#16 Opportunities come along every second of every day…

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#16 Opportunities come along every second of every day… from 49 Life Lessons it took me 50 years to learn

Have you heard of ‘FOMO’?

It’s a 21st-century acronym which stands for ‘fear of missing out’.

Social media has not only been the catalyst for the acronym but also the breeding ground for FOMO syndrome.

Here’s what the Urban Dictionary says about it.

| fōmō |

noun

a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out.

• Evolutionary biology – an omnipresent anxiety brought on by our cognitive ability to recognize potential opportunities: The brothers had last-slice FOMO as they stared at what was left of the pizza.

• Desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease.

• A form of social anxiety – a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.

ORIGIN: acronym from FEAR OF MISSING OUT

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are on social media regularly, you will have, at some point (even if albeit briefly) experienced FOMO.

I know I certainly have.

However, this Life Lesson is not about the psychological effects of social media.

This Life Lesson is about opportunities.  The third point in the Urban Dictionary definition above nails it.  I am going to repeat it again because it’s important.

• A form of social anxiety – a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.

I’ve highlighted the key point.

Social media has become a part of (almost all) our lives.  And sometimes (consciously or unconsciously) the fear of missing out (FOMO) can more often than not translate into a fear of missing opportunities.  This can translate into questioning if we are doing the right thing in business, as a parent, in our personal lives, at school, the list goes on…

We begin to second guess ourselves…

Does this sound familiar?

Yep, I get it. I really do.

But here’s what I learnt a few years ago.  While we are being distracted by FOMO we are actually missing the gold. The REAL opportunities.

Because here’s what I know for sure.  Opportunities come along every second of every day.  But they can often slip right on by if we are not looking for them.  If we are not present to them.  If we are busy worrying about what everyone else is doing.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ but my warning is ‘to beware of astroturf’!

We can see rain or we can see a rainbow.

We can see lemons or we can see lemonade.

We can see problems or we can see opportunities.

We just have to be looking for them.

Napolean Hill said “Your big opportunity may be right where you are now”

So to Hell with FOMO, be ready for the gold!

Jen x

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