I think my biggest victory this year has been beating the emotion of “FOMO”. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out and it embodies itself in every aspect of life—career, relationships, society etc. I struggle the most with social FOMO. There were so many Friday nights when I’d come home from a long work week and all I’d want to do was sit on my couch, catch up on my DVR, and drink a big glass of wine. But on my way home, I’d pass bustling bars and restaurants, full of friends, couples, whomever. I felt ‘lame’ about my decision to stay home, and somehow let myself feel bad about taking the de-stressing time I knew I needed. But when Saturday morning came around, I felt rested, happy, and excited for the rest of the weekend—I never once regretted my decision to stay in.
This year has been particular challenging. With two full-time jobs (both as founder of Booya and as an MBA student) and limited funds (bootstrapping the startup and paying for tuition, ouch), I have had to forgo a lot of parties, nice dinners, global excursions, etc. Tough life right? I realize that I probably sound ridiculous but when most of your friends are attending these events, you certainly worry that you’re missing out on the entire purpose of business school.
Yet, somehow, I’ve never felt happier. I’m finally working on something I’m so passionate about that it actually feels FUN (vs. my former life where I’d get a horrific case of the Sunday night blues). I’m in a wonderful relationship (my first!) and have companionship on those lame ‘nights in’. And I’m still making an effort to see friends—I just make sure the event is over dinner and not at a loud, crowded bar or club. And it’s funny, I don’t actually think I’m alone as evidenced by numerous Buzzfeed posts. So now, every time I start to have that conversation with myself in my head about missing out and peer pressure, I take a deep breathe, set an intention for the following day, and justify my decision to do what I want in that moment.
My good friend Alana calls this ‘pruning’. From the ages of say 18-25, we’d sign up for everything and 25% of activities we’d realize we didn’t enjoy. We’d probably give in to peer pressure and do those dreaded activities a few more times (hoping we were wrong the first time). But soon we learn and now while we may “do less”, we enjoy each activity so much more.
So along those lines, my main resolution for 2014 is to feel happy with the journey and care less about the outcome. I think this is a perfect 2014 goal for me because prior to business school, I had a much clearer path (good school – great jobs – elite graduate school). Now I’ve completely redefined my purpose to start and grow Booya into a profitable business, helping individuals improve their health along the way. But that road will be long with a lot of low moments and undefined milestones, so I’ve got to find ways to find happy moments in the day-to-day small wins.
What are your goals?