Reading The Next Million Years, by Charles Galton Darwin, was a good experience for me because he put many things into a super long framework that smooths out events into probable, improbable and impossible.
There is a usual list of impossible things like – live forever – get everything you want – control your desires – control the past – change your genetic code – recover burned things – maintain perfect privacy – fix other people – please everyone – get instant gratification.
The list is probably much longer, but those are representative of personal ideas that can never be wholly satisfied and even with great success will still leave a residual longing and dissatisfaction.
We are humans and as humans, we must obey many natural laws, some of which we may not like. Because we are alive means we came from the nonliving and because we are alive we must eventually return to the nonliving. That is as inevitable as gravity here on Earth and thus when you are not supported you fall toward the center of the Earth. Darwin insists that we are wild animals; that we are social, but we are also seeking to be emotionally unconstrained, to get our own way. Often that doesn’t work out, and so we always have some residual resentments.
One thing that will bring disappointment is expecting social movements to bring success and happiness. For example, no matter how hard you try there will be people consuming and destroying things we all need, like burning coal and gas, thus polluting the air all the plants and animals need to survive. You simply can’t prevent that, but you can send seeds to The EarthArk in Antarctica and preserve the possibility of regrowing species that are now going extinct. They may go extinct, but their seeds can be revived in the distant future when the proper environment becomes available again. But the main point is that you can accomplish a deed that can make a difference. The usual environmental movement of saving threatened habitats is doomed to fail in the present political situation. Don’t waste time and effort trying to do things that are doomed to fail.
We can find places to put our efforts that are automatically successful.