Today we’re going to talk about one of the reasons it’s so hard to unplug and step outside of the echo chamber of the inessential: FOMO. That dreaded fear of missing out.
But, what, exactly, are we so afraid of missing out on?
The latest news report or “must-watch” TV show or push notification or sports score? Hmmm…
Let’s hear what the authors of Lead Yourself First have to say about the subject:
“In some quarters there is a ‘fear of missing out’: a fear that, if one unplugs from e-mail or news services or social media even for a few hours, they’ll be less current (a few hours less, to be exact) than their peers. And indeed that is true. But tracking all these inputs is surrender to the Lilliputians. One simply cannot engage in anything more than superficial thought when cycling back and forth between these tweets and work. And most of the inputs are piecemeal, and thus worthless anyway. As with our obsession with smartphones, one needs to make a choice about whether to engage in this kind of practice. And no one serious about his responsibilities will choose to engage in it.”
Let’s emphasize those last two sentences:
“As with our obsession with smartphones, one needs to make a choice about whether to engage in this kind of practice. And no one serious about his responsibilities will choose to engage in it.”
That’s pretty straightforward, eh?
You serious about your responsibilities?
Then you’ll get over your FOMO and choose to install some new behaviors.
btw: You know that Memento Mori coin I have in my pocket all day every day? Well, every time I take it out, I look at the skull on one side and the Marcus Aurelius wisdom on the other (“YOU COULD LEAVE LIFE RIGHT NOW”), then I smile and say to myself: “Odds are against you living forever (see: the +1 on “How to Live Forever” for the asterisk—lol) so appreciate your life NOW. And, even if you COULD live forever, TODAY is the only day that will matter. Plus, the best way to put yourself in a position to both live forever AND enjoy the most moments is to be your best NOW so remember: TODAY’s the Day. Act accordingly.”
I might have an abridged version of that internal monologue as well. (lol) But I think you get the point.
Here’s the deal: From my vantage point, the only thing we should be afraid of missing out on is living our best life. The prospect of failing to live up to your potential and enjoy this precious life? THAT should be appropriately terrifying—just enough to make you put away your smartphone, drop the useless addictions and make today a Masterpiece.
So… Today’s +1.
Flip the virtual Memento Mori coin in your mind. Appreciate just how precious this life is. Have a healthy fear of missing out on experiencing your best life.
And, practically speaking, think about one simple little behavior you can change to be in integrity with your highest responsibilities.
Let’s not miss out on spending as much time as we can with our best selves.
High fives from me and Optimus to you and your inner daimon.