The extremely popular meme, Fear of Missing Out, which was born in 2000 as a result of a marketing paper, grew in popularity from 2004-2007 and then snowballed as a result of Facebook and other social media platforms.
While still prevalent in society, the meme has negative connotations, chiefly in the use of the word “fear,” which does the opposite of inspire.
Instead, let us dwell happily on the phrase, Joy of Missing Out (JOMO), the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO.
This phrase makes the heart sing, tilts you toward the light instead of darkness, and encourages you to be peacefully happy where you are, doing what you are doing.
While FOMO tends to make people unhappy and wish they were someplace else, JOMO achieves the opposite effect. Our culture—thanks to social media—has become replete with images of people traveling, doing great things and traveling to far-flung places! This tends to create jealousy, pettiness and feelings of inadequacy. When our online habits end up disempowering us instead of empowering us, it leads to frustration and a sense of sadness. These two sentiments don’t exactly send you dancing into the day.
In her book, The Joy of Missing Out, Christina Crook describes why kids experience joy all the time because they are always present. By living in the moment and not thinking about the past or the future, they always are happy.
A JOMO mindset can also work for you if you are an artist (or a budding artist). Here are some tips:
1. Focus on your own voice, instead of comparing your social network’s.
One of the most common mistakes people make nowadays is to compare their life to that of others on social media. There is always something going on people’s lives and it often seems like there is greener grass growing elsewhere. But jealousy is one of the key reasons why FOMO started. By tuning out the others’ posts and focusing on your own artistic goals, you’ll start honing in on your own voice and reap the joy and satisfaction for your own accomplishments.
2. Map your sources of artistic joy and develop those.
Not everything gives people joy, but it is useful to pinpoint what exactly is your source of joy, especially if you, as an artist, need constant inspiration. Is it music, television, reading or a craft, like knitting? Whatever it is that brings you joy, continue to develop those sources, and enrich yourself. Try not to do things that make you bored or frustrated.
3. Be a Misfit.
Society gives us many things every day to consider, from news blitzes, social feeds, photos and other temptations that can not only be a time suck, but make us feel like we need to belong to these cliques and fit in and get more LIKES. These sometimes dangerous distractions can often take us away from our true purpose and make us feel angry and frustrated that we don’t fit in, and can damage creativity. Try to resist these temptations to follow the crowd and do something atypical.
There are many apps, like “Calm” that help you meditate ---even if you’re on the go—and which will help anchor you in the midst of all the data deluge. Meditation helps you get grounded and find your center and is a great way to get grounded and develop feelings of joy.
5. Compare Yourself to Yourself.
One of the ways anxiety and fear develop is when you start comparing yourself to others, and thereby generating fear that you’re not living up to their standards. This is a common practice (especially in a social age) and doesn’t contribute to creating feelings of joy.
The site, Tiny Buddha, has lots of gems and quotes for inspiration. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions,” the Dalai Lama said. To create a JOMO mindset, it is worthwhile to realize joy comes from within, and being happy with the present moment.
Find a craft that brings your joy and consider a mini apprenticeship with a VAWAA master artist.
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