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64 Examples of the Human Condition

 , updated on September 11, 2023
The human condition is a term that describes the characteristics of human existence including experience and behavior. The following are illustrative examples.

Physical

The experience of the body and ability to move through 3-dimensional space.

Time

Movement through time from past to present with no ability to jump forwards or go backwards in time.

Need & Desire

Human needs and desires such as air, water, food, shelter, clothing, sleep, reproduction, love, belonging, respect, self-esteem, freedom, recognition and self-actualization.

Pain

Pain due to factors such as injury, sickness and hunger.

Sickness

Disease and illness.

Mental Illness

Dysfunctions of thinking, emotion and behavior.

Mental Health

Experiencing thought and emotions that are rational and conductive to quality of life.

Health

Physical, mental and social well-being and the absence of disease or infirmity.

Rest

The human need to rest and sleep to remain physically and mentally functional.

Motivation

The desire to do things.

Emotion

States of mind that color all thoughts such as joy.

Hate

Feeling an intense dislike of people, situations, systems or other things.

Love

The ability to feel affection for people, animals, nature, things and abstract concepts.

Conflict

Malicious and destructive interactions between people or groups.

Cooperation

The ability to work together towards common goals.

Competition

Competition for resources and position between people and groups. Competition is also a common element of play.

Failure

A plan that doesn't achieve its aims.

Learning

The ability to learn from information and your experiences.

Knowledge

Information as it exists in the human mind. For example, an engineer who knows how to design a safe aircraft.

Education

The process of developing the mind and acquiring knowledge.

Altruism

Doing things that you perceive as good for people and planet without any expectation of reward or recognition.

Regret

Regret at past failures that can't be undone.

Logic

The ability to think in a systematic way working with facts and probabilities.

Rational Thought

Developing ideas that other people would view as reasonable.

Belief

The ability to believe in things you can't directly confirm.

Imagination

Seeing beyond current realities to invent.

Truth

Representing fact and opinion truthfully and candidly.

Deception

Attempts to deceive others.

Introspection

The ability to examine your own character, behavior, thoughts and emotion to understand yourself.

Self-Deception

Attempts to deceive yourself.

Toil

Labor that is unpleasant but necessary.

Work

Labor that is satisfying as an act of productivity and creation.

Tools

The use of technology to improve work or make it more productive.

Automation

The use of technology to eliminate toil or improve efficiency and quality.

Play

Setting and achieving goals that have nothing to do with production in the pursuit of joy. Essential to the full development of the mind.

Creativity

Using the imagination to create unique and novel value.

Culture

Transcending the stark realities of production and logic to enjoy life through human elements such as art, music, cuisine, literature, performance art, film, festival and celebration.

Language

The ability to communicate using language.

Spirituality

The ability to contemplate or experience the nature of the universe and the self.

Religion

Organized spirituality.

Risk Taking

The pursuit of opportunity despite risk.

Risk Avoidance

The pursuit of safety despite opportunity.

Society

Institutions, systems and customs that govern life in a place.

Politics

The means by which groups make decisions.

Organizations

The tendency for people to organize into groups with a well defined structure such as a government, institution, company or non-profit organization.

Wealth

The stored value accumulated by a society, organization, group or individual.

Poverty

The inability of a society, group or individual to secure the basics of life such as clean air, water, food, shelter, clothing, health care and education.

Social Status

The tendency for people to rank and compare themselves and others according to a broad range of social signals such as coolness or wealth.

Social Bonds

The development of relationships between people such as romantic love, family and friends.

Freedom

The ability to do what you want free from constraint. For example, privacy is the freedom to be unobserved.

Control

Control of resources and rules of behavior that are imposed on individuals and enforced with systems.

Customs

Flexible rules that are followed on a more or less voluntary basis. A pleasing alternative to strict rules and controls.

Constraints

Constraints imposed upon an individual by society, their group membership or realities such as a lack of resources.

Community

The social interactions that occur in a place such as a neighborhood or town. In many cases, a place develops its own culture that guides local interactions.

Change

The fact that all things constantly change such that societies, organizations and individuals must regularly reinvent themselves to survive.

Innovation & Revolution

Change that is sudden and disruptive.

Fear

A dread emotional state that is a useful reaction to imminent risk. Fears can also be irrational.

Status Quo

The tendency of societies, groups and individuals to fight dramatic change in an attempt to preserve stability.

Tradition

Things that are done a certain way because they have long been done that way. Often valued by people as an element of culture that provides stability and a sense of connectedness with the past.

Nature

The world beyond human things such as air, water, land, animals, plants and ecosystems.

Technology

Human manufactured things that have perceived value for systems or people.

Pollution

The tendency for technology to be poorly designed such that it destroys nature.

Mortality

The knowledge of our inevitable death.

Self-Fulfillment

The pursuit of a meaningful life.
Overview: Human Condition
Type
Definition
The characteristics of human existence including thought, emotion and behavior at the system, social and individual level.
Related Concepts
Next: The Human Experience
More about the human condition:
Adversity
Change
Competition
Coolness
Creativity
Culture
Human Condition
Human Development
Human Experience
Humanity
Knowledge
Life Satisfaction
Logic
Motivation
Obstacles
Physical Env
Privacy
Rational Thought
Risk Avoidance
Risk Taking
Social Status
Society
Status Quo
Toil
Tradition
Wealth
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