The fear of missing out

Right now, at this very moment, in your nearest town or city there are people having fun. No matter whether it is late afternoon or early morning, somebody somewhere is doing something exciting, novel, or naughty. Indeed, across the world millions of people are doing things right this moment far more exciting than reading this blog. You are missing out.

We live in a world of opportunity. Gone are the days when most people lived out their lives in a pattern predetermined by the nature of the small community into whose clutches they were born. We can choose to live our lives in myriad ways. We can choose to spend each day and each moment doing a mind-boggling array of activities. Mostly we tell ourselves that this glut of opportunity will make us happy, but the sad truth is that mostly it generates in us a profound fear that we the most exciting things of life are passing us by — that we are missing out.

We are.

Right now you are not doing 99.99999% of all the exciting and interesting things you could be doing. That is not a choice. There are far more opportunities in this world than can fit into even the longest human life. No matter how hard you work or how heartily you party, you will not be able to take up more than a tiny fraction of the opportunities available to you.

So choose. Choose how to spend the next five minutes, the next hour, or the rest of your year. And once you’ve chosen, commit. At least for now. Be fiercely present. If your mind tells you that there might be more interesting things happening elsewhere, if you feel that twitch to reach for the smartphone and see whether social media can link you in with some exciting happening on the other side of the planet, resist. Acknowledge that you know you’re missing out, you are always missing out, on almost everything. There is one tiny corner of the universe available to you, so inhabit it.

Be here. Now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *