Personal Fulfillment: How Do You Find It?

We’re all chasing personal fulfillment. I know how easy it can be to try to find life fulfillment in things, status, and opportunity… so I’ve been searching for ways to find fulfillment within myself and I thought I’d share with you!

So, how do you find personal fulfillment? Finding personal fulfillment is a lifelong process of self-exploration. The first place to start is the recognition that personal fulfillment is never a destination. It’s about constantly searching for the ways we’re invited to a deeper experience in what it means to be human.

How Your Emotions Are Made (And How To Change Them To Serve You Better)

I’m a highly reactive person.

So many people are… something happens in our life, and we immediately feel it.

And the most difficult part about feeling emotions strongly is the ensuing actions afterward. Anger, withdrawal, loneliness, angst.

If we can discover how we think, we can change what we think.

Once we learn the patterns that cause us to feel and act differently than we’d like, we can finally take ownership of the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us.

The Most Effective Way To Start Any Project

I love dreaming about the future, but it seems like so often I get stuck in the dream and quickly lose touch of reality.

It’s easy to dream of finally moving forward with our goals, but it so much more difficult to actually gain traction and momentum moving forward.

Here’s what you need to do:

Self-Leadership is the key to your biggest impact

You are the most overlooked leader in your life, and it is holding you back.

Leadership is a crucial factor in the success of any organization. The ability for an organization, whether that is a business, a community, or a family, to have a purpose, a vision for what that purpose looks like, and a game plan for growth rests mostly on the leadership structure of that organization. Those three elements; purpose, vision, and a game plan, are necessary for success as an organization. 

We know this is true of organizations, but have you thought about that same idea applying to your life as an individual? Your ability to have purpose, vision, and a game plan for growth rests mostly on who is leading you.

How To Design Good Habits That Won’t Kill Your Energy

Here’s Why You Need Good Habits In Your Life

We all desire potent lives that are full of fulfillment and influence. But, it seems like no matter how hard we try to live a meaningful life, everything else pushes back against us.

What if you could mindfully create habits that transformed you into an effective communicator, and empathetic leader, or a energetic influencer?

Here’s the power of good habits:

6 Words My Therapist Said That Changed Me

While working with my therapist through why I struggle with vulnerability, he mentioned this phrase that stuck with me:

How I see you see me.

And I didn't realize the exact depth of it until he said it throughout our conversation.

I take my view of myself (my idea of worth and value and shame and guilt) and project that onto others in the assumption that that's how they feel towards me.

Your Unrealized Creative Freedom Is Hidden In Your Purpose

The One Thing You’re Supposed To Do

I love when I talk with my friends who get into new personality tests and one friend always says:

“I like this test, but I feel like I can’t be boxed in”.

What a revelation…

We’re constantly in search of the dynamic freedom of openness and the stability of a structured system.

We want to feel like there is a path to follow. But, we also feel like there’s more than the path.

“That path can’t define me… but I sure hope it doesn’t go away”

And if you’re there, you’re right.

There’s not a path or a system or a type that can box you in.

Yet, why have we always been told that we should follow our passion or our calling like it’s always existed and we have to dig it up and dust it off?

We’ve been told there is One Thing:

One Thing you’re supposed to do… one path, one calling, one passion, one purpose.

We become blocked by the categorically-sorted mindset of One Thing that we must do.

When You Spend Your Life On It, You’ll Be Drained

So, we go through life continually observing and searching for the One Thing that was promised to bring us fulfillment and joy and prosperity.

Yet, in the searching we get tossed around by fleeting desires and ungroundedness.

We form a loose grip around everything that might be the One Thing because we know that life events just might break us apart.


When we chase after One Thing, we live in the agonizing fear that we just might miss it.

And we’re plagued by questions like:

What if I miss my calling?

What if I didn’t find my purpose?

And it’s astonishing that we live in the cycle where we allow others to set the standard for goals in our life.

Let me tell you:

There’s so much more than the weight of One Thing you’re supposed to do.

You have creative freedom that cannot be contained in one task, job, passion, and position.

This Is How You Reframe Your Mindset For Creative Freedom

Let’s walk through an analogy:

Let’s act like we’re going to build a wall.

So, we go and collect supplies: 2x4s, drywall, screws, nails, screw driver, hammer.

Let’s just pick one supply for this example:

The hammer.

Our goal is to build a wall. And the hammer is going to help us do that.

Not a trick question… what does a hammer do?

It hits things.

The purpose of the hammer is to hit things. That’s it.

So, when we use the hammer to drive nails into the wall, we’re fulfilling the hammer’s purpose by hitting things, not by building a wall.

But, get this…

So often we view life like this analogy.

We want to build a wall and so we grab a hammer.

And we say to ourselves, “the purpose of this hammer is the build this wall”.

We build the wall. And then we set the hammer down. We act like the hammer has no other need to be used than to build this wall.

We miss out on everything we can create and build because we limited worth to one task.

If we acted like the purpose of the hammer was to build the wall, we would never be able to build desks and chairs and tables.

We’d limit the value of the hammer simply with the language we use about it.

And we’re no different.


Start To Redefine Purpose In Your Life

So often we examine our lives and say, “my purpose is to build an orphanage, or to give sermons, or to be a mom”.

“My purpose is to [add in the wall you want to build]”

We define ourselves by the walls we want to build.

You’ll miss out on so much creative freedom when you limit your worth to the accomplishment of One Thing.

See, your purpose is not to build a wall.

It’s to hit things (at least in this analogy it is).

For example, you purpose wouldn’t be to build an orphanage.

But, your purpose might be becoming a voice for the voiceless and downtrodden. Now you have creative freedom.

If your purpose is being a voice for the voiceless and downtrodden, imagine how much you can build.

Imagine the creative freedom that you can create when you extend your purpose beyond a final goal.

Because now you can build orphanages or you can mentor students or you might give talks or write or foster.

It’s endless what you can build and create.

So, the switch in unlocking your creative freedom is redefining what purpose looks like in your life.

It’s not about One Thing that you have to do.

Sometimes I think we get intimidated by the word purpose. We act like purpose is static.

It’s not.

Purpose is moving and breathing: evolving from what you experience and desire in life.

Honestly, I think instead of the word purpose, we might just use the word movement

That’s all purpose really is. Movement in a direction.

Purpose isn’t an end goal. It’s just momentum that propels the ideal future into the present.

Movement changes over time. It evolves and adapts based on the direction you’re headed in.

How can you start to redefine purpose in your life?

Have you been acting like it’s One Thing?

Or is it just a tool you use to build with… to exercise your creative freedom with?

You don’t have to find an eloquent statement that you think will sum up the rest of your life. That would be so limiting to who you can become.

All you’re looking for is a direction to move in and a loose grip that welcomes change.

How The Power Of White Space Will Boost Your Productivity And Fulfillment

It seems like our lives are becoming more and more busy. We carry around our busyness like a badge of honor… acting like we’re more productive and fulfilled.

But, at the end of the day, we’re exhausted. We’re disconnected.

Is this all that life has to offer?

A demanding schedule and a quickened pace?

White space is the strategic moment of rest and relaxation that will bring you more peace and productivity.

You’ll finally be able to renew the weary parts of your soul and bolster your fading joy.

You’re Not Alone In The Busyness

You wake up early with a headache. Maybe stopping for morning coffee will take away the fog.

The barista asks how you’ve been…

“Busy”, you shrug as you prepare for a long work day ahead.

Although you’re working hard enough to feel exhausted, nothing seems to get done.

At lunch you’re planning for the upcoming meeting and at home you’re with your kids, but you’re not really with your kids… you’re somewhere else.

Planning, organizing, escaping.

Does this sound familiar?

Feeling like you’re just following along and being dragged by things you have to do?

Like someone else is leading the dance.

It’s time to get some white space and reintroduce vibrant energy and flow to your life.

What Is White Space?

White spaces are the strategic breaks we take throughout our day for rest and relaxation.

They help us declutter our mind and ground ourselves in what truly matters.

White space looks like this:

A slow lunch with loud laughs.

And crunching leaves on a fall walk around the neighborhood.

White space is a moment of calm and re-centering that breathes creativity and energy into you.

White space is the exact opposite of what we’ve been told is required to be successful: constant busyness.

Why Busyness Won’t Make You Successful

First, we must recognize the lie that’s been told over and over that busyness creates success.

All of these bloggers and thought leaders are shouting about “the grind” and the effort required of you to “make it”.

In the process of “making it”, you end up working so exhaustively that you lose everything that matters.

Busyness by itself won’t make you successful.

Success is difficult to define, but this is what success means to me...

Forward Progress + Stability = Success

Your success (in whatever capacity that means to you) is a direct result of your forward progress and stability.

Most people focus on the Forward Progress and create a monster of busyness in their lives.

Stability is the conscious recognition and awareness of your self and others. Forward progress means nothing if you’re energy and time creates destruction for yourself and others.

Stability introduces safeguards so you can maintain a relationship with your family, and keep your job, and not lose hope.

Is Busyness Is A Badge Of Honor For You?

Saying we’re busy is almost like a badge of honor in American culture.

We try to impress people with our packed schedules.

Since we know that they’ve also been told the lie that “busyness equals success”, then if we say we’re busy, maybe they’ll think we’re successful.

And we never stop to realize that we’re filling our time because it was expected of us. Not because we wanted it.

Your Value Isn’t In Your Time… It’s In Your Quality

Your value and worth and accomplishment is not tied up in how much you do.

So, take a breath.


Quit trying to run the resultless race that everyone else is competing in.

In our culture of inflated egos we all act like our time is the most valuable thing on the planet.

And really, it’s not even that we value our time:

We just value how others perceive our time.

It’s an ironic valuation though, because we say we value our time, but then we fill it with useless activities.

If you truly value your time, you’ll introduce white space. You’ll spend time on your own emotional and mental health.

You’ll recognize your time is so valuable that maybe you need to introduce gaps, moments of rest and relaxation, so you can become more potent when you need to be productive.

More space that allows you to focus on the wonder, mystery, and joys of life.

What would it look like for you to begin focusing on the quality of your time?

Crush Open Loops To Add Clarity

To begin adding clarity and white space, you’ll need to crush the activities and obligations that keep consuming your time.

Open loops are the unresolved tasks that continue to play themselves over and over again in our mind.

Sometimes they’re big tasks and sometimes they’re small tasks.

Instead of letting your “to-do” list stay in your mind and expand and become more consuming, just write it down.

Start making a list of everything on your mind. Then, set up a way for you to tackle it in the future.

I write down all of my open loops (e.g. today I need to finish writing this article, meet with Scott at lunch, I need to start a load of laundry, ooh almost forgot about my meeting with Bryan on Thursday) on the Notes app and then I schedule when I’ll do them with reminders.

If you don’t write down and schedule what you need to do, those activities will constantly play themselves over and over again.

Then, when you enter into a time of rest and relaxation, you won’t be able to focus. You’ll only be worried and concerned about all you have to do.

You can use open loops to find new clarity and tackle projects quicker.

Learn To Say No To Carve Out White Space

Don’t you hate when you’ve spent an entire day running only to realize you still have more to do?

And it seems like tasks and obligations continue to pile up higher and higher.

We overcommit and say yes to things we don’t want to do for a myriad of reasons.

Here’s the danger in that:

You’ll never be able to find moments to relax and savor all that’s happening around you if you don’t learn to say no.

Every event that begs your attention doesn’t require you to say yes.

In fact:

The more you commit, the less potent you become.

You’ll spread yourself so thin that exhausting and frustration will be the only fruits of your labor.

But, learning to say no is difficult. Usually because we want to be included and we want to help people who ask for our help or presence.

And in the process of participating we lose our sanity.

So, carve out some white space in your busy day for yourself.

You’ll become more productive and potent when you learn how to say no.

You Found Some Downtime, Now What? Slow Down And Savor

Sometimes we can feel guilty just taking time for ourselves.

And it’s amazing how how often people will question why you said no to an event just to have some down time.

Here’s the thing:

Most people believe they have to continually be active to feel like their life is moving forward.

They store their value and productivity in activities.

You will find movement and creativity and peace when you are able to recognize the value in white space.

Your life will continue to move, even during your periods of rest because you’ll be able to understand the depth of your value and the creativity in your peace.

So, what do you do once you’ve found some white space?

Slow down. Savor. Enjoy each moment.

Richard Rohr in his book The Naked Now talks about how our minds are so focused on controlling that we miss out on the joy of the present:

"Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving." - Richard Rohr

In your white space, you have unlimited freedom to restore the joy and calm in your life...

Play with your kids without a care in the world about work.

Go get ice cream late at night with your friends.

Take a trip to a city and do things that would offend the locals.

Grant yourself the privilege of white space so you can begin to reclaim the potency of your time and energy.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Add White Space To Your Busy Life

  1. Create a rest rhythm in your schedule:
    set aside a time every day for yourself. Maybe it’s 30 minutes every afternoon that you meditate. Or every dinner you share as a family
  2. Go for a walk:
    take a walk by yourself or with someone. Simply savor and ponder. My best moments of reflection are taking a short walk around my neighborhood
  3. Grab a meal with a friend:
    even more fun, make a meal with a friend!
  4. Read a great book:
    reading is the best way to learn more about yourself and the world. It’s an exploration into the truest elements of who we are
  5. Volunteer:
    the world needs you. Find something that aligns with what you value and serve. Seek nothing in return and allow yourself to find joy in blessing others

Your Direction, Not Intention, Determines Your Destination

” Direction, Not Intention Determines Your Destination” – Andy Stanley

Unaccomplished Goals Are A Result Of More Intention Than Direction

So often we set up incredible goals for ourselves. We prime our energy with ambitions of goals that will cause change for ourselves and others.

But, how often do those goal go unaccomplished? And we sit back and wonder why our goals were never fulfilled. Especially when we dreamed so long for them to happen.

This is where Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path comes into play. Stanley says that direction, not intention, determines your destination…

Your direct actions, not your thoughts, will define you.

How many people go into a marriage with the intention of getting divorced? Absolutely zero. So why do so many marriages often end in divorce?

This happens because people rely on their intention to guide them through life. Instead of finding a defined direction, they intend to move without actually moving.

Intention will get you nowhere. Intention should only be a catalyst for movement. It should spur on direction and then that direction will create your destination.

Has This Ever Happened To You? (Maybe You’re Going Through It Right Now…)

How often do you dream about your goals and projects you want to achieve. Maybe you want to get married, start a business, finish college, go back to work, etc.

But it seems like life constantly gets in the way. Relationships crumble, career roadblocks arise, illness defeats energy, finances dry up.

Storms come our way and we question why our desires haven’t delivered us into freedom…

Then, frustration sets in. We start to become infuriated with the roadblocks that come up. We blame everything other than ourselves. And movement that seems to block our intention gets smacked down and shunned.

We overlook the fact that our intentions weren’t enough to overcome the obstacles that come our way.

Maybe we didn’t have a direction we were moving in so our environment shifted us like a careless wind blowing on a sail.

And we blame our environment for causing us to move where it wanted us to go.

We battle our intention with our environment’s intention, but lack the direction to have any say in where we end up.

The Principle Of The Path Completely Shifted How I Thought And Acted

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Doing significant things is difficult. I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always intended to finish goals and project and causes.

I’d set an intention and then a year would pass and I’d find that I achieved nothing.

I thought my intention was enough to get my to my destination… turns out, I needed a direction to move in.

This is why The Principle of the Path is so powerful. It helps us quickly reframe where we want to end up and the mindset we need to have to get there.

Direction, not intention, determines your destination.

Only your actions create results… your thoughts just provide fantasy. It’s important to dream, but dreams without action never come to fruition

What You Need To Do Next: Find A Direction To Move In

So, if you feel stuck, let’s get you moving.

Do you feel like you’re in a rut? You keep envisioning what you want to happen but week after week goes by.

Do you feel like you’re trying, but nothing is actually sticking? You’ve put in effort, but for some reason change isn’t happening.

These are usually a result of intention disguising itself as direction. You intend to complete your goals, but you haven’t planned them out enough for them to become directions.

Start to transform your intention into direction by making a quick plan. Then, take action.

You’ll thrust the future into the present when you turn your intention into direction.

Create A Rhythm Calendar

A rhythm calendar is a 7 day spread that acts like a template for your main calendar.

Pull out a sheet of paper… Make 6 lines down the horizontal page and then write in Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…

In the blank boxes on the pages, start writing in rhythms that will help you move in a direction. A rhythm is something that you want to happen on a specific day every week.

Don’t over complicate it… make it so basic that you cannot stray from it.

A Couple Examples

Example 1

Who: a manager

Intention: empowering employees and developing a relationship with them

Direction With A Rhythm Calendar


rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family e.g. go out for ice cream, take a walk, grill some steak


Spend 15 minutes this morning writing down names of a few employees and what I love about their service. Or, if I don’t know that yet, write down questions I have about what they’re goal are and how the company can help them


Read a few chapters of a mentoring/managing book that will equip me to become a better boss


Go out for lunch with a few employees


Develop a mentoring relationship with one employee and then meet with them every Thursday afternoon for coffee to empower them


Take an hour to read more of the book I’m on


Spend time with my family however I choose

Example 2

Who: a cancer survivor

Intention: walking with power going through cancer and being an encouragement

Direction With A Rhythm Calendar


rest and relaxation day, plan a simple event with family


Send a quick message to two people who I know are going through cancer. Just let them know I’m thinking about them


Wake up 30 minutes early and start writing a blog as a collection of thoughts and encouragement that will bless people for years to come


Visit someone struggling with cancer. Bonus: see if I can get them a small gift that would help them, provide a service (e.g. do their laundry if they can’t), watch a movie with them, make them a meal they might be able to tolerate


Walking with others through cancer is taxing emotionally and mentally, today I’m going to spend an hour pouring into myself by reading a bit of an encouraging book or a video where I learn and glean knowledge and inspiration from someone else


Spend another 30 minutes writing


Spend Saturday however I’d like, but I mainly need to spend time recharging

Why A Rhythm Calendar Works

A rhythm calendar is by no means groundbreaking. It’s simple, and that’s the goal. Keep is so simple and easy that you have no excuse for breaking it.

In those two examples you’ll see how small each of those actions are. Although small, they make an incredible impact over a longer period of time.

All you’re looking to do is to start moving in a constant direction over a long period of time.

You’re going to have to start somewhere, so why not start with small, consistent steps. If you want to build a business, don’t start with trying to build it. Start by adding reading time to your week and then meet with one business leader every Friday.

You’ll need to break down large goals into small habits that help you turn intention into direction.

Don’t dream of being a writer… spend 15 minutes each day writing. Don’t dream of being a great boss… buy a new book each week and mentor people.

Don’t dream of your goals… break them down and chase them.

You direction, not your intention, will determine your destination.

Ready For More?

Reading Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path will help you get a clearer understanding of how to apply this method to your life.

Also, we’ve created a stellar PDF about leveraging core values to kickstart your dream.

Download The 1 Tool You Need To Effortlessly Kickstart Your Dream!

The Ultimate Guide To Cure Your Fear Of Missing Out

Ready to escape the fear of missing out? Learn to crush FoMO and start thriving. You’ll learn just how damaging FoMO is and the exact ways you can combat it and live a joyful life.

Together We’ll Explore:

  • The #1 Lie About The Fear Of Missing Out
  • What Exactly FoMO Is
  • The Psychological Implications Of The Fear Of Missing Out
  • The Main Thief Of Your Joy
  • How To Find Unlimited Goodness In Your Life
  • The Main Perpetrator Of FoMO
  • One Relational Shift That Will Bring Joy To Yourself and Others
  • 6 Symptoms Of FoMO
  • How You Can Eliminate Outside Thinking And Embrace Each Momement
  • What You Need To Directly Combat FoMO And Develop A Gameplan

The Fear Of Missing Out

How often are you waiting somewhere and you habitually pull out your phone?

You hop on social media to check what’s happening in the world and with your friends and what events are taking place.

And you see people at parties and getting promotions and flying planes (10 year old me wanted to be a pilot so I’m a little jealous).

In those moments, we feel isolated and lonely. Like there’s so much going on without us being involved.

We start to question our value and time. Are we doing something exciting right now? Or are other people doing something more rewarding and more fulfilling than we are?

I remember one specific time when I was sitting in a coffee shop on my phone and saw that one of my friends got engaged. And I distinctly remember how pathetic I felt to be “doing nothing with my life” while “everyone else” was living a more fulfilling life.

The tragedy is that in moments when we feel bored or alone or tired, we crave to know what other people are doing. In a subconscious way, we’re trying to justify our current situation.

We seek out opportunities for jealousy and loneliness and contempt when we are most vulnerable.

What a lie we continue to tell ourselves when we compare a present moment of our timeline to a highlight in someone else’s!

We begin to create tension and anxiety within ourselves by assuming that the experiences other people are having are more joyous and complete than our current position.

The common irony is that the people we assume are living better experiences, are often wondering if we’re living better experience than them as well.

How consuming are our egos that we falter under the highlight of another's life?

This is the Fear of Missing Out (or FoMO for those who want to be in the “in crowd”).

Here’s the joy in all of this:

  • You can resolve the relentless cycle of FoMO
  • You no longer have to be bound to the cyclical journey of inspecting and comparing your life to others
  • Your unique life path requires no calibration with what someone else is doing
  • You’re allowed to celebrate the lives and experiences of others while maintaining your own joy
  • Other people’s joy will never squander your own

We need your unique direction and purpose to fulfill the needs we’re all seeking in the world.

When you chase after fleeting moments and act like joy is a handful of sand running through your fingers, we miss out on all the life and prosperity you can bring.

Let’s reclaim the fear and transform it into movement and peace…

What is FoMO?

FoMO has been studied as:

"a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent". This social anxiety is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing"

The fear of missing out is something almost everyone encounters sometime in their life.

For some people, it’s the thing that runs their life.

It’s deadly and dark. The fear of missing out challenges what we believe about ourselves. It questions the very nature of what we love to do and how we love to spend our time by showing us everything else we could be doing.

The fear of missing out takes what we think success is and manipulates it. It puts our ideas of success on display and says “I sure hope you can participate in this goodness before it’s gone”.

It makes us believe that goodness only exists over there instead of everywhere around us.

(After all, goodness is something you cultivate, not tirelessly chase after.)

At its core, FoMO is about survival. From a cultural-evolutionary perspective, we thrive when we're participating in what our tribe is doing.

Group tasks and projects are what help nations and empires grow and expand. Missing out on the growth and expansion of our culture is detrimental to our integration in society.

In other words, knowing what’s going on helps us connect with others in a way that leads to our success.

But, FoMO has leeched into everything that we do. It’s begun to micro-manage our time and happiness.

No longer is FoMO about culturally survival, it’s now about popularity and attention.

It’s about staking our claim on moments in front of people so they can know we belong.

Do you struggle with FoMO? If so, you’re not alone.

Recognizing the issue is the first step to reclaiming your time and energy. In fact, FoMO is the perfect launching platform for recovery and growth.

If you’re right here in the struggle… welcome. I’m right here with you. So are thousands of others.

Let’s reclaim our energy, hopes, and dreams.

Let’s walk through a bit more of the fear of missing out and how it shows itself. Then, we’ll tackle the solution!

How The Fear Of Being Left Out Affects Your Mind

The fear of missing out drastically impacts our mental states. It primes us to believe that what we have is lacking in comparison to what we imagine could be happening.

Vast research on FoMO reveals:

> “Research focused on the motives underlying social media give additional reasons to expect FoMO linked to deficits in mood and satisfaction with life drive social media engagement. Research on internal motives for social media engagement indicates that avoiding negative emotional states such as loneliness and boredom” (Source)

Rather than dealing with the underlying issues that we face, we often use resources like social media to cover up our problems.

Like a small bandage over a large wound, we seek to patch the problem while it continues to harm us.

FoMO causes a wide range of mental problems:

> “Taken together with the wider motivation literature, it appears that fear of missing out could serve an important role in linking individual variability in factors such as psychological need satisfaction, overall mood, and general life satisfaction to social media engagement.” (Source)

The psychological research on FoMO shows us that habitually focusing on what others are doing as a patch to cure our own loneliness only pushes us further into anxiety and depression.

When we gain perspective and insight on how to eliminate the fear of missing out, we being to reclaim our sanity and mental energy.

You’ll be able to move forward in a fulfilling direction where you view everything in life as a gift. You’ll begin to find gratitude in the movement of participating in something grander than yourself.

Feel Like Your Missing Out On Life? Learn To Cut Out Comparison

When we feel down, we check on others to compare our life to theirs.

We want to know how we stack up… which forces us to treat someone else life as competition.

When we treat life and its joys as a competition, we view everything in life as a resource that will help us get ahead. We start to believe that the best and most successful are the ones who have to most resources. We start to view resource as scarce… and we start to hoard goodness from others so it won’t slip away from us.

We try to compare ourselves to others as if goodness and prosperity were limited.

First begin to understand that goodness isn’t limited, it’s abundant.

In our capitalistic cultures, we’ve been taught that we have to find our share, our portion and never let it good. We’ve been taught that there is limited joy and fulfillment and resource and peace.

And that to be truly happy, we must rummage up as much goodness as possible and hoard it up.

To know how we’ll we’re doing, we look to others instead of ourselves. We see how many followers a friend has or how great Jenny’s kid is doing in school or how perfect our co-workers marriage is before we ask ourselves “yeah, but outside of this, how am I feeling about the gifts and joys I’ve been given”.

You’ve been told for so long that your standard of living is tied up in how you compare to others that you might have forgotten how to embrace your own happiness.

You will always feel like you’re missing out on something greater than yourself when you choose to place your worth in how you stack up to others….

Your worth and joy and fulfillment is uniquely tied up in who you are and the direction you’re moving. Not in how you look compared to someone else.

Comparison will rob you of joy and contentment. But, when you start to live a presence-saturated life, you'll begin to find peace in every moment.

You’ll find you don’t have to document a sunset or share an experience to show others how well you’re doing.

You’ll begin to share life because you want to be inclusive and incorporate others into the joy of creation.

Sometimes, you might find a still, delicate joy that only you choose to revel in. A delight that needs no comparison or external validation.

FoMO In Social Media

The fear of missing out has always been prevalent throughout culture, but social media has completely changed the landscape for how we interact with others.

We often get on social media to check on others and see how they’re doing compared to us.

Those who suffer from FoMO are convinced that other’s are living a more complete life than we are.

Social media prey’s on our confirmation bias. It creates an environment where we scroll for an extended period of time until we find exactly what we believed to be true, even if it took us hours to find it.

Social media is detrimental as it takes away our attention in the present moment:

> “always-on communication technologies can distract us from important social experiences in the here-and-now” - Redirecting

Even though you can experience it without using social media, FoMO is a large creator of FoMO:

> “FoMO is associated with higher levels of behavioral engagement with social media, possibly to the detriment of learning outcomes”

We must constantly remind ourselves that social media is a glowing view of someone’s life. It’s not reality.

Your timeline is an amalgam of highlight reels constantly seeking your approval.

It’s perfectly find to use social media, but don’t compare 500 Wednesday afternoons that 500 other people are living to yours.

If social media is something that causes anxiety and comparison and fear of missing out, then cut it from your consumption.

Your movement and mental health is worth far more than your social profile.

FoMO In Relationships

This video walks through the importance of relationships on your long-term health and well-being.

Instead of spending your time worried and consumed by what relationships you’re missing out on, spend you your time creating them.

If you feel lonely, plan something. If you feel like you’re on the outside, then invite someone in.

When you shift from being an invitee to being a host, you’ll be amazed at the fulfillment you’ll bring to others and yourself in return.

Also, you’ll create sustained influence and camaraderie with others.

We continually expect others to initiate.

I was talking to a friend the other day who felt bad because he friend told her, “you never text me anymore!”.

My friend kept ruminating on this idea that she was a bad friend. I asked her, “she’s upset that you don’t text her… but, does she ever text you?”.

See, we love when people initiate in relationships with us. A relationship is a two-way street. Both people have to communication on their own accord.

Instead of always expecting people to initiate relationships and growth with you, start to become the initiator and watch yourself flourish.

“Some people are initiators. Some are reactioners. If no one reacts, act. Your role has been chosen.” - Manguana

Symptoms Of FoMO

  • A packed schedule: you fear time that might be spent alone
  • Half-hearted commitment: you say a partial yes in case something better might come up
  • Every free moment is spent on social media: all of your down time is spent consuming information about what you might be missing
  • Disregarding financial situations and live above your means: you can’t possibly miss a night out to save money
  • Ignoring emotional needs to be social: you hang out with people and attend events even where you’re tired or exhausted
  • Not knowing how to say no: you think saying no means you’ll miss out on something big or you’ll never be invited again

How To Deal With FoMO

Now you know exactly how destructive the fear of missing out is. It’s more than just a fleeting moment. It’s a pattern of thought and behavior that will tightly choke out joy and fulfillment.

The solution to the fear of missing out can be summed up with one, glorious Rob Bell quote:

> “Worry is lethal to thriving because it’s a failure to be fully present”

To combat FoMO, you have 2 tools accessible to you: Presence and Gratitude & Gift

1. Presence

> “Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving.” - Richard Rohr

So often we are consumed with analyzing and controlling and understanding. We directly remove our present emotions and interactivity when we become cerebral.

When you spend your time focusing on what you might be missing out on, or on scarcity of goodness, you choose to neglect the joy that’s right in front of you.

I struggle with this so much: I remember countless times where I would be with friends in person, but my mind was elsewhere planning what’s ahead instead of being present with what’s before me.

Learning to become present is the simplest, yet most difficult, way to calm your fear of missing out.

You can become a more presence person in many ways, but you have to recognize that it’s a growing process. You won’t become a present person overnight.

Start by mentally noting that everything you desire to control and understand is futile compared to the moment before you. Simply relax and begin to embrace everything within the present moment.

Slow down your day. Take walks around your neighborhood. Sit in silence instead of on your phone. Be engaged in someone’s life.

Presence is simply about finding wonder and awe in everything from the extraordinary to the mundane.

2. Gratitude & Gift

Gratitude is like medicine for the fear of missing out.

When FoMO says “everything is greater over there, so you must not have it that good”, gratitude says “deep inhale this is all a gift”.

How often do you pass through your day without even recognizing the giftedness and joys of your life.

Ram Dass says “Often we only know we’ve been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we’re in it, we don’t have the perspective to know, because we’re only being.”

You breathe. You consume. You communicate. Gift.

Start to refocus your energy throughout the day and direct it towards gratitude for the abundance that’s already been given to you.

When you wake up, or throughout the day, just jot down a couple quick phrases of things you’re grateful for.

The morning of writing this I’m grateful for:

  • I get to spend my time teaching and encouraging others
  • Almost every significant tool I use has been given to my by loved ones: a camera, guitar, laptop.
  • I have close friends who regularly ask me about how I’m doing emotionally and spiritually and guide me through things I struggle with

FoMO Doesn’t Have To Control Your Life

The first step in removing a vice is to be willing to remove it. Once you recognize you struggle with the fear of missing out, start the process of systematically removing it from your life.

Become ruthless.

If you need to, unfollow people, delete your social media, block numbers of unhealthy people, cancel events, etc.

Do what you need to do to become a healthier person.

When you learn to cultivate a mindset of presence and gratitude, you’ll see FoMO begin to release its grasp of you.

But, it’s not going to stop on its own. Reading this article and then doing nothing will not change anything.

Draw up a gameplan. Start tackling this head on.

We need you at your fullest. We need you with vibrance and life.

What We Discovered:

  • We think we’re alone, but so many other people feel the same about us
  • FoMO: the fear that others are having a more rewarding experience than us
  • FoMO is directly related to increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression
  • Comparison is a thief of joy
  • Goodness isn’t given in limited quantities… it’s abundant
  • Social media is the main perpetrator of the fear of missing out
  • Becoming an initiator will bring joy and fulfillment to yourself and others
  • The symptoms of FoMO
  • Presence will allow you to eliminate outside thinking and embrace each moment
  • Gratitude directly combats FoMO and reframes your mind

A Killer Book On Presence (So You Can Replace FoMO With Something Productive)

Richard Rohr’s book The Naked Now absolutely revolutionized the way I think about the present moment.

Here are some remarkable quotes:

  • True spirituality is not a search for perfection or control or the door to the next world; it is a search for divine union now.
  • “Presence” is my word for this encounter, a different way of knowing and touching the moment. It is much more vulnerable, and leaves us without a sense of control.
  • Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always nondualistic.
  • The mind wants a job and loves to process things. The key to stopping this game is, quite simply, peace, silence, or stillness.
  • Presence is experienced in a participative way, outside the mind. The mind by nature is intent on judging, controlling, and analyzing instead of seeing, tasting, and loving.
  • Once your presence is right, you grow from everything, even the problematic. If your presence is wrong, you will not even recognize the Real Presence when it shows itself every day. The Presence will be there — it always is — but you won’t be.

Get The Naked Now here

A 47 Minute Teaching On Presence
​Rob Bell's Podcast, or as his calls it the RobCast, brilliantly talks about the idea of participating and becoming present.

It's greatly changed the way I view the world.

Listen to it here!

A Great Video On FoMO