William Liao

April 16, 2021

The joy of missing out

The logic behind the fear of missing out (FOMO) is that if you don’t participate in all things, you risk missing out on potentially meaningful life experiences. 

This mindset seems fairly well-intended on the surface — the pursuit of getting the most fulfillment and experience out of life sounds like a worthy endeavor… until you realize that signing up for everything isn’t sustainable. 

Whether it’s interesting projects at work or social engagements with friends, it remains true that you can only only agree to be a part of so many activities before you begin to commit time & energy that you do not have. 

A good word for this is overextension — and if you’ve ever signed up for too many things before, not only do you know what this means but you also know how overwhelming it can feel.

The ultimate irony of feeding the fear of missing out and trying to be a part of everything is that you end up so overextended, tired, and mentally burnt out that you can’t properly savor or appreciate any of the projects, social engagements, or other activities that you’re a part of. 

When it comes to preserving your sanity, being fully engaged and energized, and being happy, choosing to miss out on some things is one of the best decisions you can make for your wellbeing.