De-boarding the hype train 😌
..or as some people would call it - embracing JOMO!
This is a random rant plus musings post. The idea is to start writing regularly and this one is just a brain-dump of disconnected thoughts going on in my mind for sometime
So, I have reached a stage in life where I have had enough of constantly trying to get a fake “high” out of “knowing things” trending in Twitter and Startup circles. The endless charade of hyping up every single thing is maddening
Podcasters throwing shallow content when all they are trying to do is increase their premium subscriptions and book sales
Techbro influencers upping their status game when they have barely scratched the surface in their own careers
Over-achievers doling out life changing advice, which sounds really cool at first but practically impossible to apply to your daily life
Smart people who speak fluent Naval/Taleb-esque language, but you slowly realise that all of this is actually well-rehearsed and meant to be abstract and intentionally mysterious
The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) generated by all these eventually gets to you. The core problem are not these Tweeples or the trends. Just yesterday, I was having this conversation with a colleague about how the work culture in the startup and tech world has manifested into our daily lives. We are the first generation of workaholics who got to experience work with perks like work-from-home and flexible timings. This feature actually turned out to be a bug which makes us available on-call 24x7 and gave rise to the hustle culture.
Most modern professions demand you to be updated on the latest in their craft. Software engineers need to be aware of the latest technological progress to keep growing in their careers (but so are doctors, lawyers and maybe many more). This genuine requirement of constant learning is now replaced by a culture of constant hustling. I sometimes feel that we are the only breed that is always trying to always be productive. Most people in my circle are doing side-projects after work-hours or hosting crypto meetups (sigh) on weekends. Imagine a sales executive getting excited about “this weekend I am going to cold-call people in a different industry and try to learn new things about them”
Ignore the “flavour of the season”
Burnout is real
Last year I was over-optimising for many things in the middle of a pandemic. I always tried to outperform at work, squeezed a few workations, overdosed on self-help books, was training for a marathon, started multiple side-projects (and never finished them) and yet was not happy. I had plans, notes and lists for everything, well-structured in my Roam. In the middle of all of this, I never realised that I was constantly falling sick, my energy was dwindling and going through both physical and mental stress. I used to think all of these will be worth it when I “achieve” big milestones. I slowly came to realise that this is a result of over-exertion while ignoring the basics around health (physical, mental and nutrition). Late last year, I had an epiphany of sorts when I broke my elbow in a freak surfing accident. It forced me to take things slow for the next 2 months. I was doing the bare minimum at work and actually enjoying my downtime. I recovered by January, but I was down again with a severe bout of flu. Usually I would have been disappointed that I am unable to spend time figuring out my new year resolutions but this time I was actually at peace not doing any of that.
For anyone who doesn’t know yet - JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) is the only medicine for battling FOMO. I am slowly moving away from Twitter. Trying to be mindful of the content I am consuming and trying not to bookmark every fancy post or article out there. I am down to using a notebook to plan my days and a whiteboard to track my weeks. Focusing on working-out and trying to be regular rather than target big audacious goals. Learning to be mindful of what I eat and enjoying the small positive changes to my body. I still try to be a little productive on weekends but that is only because I moved to a new team at work and looking forward to an exciting new start. Also trying to read whenever I can, but only picking up books that are fun and I don’t mind if I miss some days. I am enjoying learning and experiencing the right balance between physical health, mental well-being and eating well. It is helping me get better at what I am good at and I am excited about doing this for long enough.
Finally, I wish there was a better community where people are genuine, curious, ambitious, non-judgmental and yet always looking to try few new things that make them healthier and happier every day. Do let me know if you are interested and we can start something together
Image credits: Random pics from the internet. Original sources embedded in the images
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