It is interesting how animals seem to be satisfied once their basic needs of food and shelter are met.
However, most of us, animals as well, have the luxury of having these basic needs easily obtained. Through human history, there has never been a moment when we had it so good. Still, many of us are unhappy. We seem to require something "beyond" the necessities of food and shelter.
But then what do we lack? And why do we lack? We are both blessed and cursed with having a prefrontal context that allows us to make projections about the future, about the past, and about "our self", whatever that is. It lets us see beyond the needs of the present moment
Why do we do these projections? It could be a quest for happiness. But what is happiness, or what do we expect it to be? Is it an endless series of feel-good moments?
From an evolutionary perspective, this is not very realistic. We are not made to be happy, we are made to survive. And surviving involves a lot of feeling-bad moments. Therefore I believe, but I can be wrong, that the thing we are "seeking" compulsively is not happiness.
But then do we seek this survival? I think in some way, yes. We can rush our way through life, often largely unconsciously, in the hope that if we only do enough, we will have "certainty", and we will have a long and prosperous life. The irony of the matter is that because of this way of operating, we become stressed, we might even become burned out. And that way, the chances of survival we might be seeking, are actually reduced.
But then, what is it about us that doesn't allow us to “just be”, once or basic needs are met? Again I could be wrong, but maybe we are looking for a "why" behind the being. A search for meaning. But, what is “meaning”? E.g. at with point is your job meaningful, and when stops it to be so? Should we get into a neurosis for meaning instead of happiness then? Would that be any better?
The only answer I found so far, is that the easiest way to find this "why" behind the "me", is to let go of the "me", and to "be" for the "other".
The 20angles podcast explores this question of "what we are", or "why we are?", not with the expectation of finding an answer, but because the questioning (and I'd even dare to use the serious word "philosophizing") bears the true fruits.