompassing, like a sagging economy. Or they can be subtle and slight, like our neighbor buying a shiny new car.
Easter traveled the world to consult with remarkable innovators and leading scientists who are finding surprising solutions for our scarcity brain. He discovered simple tactics that can move us towards an abundance mindset, cement healthy habits, and allow us to live our lives to the fullest and appreciate what we have, including how to:
• Detect hidden scarcity cues to stop cravings before they start, from a brilliant slot machine designer in a Las Vegas casino laboratory
• Turn alone time into the ultimate happiness hack, from artisanal coffee-making Benedictine monks
• Reignite your exploration gene for a more exciting and fulfilling life, from an astronaut onboard the International Space Station
• Reframe how we think about and fix addiction and bad habits, from Iraq’s chief psychiatrist
• Recognize when you have enough, from a woman who left a million-dollar career path to adventure the world
Our world is overloaded with everything we’re built to crave. The fix for scarcity brain isn’t to blindly aim for less. It’s to understand why we crave more in the first place, shake our worst habits, and use what we already have better. Then we can experience life in a new way—a more satisfying way.
About the Author
Michael Easter is the author of The Comfort Crisis and a professor at UNLV. He writes and speaks on how humans can leverage modern science and evolutionary wisdom to perform better and live healthier lives. His work has been implemented by professional sports teams, elite military units, Fortune 500 companies, and leading universities.
“This book is for anyone desperate to break the cycle of doom scrolling, constant cravings, and the relentless drive for more—more validation, more sugar, more money, more stuff. Scarcity Brain reveals the biological and evolutionary foundations behind your brain’s fixations, so you can stop seeking and start living.”—Melissa Urban, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Boundaries
“Michael Easter brings to light that our challenges with behavior change can be better understood—and conquered—if we know how driven we are by our scarcity mindset. With deep science-backed insights, personal stories, practical guidance, and a relatable approach, Easter’s book is for anyone interested in embarking on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment with the goal of living a healthier, more satisfying, and actualized life.”—Juliet Starrett & Dr. Kelly Starrett, New York Times bestselling authors of Built to Move
“Michael Easter illuminates how humans are hardwired to seek more, even when our reward-seeking behaviors become at odds with our well-being. His vulnerable weaving of his own personal experiences alongside cutting edge research and current events compel you to examine your own life and patterns. Consider this engaging read a mandate to get curious, a more effective tool for meaningful, positive, lasting change than shame or judgement, the traditional tools of the trade.”—Liz Plosser, editor in chief of Women’s Health
“Do you have cravings that cause you to overconsume? Are those behaviors counterproductive to your life goals? Scarcity Brain unravels the mystery as to why, so you can recognize the trap and appreciate the things you do have rather than the things your brain is telling you it needs. Easter will help you identify the difference between short-term comforts and long-term meaningful growth by understanding the ancient origins of the cravings that impede your happiness. Pick up Scarcity Brain today—avoid the trap and start living!”—Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL Sniper and New York Times bestselling author of the James Reece Terminal List series
“Unlike any habit book you've ever read—it'll stick with you and improve your life for years to come.”—Richard Dorment, editor in chief of Men's Health