Welcome to Episode 33 of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the turbulent world of creativity & marketing.
My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas, where we’re here to talk about JOMO.
Now most folks know about FOMO- the Fear of Missing Out. That anxiety inciting state of mind that makes us ignore our friends because our phone may have something even better in store for us. That no matter how good things are it’s not enough. FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out. Missing out on that call from her. That text from him. Breaking news. Or whatever else you think may be more interesting than whom you’re with or what you’re doing at the time. FOMO is the very thing that takes you out of the moment. Keeps you from being present. And at times makes you annoying as all get out. Quite honestly, it’s twisted.
Seth Godin sums it up in a great way…
If we give an isolated community access to the internet, very quickly, the quality of life will improve. Time will be saved, research into proven solutions will produce value, and people will become connected to a larger population. Those connections will lead to productivity and learning.
And, then, soon thereafter, they will become less happy.
Not because they’re worse off, but because the dominant media narratives that arrive exist to make them feel insufficient, inadequate or simply jealous at how green the grass is over there.
Our narrative defeats our surroundings, every time.
It’s a perfect example of what Teddy Roosevelt warned us about:
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Yet, we’re the ones that keep unlocking the door for the thief.
Keeping up with the Joneses is nuts.
Yet marketing people are almost all FOMO folks. Constantly in search for the latest and greatest new thing. The latest app. The latest band. The latest show. Always searching. Never satisfied. And it’s tiring. Exhausting. We’re like junkies looking for their next hit. Am I overexaggerating? I don’t think so.
Worse, is that at our worse, we create FOMO for the people who interact with our work. Some would say that we’re in the FOMO business. Leading to… Too Many People Buying Things They Don’t Need With Money They Don’t Have Trying to Impress People They Don’t Even Like. But we’ll save that one for another day.
For now, let’s remember that for every action there is a reaction.
FOMO is not immune to the Law of Physics. And in the case of FOMO, there’s JOMO- the Joy of Missing Out. Living without the obsession to be ahead of the curve. Instead they take their time. Make their way. Their own way.
Have you heard the story of the Mexican fisherman?
It’s based on something Heinrich Boll, a German writer, wrote in the 60’s.
And it goes something like this:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Lourdes, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
Poor Harvard guys, they always take it on the chin. Anyway, it’s a bit quaint, but the gist of the story is pretty clear: The Less You Own, the Less That Owns You.
Funny, but I used to laugh at my 80-year-old mother for dodging anything with a sniff of progress about it. After my dad died, she ditched all email, WIFI, the Internet. She won’t even stream movies. She prefers DVD’s and Blu-Rays. And yet somehow she survives. In fact, in spite the fact that she was an orphan and had bad foster care experiences, she’s the brightest, sunniest person I know. Bright, alert and curious.
Sure, her age may have something to do with her contentment, but there are more and more young people starting to share her philosophy. I mean, as someone said, I Have a Device in my Pocket that Gives Me Instant Access to the Entirety of Human Knowledge. I Use it to Look at Funny Pictures of Cats and Share Pictures of my Breakfast.
Considering that, perhaps Yvon Chouinard is right: Going Back to a Simpler Life is Not a Step Backward.
However, can you simplify and still stay on top of your game in advertising & marketing? I think so.
Let’s Take a Short Breather… (EXHALE.)
…We’re here at Deaf Mule Studios to remind everyone that this is Navigating the Fustercluck. And I’m your host, Wegs. Before we close out, FOMO is in many ways connected to materialism. Just remember what the late, great comedian and social observer George Carlin had to say…
Trying to be Happy by Accumulating Possessions is Like Trying to Satisfy Hunger by Taping Sandwiches All Over Your Body.
Like hunger, happiness comes from within. Mainly. Research has shown that there is a ceiling on just how much money will make you happy. So, at just what point does your annual salary stop making a difference? As of this printing, $70,000. A lot of money, but probably less than you thought, right? Yet that’s the cut-off. Once you can keep a roof over your head and food on the table, and have a little walking around money, what you earn doesn’t mean that much. It can’t buy you love. It can’t buy you a life.
And that’s what Navigating the Fustercluck is all about. Having a life. A creative, productive and satisfying life. I hope we help you do it.
Well, that about wraps up our 33rd episode of Navigating the Fustercluck. Thank you!
Here from Deaf Mule Studios, I’m your host, Wegs, like eggs with a W, and thanks again for listening in. Until next time, please feel free to reach out to me at wegs 24×firstname.lastname@example.org and NavigatingTheFustercluck.com. Remember, we’re all in this together. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future.