NO FOMO

Last year, my resolution was simple “Give more attention”. The good news is thinking about this has become a constant in my life. I have made real progress on giving more attention to my family, to the people I work with and hope to work with, and more. Having a simple mantra turned out to much easier for me to stay resolved than a long list of resolutions or making specific commitments (e.g. work out once a week). The bad news is I still have some work to do on putting the iPhone down more, and giving more attention to my health so I’m going to keep going on last year’s.

This year, I’m going to add a new resolution to focus on:

NO FOMO

I’ve been thinking about my resolutions around attention and what is the attraction to distraction. For me a lot of it comes down to the fear of missing out on other great things happening, or FOMO. There are so many wonderful things happening in my life, but I sometimes get more caught up in what is going on instead, instead of always making the most of the moment I’m in.

I struggle with sometimes not picking up the iPhone when it beeps and buzzes. Or when there is a moment of downtime, picking up the phone and scroll through my Twinstabookchat feeds over and over looking at what is happening elsewhere and wondering if I should be doing that instead. Eg “Oh look at them skiing” “whoa that beach looks incredible”.

There is always a piece of important news, a friend sharing a moment, an interesting app just launching, a fun party going on. We’ve built these amazing products where you can just tap on glass and look in on what everyone else is doing, talking about, and sharing at nearly any time. But if I’m looking in on others, I might miss the most important things in front of me. With FOMO, It gets too easy to think about the next moment or feeling sad about not being at a great party or dinner event. Instead of just being happy for where I am, and also happy for others having great times.

I also struggle with FOMO constantly in my job as an investor. A big part of investing is in getting involved in uniquely great deals before it’s common wisdom. In order to do this, I try to meet as many people doing great things as possible in hopes I won’t miss out on the one that is just the right fit for me. But FOMO often leads to the wrong outcomes. When I feel FOMO, I worry I might jump into a hot or trendy deal, in a hot space but don’t totally feel the company or product or opportunity is right. I haven’t done this yet, but I feel the forces constantly. I’m going to focus even harder this year on finding the great founders, big visions, magical products, and huge opportunities that I can’t wait to join up with. Not just ones I’d be fearful of missing out on, but journeys I can’t imagine not being on.

FOMO is a powerful emotion. I think it’s a key driver that social networks have tapped to encourage people to sign up. If you aren’t on the right network, you will miss out on what your friends are saying, sharing, enjoying and talking about. In some ways this is powerful and good — we are much more connected as a society and overall humanity than ever before. But if we become trapped in this FOMO and stop enjoying the moments that matter, then FOMO turns bad.

So this year I’m resolved to focus on NO FOMO. Rather than worry about missing out on other things, here’s what I’m going to focus on enjoying:

  • To help the companies I’m a part of as they grow bigger and bigger.
  • To find new great founders to team up with and build new things with.
  • To watch my daughter grow into a beautiful little girl.
  • To enjoy even more special times with friends and family than last year

I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and impactful 2015. May you make the most of the moments you are in, and have NO FOMO for the ones you are not in.

Written by

I love building products that people use. I‘ve helped build Twitter, Facebook Connect, LinkedIn, Robinhood. Investor in Medium, Tiktok/Musical.ly, Discord

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