There is joy to be had in missing out

This hyper-connectivity thing is messing with our chi. We can’t seem to put these damn phones down. Our multi-channel, reality filled, TV’s are sucking us dry. We’re always on. Infinitely scrolling through piles of pixels. Fearful of missing out on the things we really don’t need. Constantly grasping for our next dopamine hit. Frivolous with our attention. Wasting precious time – the glow of our gadgets, slowly nullifying our brains.

Busy is our badge of honour. The statement we roll out when asked: “how you doing?”. We look at our calendars and realise we’re booked up for the next two months. Stacked with meeting and events we don’t really want to attend. Sucking it up, going along anyway. “I should really go along”, we say, “it’s probably the right thing to do.”.

Our first world problems pile up because we allow them to

We’re gripped by the Fear of Missing Out and we only have ourselves to blame.

“For millions of years, humankind has used a brilliantly successful survival strategy. If we like something, we chase after more of it: more status, more food, more info, more stuff. Then we chase again. It’s how we survived famine, disease and disaster to colonise the world. But now, thanks to technology, we’ve suddenly got more of everything that we can ever use, enjoy or afford. That doesn’t stop us from striving though and it’s making us sick, tired, overweight, angry and in debt. It burns up our personal ecologies and the planet’s ecology too. We urgently need to develop a sense of ‘enough’. Our culture keeps telling us that we don’t yet have all we need to be happy, but in fact, we need to nurture a new skill – the ability to bask in the bounties all around us.” – John Nash, Enough

So let’s reflect for a minute. What if we tried to break the shackles, at least for a time?

What if we said “thanks but no thanks” more often?

How about we meditate on enough or being present or slowing down more often?

How about we embrace the Joy of Missing Out?

We could lock away our phones at certain times of the day.
Turn off the TV.
Read more.
Delete our favourite social media app for a week *gulp*
Take a walk outside and look around, I mean really look around and take in our surroundings.
Spend time listening to our partners, friends and children so that they feel they are the only person in the world we’re thinking about.
Block out time in our calendars specifically for downtime.
Start a hobby or side project just for the hell of it with no intended goal other than simple enjoyment.
Let our creativity and productivity flourish.
Breath. Often.

You know.  We could just, well, be.

 

 

Main image by Fernando Reyes on Unsplash

Posted by Steven Thomas

Fan of great ideas and (especially) the people that make them work. Steven is the creator of CurveFinder exploring subjects like collaboration, leadership, creative endeavour and personal development. He's spent over two decades working in the UK media industry holding various senior business and creative leadership roles, most recently with a focus on Digital Transformation and Corporate Start-ups. Accomplished coach and mentor. Seth Godin's altMBA Alumni. Lives in Edinburgh with his wife and young family. Always in the kitchen at parties.

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