Having the World at your Fingertips
The truth is that with a smartphone, one has access to information, news, pictures, videos, puns, memes, and platforms to be connected. Through it, one can literally have infinite access to what one desires. What we access and view triggers our perceived reality. And the big data collection of cyberspace feeds off that—giving us more of what we had viewed, connecting us towards more people we’ll worship. Overtime, we begin to want more of that stuff; we envy people who have lived those experiences and mingled with those we worship. The ability to satisfy a desire stimulates dopamine in our brain. We get addicted to receiving likes, being the centre of attention, and the instant gratification of knowing within seconds; hence, we keep returning for more which traps us in our perceived need to be in the loop. These give birth to our FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out.
FOMO refers to the perception or feeling that others have better lives, are having fun, or experiencing better things than what we are, which triggers anxiety for fear of missing out on these. It involves a deep sense of envy which affects our self-esteem; this has to do with societal pressures and our human instinct as creatures of habits. Observe if you are bogged down by a subconscious habit of checking your messages, emails, likes, or calendar. Now think deeper if you have been guilty of such habits while in the company of someone or while doing another activity. You might notice these subconscious habits start to hinder your ability to be present and live in the moment of happiness.
This article is here to offer an alternate perspective, JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out.
JOMO – the Joy of Missing Out
JOMO however dwells upon the appreciation and joy in being alone and missing out on these perceived experiences, providing us with the opportunity to pursue other interests or experiences that serve us. Beyond that, JOMO emphasizes on being present and content with wherever one is in life by learning to let go, worrying less, living each moment as it happens, and building genuine human connections. When one lets go of that inner desire to be in someone else’s shoes, one gets to clear up that anxious space in their brain; that free space is then capable of taking in new ideas, opportunities, friendships, and experiences.
FOMO in Losing People and Opportunities
Look back on the different phases of your life, people who entered it, those you held dear, and those who left. In that split second where you felt vulnerable, FOMO arises. You fear you might never see that friend again. In exchange for losing that friend is being able to keep your memories with them. Now, you’re investing your time with a new person who entered your life—how does that feel? How has your relationship with this new person grown? What stage is it at? Know that when you lose some, you gain more.
Reflect upon the job opportunities you got interviewed for but were not hired. You prepared, rehearsed, got in your best suit and shoes, and stepped right into the interview desiring it. For some unknown reason, you were not hired. But look back and ask yourself what you gained instead—was it the chance to further think about what you really wanted? Maybe you ultimately got a job that landed you in deeper friendships? Maybe a job with a boss who shows interest in your professional development? As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens.
The Joy of Moving On
Let’s talk about partners. Some of us are still single, some blissfully married, and some unfortunately divorced. If the one you wedded was your first love, good for you, you deserve all the happiness. But for many others, that is not the case. For some, relationships don’t work out, and even marriage is not a seal of guarantee that it will; but for every partner you gained and then lost, know that it all happened for a reason. If there was an underlying reason it did not work out and couldn’t survive that phase of your life, there is also no certainty that it could be fixed now. If it could, we would not be discussing this topic. Try to process how the experiences of what the previous relationship gave you has now empowered you, making you more aware of what you want and need in your current phase in life, and how it serves you in your current relationship. I invite you to reflect upon the partner that you currently have in your life. Look deep into the beauty and joy of the times you get to spend together.
How Yoga Teacher Training Helped in Exercising JOMO
For me, JOMO was never more far-fetched than when I had finished my Yoga Teacher Training Course. Having only practiced yoga at the studio where I trained to be a Yoga Teacher, I was hopeful and quite certain that I would be hired by the studio that had hired my other batchmates. My FOMO was at a fever pitch. Of course, I did not make the cut. Disappointed? You bet. The end of the journey? No. The journey was just getting started. I went on to pursue an 85-hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with Sweatbox Yoga, and lo and behold, the floodgates of opportunities opened. I got the chance to teach persevering yoga students and meet fellow teachers and empathetic trainers whom I instantly connected with. From indulging in good food with the great friends I met, to the honor of covering prenatal ytt along with a wide range of other yoga classes to further my yoga education, it has indeed been a humbling experience—never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the possibility and the space to learn to let go.
The purpose of this article is to share the Joy of Missing Out. When we learn to stop the fear of missing out, we open our hearts and minds to new and better opportunities that come with the best surprises.
And to that end, I invite you on board the JOMO journey in your own way, with 5 ways below.
5 Ways to Practice JOMO
- Practice Saying “No”
It is your time and your space. Learn to say no to invites, events, or people that do not serve your goals at the phase you are in. There might be a niggling doubt of fear scratching at the back of your mind that some people might get upset, but saying no when it is necessary is a big act of self-love. You do not have to be at the mercy of other people’s whims. Your time, own it!
- Device Free Periods
Take a hike. Walk the dog. Look forward, not down. Stash the phone, tablet, or laptop away for extended periods of time. Your senses are built to take in nature. Truly get absorbed by and immersed in your immediate vicinity, not inside your virtual precinct.
Clear that headspace and come to stillness. Focus. Meditate. Breathe. Check into your psyche and mental space. How are you feeling? What do you crave? Are they urgent? Are they necessary? What do you really need at this moment of your life? Now clear out the waste, calm the anxiety, and be ready to let new inspirations settle in.
- Set Your Priorities
Be intentional with your time. Schedule priorities that are of meaning to YOU. Meet that person who matters. Start planning activities to achieve your hopes and dreams. Cut out time wastage worrying about the expectations of others, and savour the experience of working towards your goals..
- Observe, not Judge
Set no expectations unto others. Avoid snap emotions arising from interacting with others. Judging incorporates imposing our own values and expectations on others. This creates a desire for others to live up to our standards. Observe but hold no judgements.
You only live once, live fully with no regrets, only love.