The YOLO Lifestyle

YOLO or FOMO?

I randomly asked myself this question the other day. Not even sure why. But random thoughts pop into my head so often that it doesn’t even phase me now. So anyway, YOLO vs. FOMO.

This prompted me to ponder the idea behind each one – beyond the obvious cool factor of using a trending hashtag. I mean, I know what the acronyms stand for, but really, how do the phrases ‘you only live once’ and ‘fear of missing out’ apply to real life?

It was time for some research, which I love. Not kidding! I was that college kid who geeked out on the research phase of paper writing, but loathed actually writing the papers. So, researching YOLO and FOMO gave me all sorts of happy, nerdy feelings. And, I did what any self-respecting, information-seeking Millennial (by birth year, not life experience) would do. I consulted Google.

Google. Trusty Google confirmed that I am no doubt Team YOLO. ‘Fear of missing out’ implies following the crowd, and I prefer to blaze my own trail when adventuring! After browsing the top web search results, I came up with my own definition of ‘you only live once,’ which is:

  • Life is short. Make the most of each day you’re given. (It’s even in the Bible! Psalm 90:12)
  • Don’t waste your life in ‘I can’t’ or ‘someday’ mode. Focus on what you can do NOW and do it.
  • Do the things that scare you, challenge you, or feel like impossible dreams.
  • Follow your passions AND act on them!

Easier said than done? Heck yes! I will personally vouch for that. But, I’m also living proof that it can be done. And I’m just getting started!

Skydiving (May 2016)
Summit of Sant Jeroni, Spain (May 2017)

Achieving the YOLO lifestyle honestly doesn’t require much practice or even discipline (though these traits may naturally develop with time). All you really need is a passion, first and foremost – then add to that some mental motivation (I think I can… I think I can…), gumption (aka. initiative + resourcefulness), and courage (take the leap!). Just remember. Switching to YOLO mode doesn’t always lead to instantaneous change. It’s certainly not some magical VOILA! moment. True and lasting changes typically require patience… so add that to the list:

  • Passion
  • Mental Motivation
  • Gumption
  • Courage
  • Patience

Overall, focus on progress – one day at a time, not an end result – because YOLO is ongoing. I’ve already shared my love of arrows because they remind me to GO, PURSUE, and LIVE MY DREAMS. (If you haven’t already, read those posts!) Arrows encourage me to take advantage of every new day God gives me. I guess maybe I should start referring to the YOLO Lifestyle as my Arrow Life!

 

Here’s a practical example of YOLO played out in my (arrow) life:

THE PASSION

After my January 2017 Paris trip, I wanted to take a second solo international trip ASAP!

 

THE MENTAL MOTIVATION

I believed, then decided, I could make this happen in 2017. Simple as that.

 

THE GUMPTION

I signed up for the premium version of Scott’s Cheap Flights for more frequent deal alerts. I also spent less money on things I didn’t need! When shopping, I asked myself “This or travel?” More often than not, travel won, and I saved. I even decided to apply my 2016 tax return completely toward this trip, which kept me from dipping into my savings.

 

THE COURAGE

When I spotted a $440 flight to Barcelona (per Scott’s deal alerts), I held it for 24 hours – to be sure – then booked it! (Note: American Airlines allows you to hold some flights for 24 hours before you actually book. It’s a fantastic perk!) Prior to booking, I honestly hadn’t settled on Barcelona at all, nor was I very familiar with the city. I was just open to anywhere in Europe I could afford.

I also didn’t expect to travel again until the fall – thinking it would be more ideal both time- and money-wise. So, it was a leap to schedule this trip for early May – just over three months after my Paris trip! I also purchased the plane tickets only 6 weeks prior to departure, which didn’t give me a whole lotta time to research and familiarize myself with Barcelona.

 

THE PATIENCE

Six weeks is still a loooong time to wait when you’re really, really, really looking forward to something. But, I’m not in the habit of wishing time away, so I focused on the research and building the perfect itinerary. (See Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.) Basically, the travel experience didn’t happen overnight, and waiting certainly isn’t one of my strengths.

Of course, some YOLO experiences are now-or-never, in-the-moment sort of decisions; but, the overall YOLO lifestyle doesn’t always reward you with instant gratification when you take that first leap. Sometimes, ya gotta wait.

Sagrada Familia selfie
I guess my point to all of this is that anyone, A-NY-ONE can have a YOLO lifestyle. Do not tell yourself you can’t. If you have a passion, GO forth and pursue it!

Because, you really do only live once.

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