“Oh the joy of missing out.
When the world begins to shout
And rush towards that shining thing;
The latest bit of mental bling–
Trying to have it, see it, do it,
You simply know you won’t go through it;
The anxious clamoring and need
This restless hungry thing to feed.
Instead, you feel the loveliness;
The pleasure of your emptiness.
You spurn the treasure on the shelf
In favor of your peaceful self;
Without regret, without a doubt.
Oh the joy of missing out”
Even before days of internet and smartphones, our deep human instinct to watch-and-adapt has ROARED within, helping us survive. Like many primal impulses, this keeps us alive, but in excess, sends us into a mindless and frustrating tailspin. There is no such thing as ever being “all caught up” and fully satisfied that you are not missing anything. There is no such thing as making the absolute best use of your time, staying busy in the “perfect” way.
Humanity won the essential survival game centuries ago.
This relentless impulse, that drives us to watch, and keep up, and stay busy, while helpful, needs as much rest as it does attention. Simply notice this insatiable hunger to be “doing something” or “keeping abreast” – and smile – just be with yourself. Thank your primal impulse for keeping you alive all this time, and let it know you’ll be away for a little while. Feel the pleasure of your emptiness, as Leunig suggests. The best guidance I’ve ever found on doing that, is here.
It is possible to find incredible joy doing exactly nothing, fully realizing you could be spending your time “doing” 1000s of other things, but deliberately deciding against it. When this realization finally hits, you cannot help but smile.
“If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.”
“Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.”
– Erica Jong
“Your happiness is determined by how you allocate your attention. What you attend to drives your behavior and it determines your happiness. Attention is the glue that holds your life together… The scarcity of attentional resources means that you must consider how you can make and facilitate better decisions about what to pay attention to and in what ways. If you are not as happy as you could be, then you must be misallocating your attention… So changing behavior and enhancing happiness is as much about withdrawing attention from the negative as it is about attending to the positive.”
– Paul Dolan
“JOMO is the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO and is essentially about being present and being content with where you are at in life. You do not need to compare your life to others but instead, practice tuning out the background noise of the “shoulds” and “wants” and learn to let go of worrying whether you are doing something wrong. JOMO allows us to live life in the slow lane, to appreciate human connections, to be intentional with our time, to practice saying “no,” to give ourselves “tech-free breaks,” and to give us permission to acknowledge where we are and to feel emotions.”
– Kristen Fuller