The other day a friend of mine commented that she no longer opens the window every morning to see what the weather is like. She finds it more natural to grab her phone from the bedside table, while still half asleep, and check it there.
What we listen to, how we dress, how we decorate our home or what café we sit in for breakfast …all of our daily decisions first pass through an exterior filter. We go where “people go”; we choose what “everybody talks about”. We listen to recommendations, ratings, feedbacks and chats first, before we stop and listen to our own opinion.
Everything is outbound; nothing’s ever inbound.
This need for constant verification has created the Fomo Syndrome (a word added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013 which means Fear Of Missing Out). There are so many stimuli and we give them such importance that, regardless how greatly connected we are, at the end of the day we are left with fear, an anxiety about missing out on something important.
The easiest solution seems to be to prioritize and eliminate. “I’m going to limit my mobile phone usage to two hours daily”, “I’m going to stop taking my laptop to bed” …Taking these decisions improves our productivity (and is the reason behind the success of apps like Moment or Rescue Time), but it doesn’t cure our inner restlessness from “I’m missing out”.
To eliminate that fear one must change the focal point.
We must stop asking ourselves “What can this world offer me?” and start considering “What can I offer the world?”
Behind that simple shift lies a huge change in perspective. Suddenly trends, stars or likes are not what dictate your steps. You are the only one that counts when searching for stimuli that will enhance your talent, in choosing what helps you contribute to this world and improve.
With this view, stimuli are no longer imperative. As such, obligation ends and what begins is, finally, true exploration.
Choose your why. And let it be the one that decides your when, your how and your what.
Who cares if your why takes you to look where no one else is looking. That they are looking doesn’t make it more interesting. “When everybody zigs, zag” said John Hegarty… Be like an astronaut. Wander alone on the moon and be fascinated by the landscape.