Are You a Hunter or a Farmer?

Human beings have evolved over millions of years, as nomadic hunter-gatherers. It was only a little over 10,000 years ago that agriculture and farming started, which has shaped our modern world.

For better or worse, we have a mostly agrarian society and this makes it hard for some of us to express our more wild, primal, nomadic genes.

While many people assimilate just fine into the status quo of modern society, many others struggle with finding deep satisfaction in a modern world.

With over 2/3rds of Americans unhappy and an all time high of anti-anxiety/anti-depressant pharmaceutical use, this difference in individuality needs to be acknowledged and addressed for a more prosperous, productive and peaceful society.

While most of us fall somewhere in between, each individual will have stronger tendencies towards one or the other. There is no right or wrong, just a difference, and it is important to know this in order to thrive in work and life.

So, let’s do the analysis…

Farmers tend to specialize in their careers; Hunters tend to have more varied interests.

Farmers tend to prefer longer work days with more steady work; Hunters tend to like working in intensive, shorter bursts.

Farmers tend to focus on output; Hunters tend to focus on outcome.

Farmers tend to think long term; Hunters tend to live in the moment.

Farmers tend to be risk averse; Hunters tend to take frequent, calculated risks.

Farmers tend to like familiar routines and repetitive tasks; Hunters tend to need constant change.

Farmers tend to like a steady home and office base; Hunters tend to be nomadic and location independent.

Farmers tend to accumulate things and store for the future; Hunters tend to have few things in order to stay mobile.

Farmers tend to lean towards comfort; Hunters tend to thrive on discomfort.

Farmers tend to be aggressive; Hunters tend to be assertive.

Farmers work well as an individual; Hunters tend to thrive better with collaboration.

Again, neither is right or wrong, good or bad, or all or nothing between the two personalities.

If you relate to a farmer, good for you! You are very much cut out for today’s modern world and you probably have most of your needs met easily. You are probably considered a ‘go-getter’ or responsible.

However, if you relate more to a hunter, you probably tend more toward cooperation. You are probably more sensitive to the needs of others than your own needs. Hunters want to take care of the weak, the sick and the poor. Hunters need much more physical activity and time spent in nature. They learn better by observing and doing. They ponder and think deeply.

So, if you are a hunter, you may need to buck the status quo and do things differently. You might need to take a few more risks in order to live a more authentic life. You might remain restless until you get the physical, mental and emotional freedom that you need. You may have to stand out.

If schools and companies were to understand these differences, and strive to meet these more varied, individual needs, then we would have a much higher productivity rate, with fewer hours spent in the cubicle and in the classroom.

Do you agree with these descriptions? If so, where do you lean? Or do feel you relate pretty equally to both sides?

11 thoughts on “Are You a Hunter or a Farmer?

  1. Wow what an interesting thought process. I would definitely be in the farmers category. I try to think as far out as possible and run through all the scenarios. Last minute decisions are not something I thrive on. Great article and I loved reading every minute of it!!!


  2. This is a very sharp analysis. I definitely fall into the hunter category. I have always felt the need to live with a minimum of belongings in order to give as much space as possible to people, new interests and endeavors. And, it is true that this way of life gives a lot of freedom but doesn’t always aligned with the modern world.


  3. I actually identify with different aspects of both.
    Routines are preferred, but calculated risks are required.
    Interests are varied, but thinking is definitely long term rather than in the moment.

    Sorry, I had to be that person. 🙂


    • Hi TJ! I totally agree that many of us will be a combination of the two, but some might feel a tendency towards one or the other. I would consider myself 75% hunter and 25% farmer. Similar to you, I have aspects of both, for sure.


  4. Very interesting. I have always attributed the ‘why’ we do things the way we do, or are the way we are back to our hunter/gather/primal lifestyles. This builds on my thinking. I really like the perspective.

    I would have thought farmers would be more about taking care of the weak and sick. As they are more capable with the grounded roots. Weak and poor would slow down the hunters?

    Fat food for thought 😉


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