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, anxiety or stress. Attached to our smart phones and handheld devices, technology replaces downtime and social media promotes misconceptions about our peers’ endless array of amazing adventures – the concert, vacation, receptions, parties or other gathering we didn’t attend. 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 not get over extended. In so doing, we step fully into the present, our choices, our lives.

JOMO, the “joy of missing out,” is a termed coined by blogger Anil Dash in response to the popular term FOMO (fear of missing out). In each moment we can choose to approach life from a place of fear or a place of joy, love, or compassion. This is a mantra we can all live by.

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. No activity will ever be fulfilling when we are distracted and 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, weighing 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 and take a few breaths. Give your mind and body a moment to connect and clear decisions will arise much easier.

2. Trust Yourself: Throughout your life thus far, you’ve accumulated a wealth of information about what serves you well 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 in the present moment. What we can’t have can never be flawed but also – can never truly 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.


Beautiful. We often miss the reality while in pursuit of daydreams and never enjoy either. Thank you Lillian.