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Here’s a brief idea from me, and a few content recommendations (just the one this week!) that have the potential to shift your thinking in a significant way.
IDEA FROM ME:
Envy can be very destructive. But, there’s a way I’ve learned to think about it which has helped me manage this feeling. It’s even helped me turn it into a productive emotion.
You see someone who has far more wealth than you. It makes you feel bad about where you’re at. You ask yourself why you don’t have as much wealth?
You see someone with the perfect relationship and you wonder why it seems to come so easy to them? Why can’t it come that easy for you?
Your friend seems to have the perfect job. They have lots of responsibility, the sexy title and earn multiple times more than you. You’d kill to be there – why aren't you?
At the heart of envy, is the comparison of ourselves with others. It feels like it’s human nature to get caught up in that. But, this comparison can be debilitating if you let it run wild.
I heard a piece of advice a long time ago, which really helped me manage envy better. It goes something like this – if you find yourself envious of someone else's position, would you be willing to do a complete swap of their life to have it?
Because, here’s the thing – often someone else had to make tradeoffs in their life to be able to achieve a certain thing that you’re envious of. You can’t just cherry pick the thing you’d like to have and then get frustrated that you don’t have it. You have to be willing to envisage yourself making the same tradeoffs and having the same life – instead of yours.
When I ask myself this question, the feeling of envy usually floats away. Because I realise that I wouldn’t be willing to make the same trade-offs. In fact, I usually find that I’ve consciously NOT made those trade-offs so that I can have other things in my life that I'm very happy with.
Once the emotion of envy disappears, there’s a way you can turn the feeling you just had into something productive. You can turn the comparison you briefly got caught up in – into an opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities. That might result in a change in how you live your life – or not. That’s for you to decide.