If there is one thing that has a tendency to unite people during their college years, it is “FOMO”: the Fear of Missing Out.
In truth, however, it is a fear of choosing one path, not the fear of lost opportunities, that genuinely limits our potential. When the fear of missing out finds its home in a heart without personal vision, the search for a meaningful life becomes less intentional and more focused on individual acts, which stagnates a person’s growth into maturity.
People who have no idea what they want to add to the world are the ones seeking it out in what everyone else has to offer.
In reality, each person is endowed with unique desires that compel them in personalized directions, rather than in the thousand directions they are told are too important to leave behind. Finding what drives a person’s core desires is key to alleviating the constant threat of a missed opportunity. If the first question we ask when looking for something to do is not, “What is someone else doing that looks like it could be fun?” but rather, “What is it that I want from this action and, over time, my life?” we establish a sense of our own intentions, rather than living in a way that is entirely reactionary.
Though this requires more effort than going with the regular flow of life, making a habit of intentionally making decisions will eventually lead to a freedom from the dread of FOMO.
If what someone does is not in alignment with the purpose and end goal of what that person wants from his or her life, anxiety and desperation are sure to come into the place where life mission is supposed to be, and a lack of intention is all that FOMO really is.
Once we address our own sense of lacking and replace it with an intentional search to figure out and follow through with what living a contented life looks like, the fear of missing opportunities will not govern decision-making patterns of our lives, which I dare say is exactly what we want.