• J. Woken

Grandpa was Right

Stupid FOMO! Nobody Likes You!

“All things in moderation.”

I didn’t know my grandfather very well, but I remember acutely this was one of the things my father would tell me that his father told him.

Eating too much and drinking too much seem pretty obvious no-nos. Things start getting more complicated when we think about sleeping too much (who doesn’t like to laze the days away, curled up in bed?), loving too much (yes! Not only possible, but unhealthy), and… <insert foreboding music here> … doing what you love too much.


Does this, for Mountain Owl, include writing? Does it for the athlete include practicing? Does it, for the preacher, include preaching?

I’d have to say: yes, yes, and–dare I say it?–yes.

As is so often the case, business tips for freelancers can often be integrated as life tips for individuals. (ECR) is a site I’ve referenced before but–gosh, darn it!–they have such applicable (and brief) words of wisdom that I can’t help but share and think over. And, while I’d love to say I agree 100% with what they have to say, I like to keep my proverbial options open.

I try to live every day with a healthy dose of skepticism and a well-balanced meal of positivity and reality.

ECR, in it’s March 19th article, “For Freelancers, Short Term is Long Term”, has 3 things to say about establishing solid freelancing success:

  1. Fill Your Calendar

  2. Good Intentions Are Costly

  3. Fight Your FOMO

Now, seeing as you’ve obviously (obviously) read the ECR article already…

Here are Mountain Owl’s takes on those three rules of conduct applied to personal life:


Sure! What’s that old saying about how the Devil loves the lazy? “Idle hands are the devil’s playground”?

True, indeed.

We all LOVE having free time. Unfortunately, as a particularly exceedingly successful business coach deftly points out, it isn’t REALLY free (read page 16, first paragraph under “Do You Know What Your Time is Worth?”)

How disappointing. And I thought I was being thrifty.

Alternatively, though, a full calendar doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at your most productive. (That’s right, you overachievers! I’m talking to YOU!)

Just take a look at this bell curve:

Stress Bell Curve

According to its accompanying article, “As early as 1908, two researchers at Harvard University’s Physiologic Laboratory discovered that, up to a point, increased stress results in improved performance and efficiency.”

A person’s optimal performance happens with stress dished out in happy moderation. (Does that deserve a hashtag? Sure…. #happymoderation)


Now THIS I can agree with. Not only may good intentions be monetarily costly (which in the sense ECR means), well-intended decisions may not be the best option to build lasting, fruitful, and healthy relationships.

A well-meaning friend can easily overstep bounds. I know someone who refuses to kick out a “friend” from their house, even though that “friend” hasn’t paid rent in almost a year and that household as an entirety is quickly rolling toward the bankruptcy cliff. But, that someone tells me, “They mean well, they just haven’t been able to find work in a long time.”

I shut my mouth but inside I’m screaming. Because this well-meaning so-called friend is just sitting back, waiting for his best buddy, his best buddy’s girl, and his best buddy’s kid to be evicted, all because his well-meaning arse and well-meaning pride won’t let him take work. Nooo… he HAS to find work in a specific trade. “Fast food? That’s for people who really need it.”

So, “good intentions”? Yes–they are costly. They sound pretty, but they don’t do anything REAL for anything GOOD. As Benjamin Chase “Ben” Harper, an American singer-songwriter who performs a mix of blues, folk, soul, reggae, and rock, says:

“Life is short and if you’re looking for extension, you had best do well. ‘Cause there’s good deeds and then there’s good intentions. They are as far apart as Heaven and Hell.”


Your FOMO — your fear of missing out — is like a giant, sweaty, annoyingly under-dressed Sumo wrestler. He’s standing behind you shouting, “What if you don’t? You HAVE to do it. You have to. Because… What if you don’t?…”

Stupid Sumo Fomo. Nobody likes you.

He makes you want to run away just to shut him up (or to get his smelly, sweat-stink away from you). It’s easy to do what he says, but that might lead you to always say “Yes”. To everything. Every party, every gathering, every event, every invitation. Because Fomo says so, and Fomo loves “Yes”.

Rewind back to the stress bell curve. What happens if your plate is too full? Ahh…. “Stupid Fomo! You made me stray from my HAPPY MODERATION!”

That’s right! Turn around and FIGHT YOUR FOMO! Bump his belly! Push him out of your way! Strip down to your skivvies and sumo wrestle him until he begs your to stop and lets you make your own decisions!!

Stupid Sumo Fomo. Nobody likes you.


I’m sure my grandfather wasn’t right about everything. But, hey, he was right about MODERATION. There is a time to work, a time to play, a time to laugh, and a time to pray.

So… don’t forget to fill your calendars with empty space, too; practice meaning well by doing well; and fight that blasted Sumo Fomo off your case!

Jessi MOI