Something You Won’t Want to Miss

Your fortnightly nudge away from the status quo, Consider This #50.


Boo!

Did you notice that?

When you feel fear, it flips an emergency switch in your brain. It cuts off your executive center and gives full reign to your lizard brain. 

So, unless you’re cool with making the same life decisions as your pet bearded dragon, it’s probably a good idea to limit your fear exposure.

You’d think that’d be easy now that life’s reached idiot-proof levels of safety. 

But no. 

We masochistic humans love making life difficult for ourselves. So, in 2004, we invented a new fear. And it’s become terrifyingly ubiquitous.

Scientists define this fear as “the pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.” 

Most of us know it as “the fear of missing out.”

AKA FOMO. 

Until recently, I’ve been pretty immune to this fear. But when my friends left me behind for a camping trip, it struck me. I wanted to be with them, not at home snatching things from baby Zac’s hands before he smashed or swallowed them. 

So, during my breaks from Zac doodie duty, I plunged into Google Scholar, reviewed a handful of books, and concocted a FOMO antidote

You won’t want to miss it!

Consider this…

Don’t miss my new video and full post on how to fight FOMO with FOMO.

Fight FOMO with FOMO

The antidote to the fear of missing out is this:

Focus omeaningful objectives. 

The good FOMO!

Because when you point your spotlight on something, you also blind yourself to the rest. 

And the harder you hone in, the more likely you’ll see beneath the seemingly boring surface and uncover unexpected rewards. These dopamine hits are much more sustainable than those people afflicted with the bad FOMO perpetually chase after. 

What if someone taps you on the shoulder to say, “Hey Chris, sorry to disturb you, but would you like to come with us to this music festival?” 

You can say yes, of course. It’s good to relax from time to time. 

But if you say, “No, sorry. I’ve got to look after Zac,” that attaches the value of what you’re missing to what you’re choosing to focus on. 

Because:

“Missing out is what makes our choices meaningful in the first place.”

Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks

And even if you screw up by picking the wrong thing to focus on, you won’t regret it as much as you think. Your brain will come to the rescue by finding justifications to make you feel good about it. 

Focus long enough, and FOMO flips

Instead of you feeling fear of missing out about others, others will see how happily focused you are and fear they’re missing out. 

Consider This Challenge

Ask yourself this: 

(It’s a seemingly corny question, but one that I think is actually kinda fun to think about and even discuss with others.)

What have been some of the most fulfilling experiences of your life?

Then consider your list and see if it contains any hints at what meaningful objectives you might want to focus on. 

↳ And for more on fighting FOMO with FOMO, check out my new post and video

☝︎ Watch my 15-sec short FOMO story on YouTube / Instagram / TikTok

Thought Starters

  • 🕳 Keep on boring? “Novelty is exciting at first and wears off over time, but purpose often starts out boring and grows more exciting as time goes on.” – Pete Davis, Dedicated
  • 🌲 Chop the decision tree. To minimize FOMO-inducing decisions, ask yourself this: What one decision could you make that removes thousands or hundreds of decisions? – h/t Tim Ferriss
  • ↔︎ Give [your name here] some distance. To separate yourself from counterproductive emotions, try thinking of yourself in the third person. e.g., “Chris is feeling stupid for not selling the Shopify stock in his tax-free account.” – h/t Richer, Wiser, Happier

Go spread the FOMO,

Chris

Next Consider ThisYour information diet needs reformulation.


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