How do I deal with… Prateek is asking, “How do I deal with the fear of missing out?”. I didn’t know there is an abbreviation for that also. FOMO! Today, that’s a learning for me. Everything is abbreviated. Fear of missing out. All of us are governed by two dominant emotions: fear of loss and desire for gain. In every decision that we make, in every choice that we execute, these are two navigators that show up. Fear of loss and desire for gain. And when you look at the life of achievers, to a very large extent, they are achievers because they’ve allowed desire for gain to predominate that fear of loss a lot more.
And lot of people with infinite potential, somehow look back at life and feel that they have lost. They didn’t do justice to their life. In them, fear of loss has predominated their desire for gain. We don’t know the risk we don’t take. Very personal incident, after shifting from software and deciding to start working with life, since you use abbreviations, I will also speak in abbreviation. When I shifted from IT to TT, IT was Information Technology, I had my own software consultancy for five years and I shifted from IT to TT, transformation technology, transforming lives.
From the very first batch was A.S. Gopal. And at that stage, he was the youngest development officer in LIC. And he was doing very well in his career. But somehow, Gopal, the course made a lot of difference to him and Gopal wanted to be part of this journey. So he came and asked me that, “Shall I give up LIC and join hands with you so that I can work with you? I think there is a greater sense of purpose. In life insurance, we are saying how they should secure so that their family can benefit after death. Here in your teaching, you are saying what we need to do when we are still alive.
So I think I might as well get the life of people right when they are still alive, rather than what I can do about when they die!”. I said, sure enough, because with people, a one man show will grow into an organisation. But two days later, he came back and he had a lot of hesitation and he was hesitating to tell me something. And I told him, I know what is your hesitation. You would have gone and shared this with your parents and your dad would have told you that what I’m doing is a one-man-show, and tomorrow, in case a lorry runs over me and something happens to me. No me, no organization. Then what happens to his future? Right?
With a lot of relief in his face, he said, “Yeah, exactly. That’s what my dad said. Of course, he didn’t use the word lorry, he used a bus. He said if something happens to you in an accident, then what happens to his future?”. I told him he’s absolutely right. But there is, I’m sorry to say this, but that lorry, instead of running over me, if it runs over you, then there is no discussion here. I’m not trying to be negative, but I just want to put something into perspective Gopal, and I told him, there is no security to life itself. Then where’s the question of security in life? There is no security to life itself. Then where is the question of security in life?
We don’t know the risks we don’t take. Sure enough, among the eleven players, the coach has selected you to take the penalty kick. And sure enough, if you take the penalty kick, you might score a goal, you might miss. You might become a national hero or you might become a national disgrace. Even Messis and Ronaldos have missed it. So you go close to the ball and fear of loss predominates you and you feel that in case I’ll miss the goal, then I’ll become a national disgrace, so you decide not to take. You have anyhow not scored the goal because you never attempted it.
Nobody defined luck better than Dale Carnegie. When Dale Carnegie said, “Luck is the meeting point of all opportunities that pass by you and your alertness to grab them.”. Every person you call lucky is lucky because they grabbed the opportunities that pass by them. Why? Because they operated out of a desire for gain. Sure enough, there is a risk. And there’s also this intelligence that can mitigate the risk. I can plan. I can be prepared. I can pre-think my contingencies, and I’m glad that Gopal realized and took the plunge and that made all the difference. He has been with me from day one to today!
So like I said about awareness and positivity and negativity, bring this awareness and find out how many things are you losing in life without even attempting, without even taking the initiative, because fear of loss keeps stopping you? We don’t even ask a question because we feel it might appear a silly question. Fear of loss! We don’t even express ourselves, a genuine opinion. Brainstorming is going on and you have a point to suggest and we hold ourselves back, because we feel what if others will laugh at us? You’ll run away from public speaking because you feel people will judge you. What all will you run away from? How much will we run away from?
Sure enough, in social distancing and social isolation, if you can be taken and put into a cave and kept there for the next ten years… Not COVID-19, no infection will come to you. But then where is life? Is that the solution? If luck is the meeting point of all opportunities that pass by you and your alertness to grab that, then somewhere, desire for gain has to predominate fear of loss in all of us. And give yourself a chance!