How to Not Miss Out

Leo Babauta challenges us to stop worrying about missing out:

It’s why we’re so busy — we take on so much because we don’t want to miss out. We take on dozens of goals and aspirations, because we don’t want to miss out.

The title of Leo’s piece, “The Tragedy of Missing Out,” is ironic. At first glance, it sounds like missing out on things is tragic; we tend to interpret the act of missing out as a negative experience.

But it’s actually the fear of missing out that causes us to miss out in the first place:

If you always worry about what you’re missing out on, you will miss out on what you already have.

The tragedy lies not in missing out on things; that’s unavoidable. Instead, the tragedy lies in the mindset of “I’m missing out”. When we feel like we’re lacking — in experiences, social circles, possessions — we feel compelled to chase after those things in the hopes of feeling complete and of not missing out. Thus, our minds trick ourselves into pursuing things out of fear, rather than enjoying and being content with what we already have.

You will miss out, but in striving to do everything, you’ll miss out on the wonder of the thing you are doing right now.

File that under “mindfulness”.