An Anxious Four-Letter "F" Word...

Our Weekly 2 Minute Read

Edition 129 - January 3, 2021

 

“The grass is green where you water it.” Ever heard the term “Fear of Missing Out” or “FOMO?”

It’s a common phrase that’s used to describe an ailment or social anxiety that is felt when we compare against something else usually within our social community, our jobs or professions, and or business dealings or investments.

Most of the time, it’s a feeling that can cloud our judgment and drive impulsive behaviors. Sometimes we do things based on FOMO that goes against our true values that we hold deep that we know to be genuinely good even though good can be subjective.

We all want to be financially stable but we can FOMO over certain luxuries based on what’s trending at the time like the latest Supreme outfits that are dropping. We might be spending too much money on things we don’t really need or really want for that matter, but are probably doing it to keep up with the Joneses instead of providing utility in our lives.

You could also be doing this in your career currently. If you feel this anxiety to always want to keep hopping on the next shiny object instead of focusing on the gold you already have, you might be experiencing FOMO. That’s why people who can barely hold a job for a year are usually bad hires.

The idea that the grass is greener on the other side is FOMO. The truth is; the grass is always greener where you water it. This is especially true if you are an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have to be clear about this or else failure is for sure going to happen due to FOMO. That is why most of the successful entrepreneurs would say they would work for free in the business that they were setting up and why most actually did work for free or took a loss in the first several years before their business took off.

The stock market is another place where FOMO runs rampant. When a strong catalysis is in the news for a certain stock, there are always people doing things that are going over their risk tolerance that can greatly impact them in a negative way if the investment doesn’t work out. When a stock goes down two days in a row, some people forget the long term and sell off quickly to chase the next shiny object.

Instead of taking the time to clearly think things through and make a smart solid investment based on technical analysis or looking at company financial reports and creating a discounted cash flow evaluation, some people take short cuts without doing the work and usually that’s the same as gambling. Unless you’re a professional day trader who can consistently outperform the market systematically year after year, it’s usually good to make long term decisions versus short term decisions.

According to sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University, after more than fifty years of research, he concluded that the number one indicator for upward social and economic mobility or success in America is the ability to have long term perspective. It is more important than family background, education, race, intelligence, connections or other factors determining success.

Basically people who have the ability to delay gratification due to long term perspective will be more equipped to have social economic success in their life. So next time you have this feeling of FOMO, keep calm, have long term perspective, so you can create the discipline to do the work you need to do to create the future you want.

-Mike Ye