FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is an acronym that became popular in the past decade or so. I just know that it has greatly influenced my life and my decisions.

There is a distinct difference between FOMO and the Opportunity Bus.

You jump on the Opportunity Bus, which is a fleeting opportunity, only in circumstances where you are likely to enjoy that certain something. These are opportunities that you would typically miss out on, because of your inhibitions or shyness to take initiative. FOMO however is dangerous, as it causes people to do things that they’re not really interested in. This is simply because, it might be a fun time. Essentially, you don’t normally enjoy that certain activity, but you go anyways because the one time you don’t go, something exciting might happen.

As an advocate for getting out, and really maximizing life, why am I asking you to question your decisions?

That’s because I want to be your friend.

Friends don’t let friends make stupid decisions, or at least they don’t let them make those crazy decisions alone. We’re in this together right?

I’m writing this post because I don’t want you to pay the same price I did. Learn from my mistakes and you’ll lead a better life, I’m sure of it.

It’s simple. When a chance to do something comes forward, ask yourself “is this the Opportunity Bus or is this FOMO?

FOMO doesn’t always lead to bad experiences. Sometimes (much less often), it has created fun memories. However, once you attain more and more life experience, you’ll be able to differentiate between the Opportunity Bus and FOMO quite well.

The amount of money and time I’ve spent going out to venues just because people I knew were doing it is shocking. It can be for food, drinks, movies, or just about anything else that I’d prefer to spend my time, or money elsewhere. I’m not saying these are bad places, or that you need different friends, I’m just saying to question why. Always question why. Don’t blindly make decisions to join along, solely because everyone else is doing it.

Once you figure out what activities you’re interested in, then propose alternatives to the folks who provided the initial suggestions. Many times you can come to a compromise.

For example, they want to go to the cinema, but you think it’s too expensive, and you’d rather watch movies in your underwear – propose staying at one of your homes together to make popcorn while watching Netflix, or rent a movie for $1.63.

Don’t want to go out to the pub because it’s too expensive and noisy? Propose to go to the store, get much cheaper alcohol and then go on a drunk adventure. Everyone knows that’s more fun than sitting in a room so loud you can’t hear your friends talk, or yourself think. (In my opinion)

Point is, I’ve learned that initial propositions made by friends aren’t always things they 100% want to do. Many times, it’s just a mere suggestion made by someone and everyone else agrees because they’re bored. Now you’re all going somewhere you might not be totally into, spending money you’d rather not spend, having less fun than you potentially could be having.. Obviously these are hypotheticals, but give it some thought.

Have you found yourself in similar situations?

I have. FOMO has been controlling my life for awhile.

Why do I care about what you do with your time and money? Truthfully for most things, I’m like, “you do you boo boo”. Your time. Your money. Your life. You should do whatever you want with it. Personal empowerment.

However, I don’t want you to get stuck under the realm of FOMO for those two aforementioned very big reasons.

1. Time:

You’re not going to get any time that you spend back, so why not spend it doing something you’re passionate about? Something that enhances you.. something that encourages your relationships with others, and the world to blossom.

To put it a different way, FOMO creates situations like that really awful YouTube video that someone showed you that lasts like 5 minutes, and you feel so defeated at the end because you’ve lost that 5 minutes forever. Yeah, I know. It’s terrible.

2. Money:

The reason why I’m emphasizing this is because it does hold power over our lives. I don’t want to be a slave of the system any more than you do. That’s why I want you to invest in what makes you happy, and not what makes others happy. I want you to become financially independent sooner rather than later.

Save all that money from when you refused FOMO and put it towards what you love. It’s not a bad path towards financial freedom and personal happiness.

This is a Strangler Fig tree (The light colored bark one that looks like a vine on the bigger tree). Its seed is deposited in the upper branches of another tree by birds, and then it sends it’s roots down to the ground. As it makes it’s way, it encases the host tree and strangles it until it dies. As the dead tree decomposes, it provides nutrients for the Strangler Fig tree.

FOMO is kind of like the Strangler Fig tree. Don’t let it restrict you by stealing your time, and preventing your personal growth. FOMO may be appealing at first, but in reality, its just limiting your full potential.

Only you can determine what your values are.

I have faith in you.

I’m excited for you.

I look forward to seeing the byproduct of your passions.

Please tell me about it next time we sit together on the Opportunity Bus.

Your friend,

Jacob Pearson

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