For more on how to listen, enjoy, and trust your intuition, check out the Clear Channel Course here.
In March last year, the Clear Channel Course was completed just before You Crazy Vegan was released for publication. It was a pretty busy month, after which I felt the need to take some time off. I made a commitment to myself not to do consultations or start any new creative projects during that break.
However, within the first few days of my ‘sabbatical’, an idea for a new book arose. It was tricky trying to honour that initial decision not to commence any projects in the few months before July, whilst at the same time knowing that if I didn’t record the thoughts and words that were coming to me for this potential book, then they’d likely be lost completely by the time I was ready to work on them (for an interesting perspective on where ideas come from, and the possibility that an idea will flow on to a better recipient when you don’t adopt it in a timely manner, check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED interview here. If the prospect of passing an idea to another person through a kiss holds any interest for you, then definitely have a listen to the talk, particularly from minute 18 to minute 26).
Someone suggested that I dictate the ideas into my phone, since that’s not technically writing. But I resisted that option as it still seemed like cheating to do that during a self-imposed break from any writing projects.
The following week, another person made the same suggestion after I mentioned the dilemma. He said, “Why not just record your voice speaking the ideas? You’re not writing, you’re not working on a book exactly, you’re just capturing the ideas in audio format to work on after the sabbatical is over”.
So that’s what I did, and this year I’ve decided to work on those ideas, i.e., to organise and shape them into the form of another book.
Just like my last couple of books, the content of this new one is not set in stone and it’s likely that it’ll shift and change and possibly even morph into something other than the idea I have for it now. Roughly speaking, the theme of the book is moving from FOMO (fear of missing out) to JOMO (joy of missing out), including when it relates to decisions that feel intuitively right. For example, choosing not to go to a social event when your intuition says no, and navigating your experience after that – how much FOMO compared to JOMO do you feel about that intuitively-led decision?
Can you relate to someone who calls a friend after a party, wanting to know every little detail such as who was there, what they ate, what they did, who left when, was it fun, etc? That suggests a bit of FOMO, as opposed to showing just polite interest in their previous evening’s activities. Or if you’re someone who’s more likely to relish the opportunity to skip the party so that you can do something else your intuition has guided you to do, you’ll probably experience JOMO.
However, I’m also interested in delving into the FOMO to JOMO topic wherever a decision is made to go against the norm, whether or not intuition was the primary determining factor, such as:
• Choosing to be a non-drinker in a community where alcohol consumption is normal.
• Deciding not to be a parent in a world in which the majority of people have children.
• Becoming your own boss while surrounded by employees who think you’re mad not to have a 9-5 job.
• Remaining happily unmarried with a long-term partner even when the social expectation is to get hitched.
• Being a raw foodist even though everyone else seems to eat cooked food.
• Etc etc…
I’ve created a 10-question survey for anyone who would like to contribute their responses on this topic. Originally, I was thinking of focussing on just one type of decision, specifically the choice not to parent because it seems to be most taboo in terms of people being willing to talk about it (and perhaps as a consequence of that, the one that’s most likely to be misunderstood). However, I’m fascinated by the process of making socially different lifestyle choices no matter what form they take. I’m keen to hear from anyone who’s gone down that road regardless of what the decision was.
So, if you’ve made a significant decision that seemed to go against the grain, and if you have ever felt FOMO and/or JOMO about it, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me with answers to the following questions by the 19th of March if you’re willing to participate. I’ll review every response that comes my way!
For any significant decision where you took a different path to the norm:
1) Did intuition play a role in your decision? If yes, to what extent?
2) How did it feel for you when considering the alternative to your decision (i.e., going along with the majority?), and how did it feel when considering the option to commit to your decision?
3) Whether or not there was any intuitive sense that led you to your decision, what other reasons or factors played a part?
4) Did it always seem as though you had a choice, or was it presumed that you’d fit in with the norm?
5) What internal or external challenges have you faced regarding your choice, if any (e.g., personal doubts, social pressure)?
6) Are you open to the idea of changing your mind about your decision in future?
7) Have you ever felt FOMO about your decision so far (i.e., fear of missing out on the alternative)?
8) Have you ever felt JOMO about your decision so far (i.e., joy that you missed out on the alternative)?
9) Do you have any other comments on this topic, or about the decision you made?
10) Please include any details that you would like to share about yourself, such as initials, first name/full name, location, occupation etc. If you’re comfortable, it would be great to also know your age or age category even if you choose to remain anonymous.
Just to be clear, I see nothing wrong with being “normal” in any context, as long as you’re not hurting anyone and are happy living that way!
Please feel free to forward this survey to anyone else who might have answers to share as well.
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