I was recently introduced to the concept of kiasu while reading Seth Godin’s The Practice. It’s a Hokkien word meaning to have a grasping or selfish attitude arising from a fear of missing out on something, an advanced FOMO. For me social media is a huge source of kiasu. Seeing other people’s success and experiences is a source of insecurity. Like I am not being or doing or living enough. Or knowing that people I was once close to are having bonding experiences with other people. Though this is something I’ve gotten better at over the years; recognizing that social media is full of curated snapshots. I can never know what another person’s life is like on the other side of the screen. Instead of having self-pity or feeling this kiasu, its more productive and emotionally healthy to simply be happy for another person’s growth. At the same time, I can also acknowledge my own growth and be content with where I am at, while still being optimistic about the future.


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