FOMO No More

FOMO No More

Mar. 20, 2020

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I don’t know what to write about this week.

I can’t decide.

I could write about anything. No one tells me what I can or can’t write.

But there are so many things to choose from.

It’s exhausting.

I’d rather just not choose at all.

If I do choose, though, there are consequences.

What if I write something stupid? Then I might get mean emails. What if I write about something and it’s no longer true? Then I might get embarrassed. What if I write about one thing when another thing would be more relevant? Then the time I spent would be worthless.

By choosing one thing, I lose out on another thing. Or a whole bunch of other things.

Analyzing all the trade-offs is paralyzing.

It’s too hard to choose and even if I do choose, there are so many potential pitfalls to choosing that one thing.

How will I know what I did was right?

That’s depressing.

I thought I loved choices. The more choices the better!

But in truth, more choices are terrible.

More choices lead to unhappiness.

So what do I do?

Here are some tips that smart people recommend:

1) When it comes to making decisions, “good enough” is better than perfect. When we make a “good enough” decision, we’re fine with it. The result will probably be good enough, too. No reason to be upset. When we try to make a perfect decision, all sorts of baggage goes with it. One, there’s the arduous research involved trying to find perfect. Two, there are the judgments. If we demanded perfection and it turned out imperfect, disappointment awaits. Constant nit-picking goes hand-in-hand with the perfect decision.

If we go for perfect: “Look at all the things that went wrong with the wedding. I wanted it to be perfect and it was terrible.” It probably wasn’t terrible, but trying to be perfect made it so.

If we go for good enough: “Hey, that worked out pretty well.” Everyone feels happy when it’s over. The imperfections were expected and aren’t a problem.

2) Make decisions non-reversible. Misery comes from rumination. It doesn’t come from what actually happens. The sadness is a result of making a decision, then rehashing that decision, then criticizing the decision, then regretting the decision. If the decision is non-reversible, though, the miserable post-game analyzing goes away. Not only that, making it non-reversible means that we’ll enjoy the moment more. We won’t lament what happened, we’ll try to make it work. If we commit to a partner and it’s non-reversible, we’ll seek to solve any problem that comes up. If instead we’re worried about the choice we made, every speed- bump leads to a cascade of judging and second-guessing.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what to write about.

I guess it’s too late now.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.