photography by Terri Pouliot

“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They’d rather show the highlight of what they’ve become.”
― Angela Duckworth

It’s thrown mercilessly in our face, every single day. The ‘glory days’, ‘highlight reels, mountain tops, and the Mount Katahdins (the AT summit in Maine).

Social Media, in all its forms, portrays the successes, real or fake, of those around us. What it fails to display are the messes, the wrong turns, epic fails and embarrassing moments that we all go through.

We begin to feel that we aren’t doing ‘something’ right or we would be enjoying success, adventures, good times or, as Aristotle spoke of; Eudaimonia.

It would appear this phenomena is nothing new since it dates back to the ancient thinkers’ times. But it is my thought that we are becoming more and more anxious about our own personal experience or ‘journey’ to the meaningful life.

It would appear that this widespread ‘feeling’, has a scientifically backed name. FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out. And it is real. Look it up; and you will find countless articles written about the condition.

End result? It leaves us feeling inferior, less than, and anxious.

Learning to focus on the areas of our lives that we are doing ‘okay’, is a step in the right direction in alleviating this condition. In other words; GRATITUDE. There’s that word again.

Is there ANYTHING that GRATITUDE can’t fix?

I am certainly trying to put this trait front and center in my own experience.

I suffered most of my life with FOMO and inferiority issues. I never had a name for it. But these feelings can control every area of life if not harnessed and reined in.

It’s fun to scroll through Instagram, FB and other social media venues to see what our friends and acquaintances are up to. We have to be careful to not allow feelings of missing out to creep in.

What Has Your Attention

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

― Iain Thomas

What has your attention?

What pulls you in? Gently tugging your focus and intent until it becomes distorted and blurry. It happens so easily, quickly, before realized. Subtle diversions. Endless interruptions. Leisurely pursuits that cause our eyes to shift from the real prize.

There are a number ways to stay focused:

-Keep a journal. Review it daily. Jot down thoughts, ideas, distractions and accomplishments.

-Meditate, pray, be mindful. Daily. The mind can be trained, just as the body.

-Declutter. Keep your work area free from clutter and objects of distraction.

-Record goals. Create an accountability by writing down what is important.

-Be mindful of patterns. What keeps reappearing that moves you from your dream? Friends? TV? Social Media? Keep contacts positive and encouraging. Designate time spent with social distractions. Don’t allow it to consume your entire day.

-Life. It gets in the way. Stuff happens. Be flexible. Take a deep breath and move with it, through it. Look for the opportunities. The lessons.

-Surround yourself positive influences. Create an atmosphere of success. Preparation is half the battle.

-Be grateful. As you wake. At the end of the day. Every day. Fill your thoughts with the blessings around you.