How often do you worry because you think you are missing some “cool” trend or opportunity?
‘Fear of missing out’ has become a normal component of our days. With technology and social media, we are overexposed to events, people and products, and every day we receive thousands of stimuli with the intention to convince us that if we don’t assist to that event or we don’t buy that product, we are going to miss out something very ‘cool’ and that we are throwing away the opportunity of our life.
One of our biggest concerns (or apparently it seems so) is to empathize with other people, to feel liked and appreciated.
It’s a fair concern, but a lot of times, due to that concern and to avoid that feeling that we are missing something, we start adopting extreme behaviors: doing things we don’t even like to do, hang out with people we don’t like to hang out with and buying stupid stuff that we even don’t like or don’t need.
We have outlined a process, and we stick to that process: look for what is “cool” –> Do that “cool” thing –> Being “cool”.
What we don’t see is that, actually, the process works the other way around: Something becomes “cool” because someone decided to try it, and that person is so good and puts so much effort and passion to what he does, that eventually he gets recognition, and that thing he is doing becomes cool and popular.
The real makers and all the great people we admire didn’t want to fit into an apparently “cool” trend or movement. They just started working on something they really liked and they became good at doing that. That’s how you become cool and recognized.
What we do is unnatural: trying to jump into a “cool” trend, trying to fit into society, but doing it with things that we deeply don’t care or don’t enjoy. And we do it because of the fear of missing out. It’s like trying to surf in the opposite direction of the wave.
And that’s the missing piece, the thing we don’t notice. We distort the effort levels and the barriers: Even if it doesn’t seem so, the barrier of entering into something we don’t enjoy is greater than the barrier of starting from scratch something we really enjoy.
If you consistently work into something you really enjoy, inevitably that thing will become cool for you, and other people will start to recognize and acknowledge you. The satisfaction you will feel for being part of an apparently “cool” trend (that you deeply don’t care about) is a short-term satisfaction. The satisfaction you will feel from really understand what is that you enjoy, and put the time to do those things (even if, at first, they don’t look “cool”) is a sustainable, long-term satisfaction.
If you try to follow a trend you don’t enjoy, you will never outstand, you will never get real value and you will spend ridiculous amounts of time and energy doing the wrong things and doing them for the wrong reason.
You will never be happy living another person’s story, you need to build your own. And to build it, (as to build anything in life) you need resources: You need your time and your energy. So, don’t waste your valuable resources doing things you don’t like just because you have the fear of missing out and not being “cool”.
If all your friends are investing in Bitcoin, but you don’t understand what the fuck is a cryptocurrency and don’t have the risk tolerance for investing in that, don’t do it.
If you don’t like to spend your Thursday nights playing soccer, and you prefer to stay at home playing your cello, then stay at home and play your cello. It doesn’t matter if your friends think you are not “cool” for staying at home and not playing soccer. At the end, all the hours you are putting into that practice will make you cool when you play the cello in front of them.
Start doing meaningful, cool and funny work
So, as I mentioned before, we think that the process for becoming a “cool” person is this one: look for what is apparently “cool” –> Do that “cool” thing –> Being “cool”.
But in reality, the process looks more like this: Do the things you like to do and you really enjoy –> become good at that thing –> Being cool.
Opportunities are not created by other people, or by destiny. Stop saying that “That person got lucky because of the opportunity he had”.
Live your own journey, and you will create your own opportunities…