Ab Kya Karu? How to Overcome FOMO - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Ab Kya Karu? How to Overcome FOMO

Jul 04, 2014


When you find yourself standing at a crossroads... where do you go?

I was recently debating between two job offers. As I considered each scenario, I found myself in the grip of intense anxiety. What if the one I didn't pick was to be the career-rocketing chance of a lifetime that I missed because I made one wrong decision? Which way do I go? Where does my success lie? Which is my destiny?

Kya karu?

I realized then that I was suffering from something today's youth are calling FOMO... the Fear of Missing Out.

FOMO represents the fear that while you're in one place you might be missing a more exciting event or party somewhere else that everyone else is enjoying.

It's the reason people line up to get tickets for first-day-first-show, or Sachin Tendulkar's last match. We want to be in the places that matter, witness the events that everyone is buzzing about, buy the stock that skyrockets.

Everybody who hasn't flown off to Brazil is feeling the FOMO now as World Cup mania takes over. Everybody who didn't buy stocks before Modi got elected and they skyrocketed is feeling it too.

The niggling feeling that somebody is having the great experience that we should be having, or making the great profits we should be making. The regret that 'yaar itna achha chance haath se nikal gaya'.

To overcome the fear that you are missing something, that your window of opportunity is closing, recognize that you have the power to build your own window.

Opportunity is everywhere. You just need to create a window frame that will help you see it clearly.

To construct a window frame for your opportunity you need four sides: Desire, experience, resources, and the cornerstone... belief.

Desire: Like most of the world, you are ruled by your heart, not your brain. 98% of your brain - the reptilian brain - is not rational. It rules your emotions, and subsequently your behaviours. The 2% neocortex, or rational brain, might sometimes show up as a voice whispering words of logic: 'Study engineering not photography' or 'Take the job that offers more money'... And sometimes you might even listen to it. But don't. What Shri 2% doesn't realize is that if you do listen to it, you will most likely fail in your endeavour. To be successful, you need to follow your heart - the 98% that is governed by your subconscious desires - and do the thing that feels right, not sounds right. When you have a deep desire for something you WILL go for it... with every fiber of your being... full jaan laga ke.

Experience: I have a friend who always wanted to be a Doctor. 'Bas! Main Dr. banoongi', she was determined. She was smart and hardworking so went to the best medical college. After years of grueling study and hard work she became an MD. Now she runs a company where she creates independent films focusing on social issues. Why, I asked her? 'I learned the most important lesson of my life in medical school - I don't want to be a Doctor,' she said. Experience makes you realize what your true desire is...how to distinguish it from an illusion. You might think you desire wealth. But experience will show you that what you really want is to provide well for your family, not have financial worry, be happy. If that is the desire, aim for that, wealth is a fake goal - a means to your real end.

Resources: To achieve success, you need to be equipped. Identify the resources you already have - sound mind and body? Money? Time? And the most important one - knowledge. Your experience will show you what you have, and help you identify what you still need to acquire. When you fill this gap, you will achieve your desire. If your desire is to become wealthy, just laying about dreaming of money growing on trees is not going to help. To be successful, you need to learn everything you can about building wealth, and use all your resources to apply it. Knowledge is the greatest resource for success, and learning will prepare you for the next step...belief.

Belief: Belief... the cornerstone... a weapon so powerful it can take a stray thought and turn it into a great force. It is a dangerous weapon, mind you, because it can make you more powerful than you imagined, yet weaker than you thought possible. Have you seen an elephant at the circus? A creature of enormous strength, usually enslaved by a bare rope attached to not more than a flimsy wooden stick. Why doesn't the mighty elephant simply pull himself free and take off? Because he doesn't believe he can. When he was small and powerless tied to the same stick, he must have tried ...with all his might he must have struggled for freedom, until defeated... exhausted... he gave up believing he couldn't do it. And the belief stayed with him... all his life.

Is it possible that you are also enslaved ...your mind bound to a flimsy stick? Have you ever had the limiting thought 'I can't do it ...I'm not good at public speaking...I'm too old to learn computer use...I'm not a writer... I can't write a book.' Why? Because you have never tried it, believing it's not for you? Or because you tried it a few times and it didn't work? Did you know that Thomas Edison tried over 1,000 times to invent the light bulb. You think he would have done this if he wasn't convinced it was possible? His belief made the world a brighter place for everyone ... and your belief can too.

All you have to do is choose to believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to ...because honestly, we are that powerful.

When my mom was young, she left her B.Ed degree to get married and raise a family. She loved teaching - and continued to teach for community service... but always thought she could have been a better teacher if she had finished college. 30 years later when she had grandchildren she realized she wanted to give them the best early childhood education she could. So she went back to study, and along with a class full of 20-year olds, completed her education.

She had thought her window was closed. But when her desire, experience, thirst for knowledge, and belief in herself came together, she saw her window of opportunity once again. Where she refused to go near a computer before, I now usually come home to find her buried in a laptop, creating multimedia lesson plans for the next day's classes.

If you find yourself at a crossroads debating between this way and that, asking yourself 'ab kya karu? which one is right for me?' weigh your options through the lenses of desire, experience, and resources to recognize the opportunity which is uniquely yours. And once you do that, let your determination, and the strength of your belief lead you down that road to find your destiny, and achieve the success you have always dreamed of.

How do you find opportunities that are right for you? Share with us your own stories and keep writing in with your wonderful feedback.


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8 Responses to "Ab Kya Karu? How to Overcome FOMO"


06 Jul, 2014

I agree positive attitude and the belief that i hav achieved my goal is important

Like (1)

Bill Anand

05 Jul, 2014

Dear Mark, Anisa & Ritika, I'm 66 years old and have had myriad experiences in life. I'v been a professional (a lawyer), been in service and successfully run my own manufacturing unit. I'v even produced a movie. Unknowingly, I came into contact with a notorious mafia don of national and international disrepute (no names) and was closely associated with him for a few years in the legal 'facade' projected by him without knowing anything about his real background. Life has not always been kind to me but it brought me into contact with some very famous personalities from the film line, industry etc. Financially i'v never been more than middle class and had my more than fair share of ups and downs. But Almighty has bestowed me with a wonderful loving family as fortunately I could provide a good education and upbringing to my children who are now reasonably successful in their chosen callings, thus providing me with a tremendous sense of satisfaction. The reason why I joined WBC? Well money obviously was the prime motivator. But I was really impressed with the 'common sense' logic, reasoning & sensibility conveyed by Mark in his introductory articles. After all my life experiences I'm not easily impressed with anyone or anything. But at this stage in my life Mark has, all of a sudden, infused a fresh 'energy' and a 'sense of being' back into my life. I suddenly feel as if I could climb the 'Mount Everest'. I am eagerly looking forward each day to lap up each article mailed by the three of you. I am looking forward to becoming 'relevant' once again to my family and society at large.

Dr.Francis Fernandez

05 Jul, 2014

A well presented, thought provoking, and inspiring article. Thank you, Anisa.

Kannan K K

05 Jul, 2014

Anisa : This article is invoking extremely breakthrough thought process towards life beyond Money in life. To be honest, never thought of this part of thinking in my life so far...Definitely, I strongy believe that hereafter my life journey is going to be extremely very different, exciting and great life. So excited......till now.

RS Rathore

05 Jul, 2014

Hi Ma'am Anisa, I am of the opinion that "Ab Kyaa Karuun" powerful article is written only for me! You have refined your life to the extent that you can read the psychology or the state of mind of others. Great indeed! I recollect when I was back home from armed force IAF & decided to complete my discontinued education and was finally a post graduate. Like your Mom, I too was elderly person as a student and attained a fame of "Bhai Sahab". I once got two golden opportunities to join RANBAXY & a equally promising corporate house in Hyderabad, but had to withdraw appreciating my Dad's sentiments, who wanted me to be at home with him to look after our agricultural land being the eldest son. Why my belief shatters? It is because I get fatigued owing to age factor and restlessness. Peace of mind is a must in any one's life to achieve expected goal(s) and I am not blessed with it. Every man has his problems and to overcome those...... matters most. However, in general, your article "Ab Kya Karu?" should prove a boon to many undoubtedly. It won;t be exaggerating to say ....... you are Life Maker. It is now up to the person to person as to what extent he or she honestly & sincerely acts upon Desire, Experience, Resources, and the Cornerstone. Wish you a pleasant day ahead. Sincerely, RS Rathore

Sivasubramanian Venkatesan

05 Jul, 2014

Extremely nice article, very powerful writing, highly inspiring. Please keep writing.

Yogeshwar Chander Sabharwal

04 Jul, 2014

Dear Anisa Virji, Have Good Day I have gone through the contents of your (Ab Kya Karu) I am not standing at the junction of the road. As per my hart I am a very bold person and if I deside to do any thing it go forward. At present except money matters I can forward There is a Pharese (Dudh Ka Jala Chach Ko bhe Phouck Phouck Ke Pita hai) I am ready for any thing. Please advice me some work to earn and survive. Regards Yogesh Sabharwal


04 Jul, 2014

Very correct when you said that our subconcious mind draws us to something which we always wanted. Many a times we are stuck in a vocation, which we don't enjoy. Opportunities shows itself for a short window of time, we only need to identify and act upon them, once we feel they are in tune with our subconcious desires . Speaking for myself , one such opportunity is this WBC, which I am glad I joined without any delay, and has really changed the game of my life. Now I can of course with God Almighty's help achieve my life goals easier and faster.... Hats off to Mark and team.....


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