Last night, I was sitting in my backyard listening to the kids playing softball up the street amid the raindrops.
As my phone likes to do, it was all abuzz with tweets and what not about folks enjoying SXSW.
The vibration of my phone has always been unwelcome during a large event that I wasn't part of. I have had a classic case of FOMO for most of my life; much of which has been the cause of many an hour of being grounded as a kid.
My Fear Of Missing Out kept me out late, got me drunk, helped me evade the police and even got me a chance to kiss the girl of my dreams (and I was even awake!)
But, like any disease, over time it became the monster that I had to feed. I had to go out. I couldn't miss that party. If I stayed for just one more drink the sucky-ass night would become wonderful.
I was a slave to my FOMO. And, FOMO is a bitch of a master.
I had to figure out how to conquer it. There is no FOMO-Anonymous. No Jenny Craig for FOMO. In fact, by definition, to cure FOMO, you have to do it alone. It has to be about you.
And if FOMO was about a fear of not doing something, then the only way to face that fear was to just not do something.
To master the art of doing nothing.
Doing nothing is the antithesis of the American Way. We are doers! Fuck Yeah 'Murica!
As an entrepreneur it's even worse. We not only do — We do all of the time. Fuck Yeah Changin' the World!
Yet, as i started to explore the Optimization of Self, it became clear that success doesn't come from doing more and more, faster and faster, but actually from doing less.
Maybe Tim Ferriss is right. Maybe four hours is enough. Maybe.
As one realizes that success is driven from the creation of acceleration and force, not from constant motion, you realize that doing nothing is actually a positive. (Yes, I am pretending to know something about physics. I watched Niel DeGrasse Tyson on The Daily Show. Fuck Yeah, Science!).
If the rule is that bodies that are in motion stay in motion, then it would seem that rule should also apply to energy. And, if it applies to energy, then it also applies to thought. If you have ever spent hours in the dark hoping your brain would stop so you could go to sleep, you know what I mean.
So we move. and move. We confuse action for achievement. And in our constant state of motion, we feel that if we stop moving, while others continue to move, that we will “miss out.” I think its physics or some shit.
But imagine doing the opposite. Imagine stopping. Imagine doing nothing, if even for just a minute. What happens?
The world continues to spin. You continue to live. Your dog continues to ignore your best efforts to get her to come. (Stupid Taylor.)
But in that exact moment of realization that nothing happened what do you feel?
That's right. Not hungover. Not disappointed in yourself for spending money or time. Not annoyed at the amount of work you have to do.
And then a warmth that slowly builds from the recess of your chest, in and around your heart and explodes in a simple laugh deep in your throat as you realize that what you are feeling is happiness.
Happiness that you took a single moment to put yourself in front of everything. For one, goddamn moment, you were the most important thing in the whole friggin universe, because you did nothing but be.