Stepping off the FOMO treadmill.

“Dad, why are people always rushing?”
This was a question my six-year-old daughter Zara spurted out as we were driving to school last week. On that day, we weren’t rushing to get to school. In fact, we were early. The question came from her constant observation of people in a hurry to get somewhere. The observation came from watching her Mum and Dad always in a rush. That question hit me at the core.
Why are we always in a rush? We toot the horn when the person in the car in front of us is a millisecond late in moving. We curse them if it’s longer than that. We rush from meeting to meeting to meeting without a break or pause. Why are we always running?
What happens when we stop running? When we stop trying to keep up. That fear of missing out, the constant need to keep up with the Jones’s, to keep in the loop. To feel that we have to be running all the time to keep up with everything. What happens? In a word, nothing. That fear of missing out. That fear is false. You aren’t missing out…especially in education. Everything has been around before in some iteration. That meeting. That meeting would go on without you. The thing we need to do more of is stopping. Letting things pass. Once you stop trying to keep up and let things pass, nothing changes. Often we are more relieved than anything else. Instead of focusing only on the destination, we can take stock of the journey.
Stopping and noticing is more important. Appreciating a moment by being present in that moment. Stopping allows us to step away from our the magnifying lens on our life and zoom out. It is in this zooming out that we notice new perspectives. New horizons. New ideas.
Being on a treadmill always going means that we lose sight of the things in our life that are important. What we need to do is to stop more. Choose when you rush. Be deliberate with where your energy goes.

4 thoughts on “Stepping off the FOMO treadmill.

Add yours

    1. An interesting question – is stopping always a choice or a privilege. I guess for some it is a privilege but for most a choice. You can choose to get up earlier so not to rush, to set boundaries at work to put your family and health first or choose to live in a way that creates moments of peace and reflection. An interesting point.

      1. Being deliberate where we can is key. I do think we have more choice than we think. The setting of boundaries and highlighting of personal values to adhere to is a great start.

  1. In life I think you’re right. In work, I’m not so sure. My thinking started with the rush of school life. Feels often like a conveyor belt of choices already made for us. Some are non negotiable but others need to be questioned. Context is as we always say everything. I was also thinking about the online education community. Lots of questions as usual. Thanks for contributing to my thinking as always mate.

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