JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out

Inevitably, we will miss out on most things. The expectation that we can engage with every worthy, interesting and exciting activity is impossible, yet the idea of missing out causes many of us regret or anxiety.  In a world where technology continues to replace downtime and social media promotes misconceptions about our peers’ endless array of amazing adventures – we, as individuals, have a choice to make. Either we allow the worry and anxiety to disengage us from the present moment, or we consciously say no and deliberately miss out– and in so doing – step fully into the present, our choices, our lives.

Blogger Anil Dash coined the term JOMO (joy of missing out) in response to the popular term FOMO (fear of missing out) and I think it’s brilliant. In each moment we can choose to approach life from a place of fear or a place of love/joy or compassion.

Joy lies in full, rich experience when we are totally present. We can’t truly appreciate the steaming cup of tea in front of us, or the beautiful friend across the table sharing her life, if we’re worried that something, somewhere, may be better. FOMO is self-perpetuating, as no activity will ever be fulfilling so long as we are disconnected from it, yearning for something else.

Practicing JOMO

1. Take a Moment: When presented with conflicting plans, our brains often jump in to overdrive, calculating the pros and cons of each situation. Who will be there? What did I commit to first? What opportunity is more unique? Before entrenching yourself in thought, pause. Breathe. Give your mind and body a moment to connect and clear decisions will come much easier.

2. Trust Yourself: In the X years of living you’ve done thus far, you’ve accumulated a wealth of information about what serves you and what doesn’t. Trust in your own understanding and your gut feelings.  They will defend you from decisions based on external pressures or expectations.

3. Enjoy: Be present with your reality. Daydreams are alluring because they are unattainable. What we can’t have can never be flawed but also – can never really be enjoyed. Gift yourself the opportunity to relish life as it unfolds. At the most you will have an amazing time, at the least you will learn a valuable lesson for future reference.

Photo Credit: Cooper.Gary from the Creative Commons.