Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Losing the Fear of Missing Out

Modern innovations have brought the luxuries of royalty to the common person. Our average salaries give us the ability to do most of anything. And since social media tells us exactly what we could be doing, many of us feel bad about missing out.

We’re no longer burdened by limits, but by choice. How do we know what to do when we can do almost everything?

Since we want to live life to the fullest, we might argue that we should go to where the excitement is. But the trouble is that whatever is exciting and better keeps shifting. It’s impossible to keep up.

So how do you know you’re doing enough to live a good life?

By realising that there’s no peak experience. Certainly not in the places where we’re told to look. 

The best books and movies probably haven’t won any important prizes because they don’t have mainstream appeal. Most celebrities are probably a bigger bore than many bus drivers and bricklayers. And even the most perfect party on earth will feel disappointing when we’re in a sullen mood.

That’s why a systems analyst who lives in Leeds might live a more content life than an angel investor who travels the world in her private jet. 

This is nothing new. We all know this when we take a good look at our experiences. Most of us didn’t have our best times in glamorous places with glamorous people. 

Our best memories are actually rather plain. Holding someone we loved outside a bookshop as we waited on a friend, feeling the warmth of the sun on a cold winter day, enjoying a meal in solitude with our loved ones, having a friendly chat with a stranger, completing a difficult project, and laughing over a shared joke.

The most meaningful events in our lives tend to look quite dull. Yet it’s precisely these moments that make us feel the most content. 

So rather than just looking out for the next big thing—such as an idyllic wedding held on the island of Cozumel—we’d be wise to also keep our eyes open for the next simple pleasure. These are the ones that are the most regrettable to miss.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach