Sometimes It's Not For You: A Thought On FOMO

"You'll never believe what happened last night!" a coworker said during our lunch break.

He and another guy from our office had gone to a formal business thing with a raffle draw. And the other guy had won plane tickets that would have cost a few months' salary.

"Wow, that's awesome!"

"Right?" My coworker grinned. "Except he'd gone home before his name was drawn, and got disqualified!"

"What?!?"

"I can't believe it either! I texted him about it and he said the craziest thing." Chuckling, my coworker brought his phone close enough for me to see the screen.

It's okay. It wasn't for me.

"Maybe that helps him sleep at night." My coworker shrugged. "But I still feel bad for him; he missed out!"

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It's okay. It wasn't for me.

My coworker in the story up top doesn't like staying all the way to the end of work events if it doesn't serve him. He's pretty introverted, and he decided that the chance of winning a prize --- which always happens close to the end of the program to keep people in their seats --- isn't worth how draining it is to stick around hours after he's met his work commitments.

To him, making the effort and time required to possibly get the luck of the draw isn't something he's willing to do. He'd rather cut out activities like that from his schedule and spend that time elsewhere.

One reason our schedules are complicated is we try to fit in too much.

Everything we feel like doing, feel like we should be doing, and feel like we'll regret not doing --- the 24 hours we have just isn't enough to fit in all of it.

We want to grow, learn, and get all the good things. There's nothing wrong with that, but always going forward without stopping to think about our actions is like hurriedly turning the corner without reading the street sign properly.

We could be walking a path we may not want to go, and that leads to unhappiness.

What if we honestly thought about where we're headed?

Do we really want the best thing that could happen with this opportunity? Are we willing to make the effort and time required to get it to happen?

Or would chasing that possibly big thing be a half-baked effort as we're distracted by the next thing on our agenda?

Because even if we get that opportunity in our hands, we still miss out on enjoying it to the fullest when we immediately chase after something else.

Instead, what would it feel like to let go of the fear of missing out?

If we took a deep breath, said This isn't for me at this time, and that's okay, and meant it deep inside?

If we stepped back and chose to be here in this activity that's important to us instead?

Because the next big thing's a good opportunity, no question about that. But if it doesn't match our priorities in the long run, it's not good for us.

It's a good opportunity for someone else.


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To recap, if we want our schedules to be simple and not stressful, letting go of opportunities that don't serve us is key. But if that means we're missing out on things that aren't important to us anyway? That's okay.