I’ve spent most of my life jealous of other people. Did they get a new job? Fuck them, lucky assholes. Lose weight? Must be nice!
Jealousy is poisonous, but only to ourselves. It takes the place of action, and prevents us from learning and accomplishing anything. The person you’re jealous of can be a resource to get you into a better position, but you’re too busy hating them for what they have instead of trying to grab it for yourself.
The most important part of maturity, in my opinion, is the ability to truly appreciate a situation from a holistic perspective. When you’re young, situations often seem very black and white; you aren’t aware of the externalities of a given situation, so you don’t factor them into your evaluation.
Jealousy is an extension of immaturity, for this very reason: you evaluate a conclusion and decide it’s unfair, without evaluating what led to the conclusion. Jealousy is an attempt to ignore the holistic view for that of the black and white.
Not only is it immature, but it is an incredible waste of energy. Your energy should work toward benefiting you and those close to you. Instead, jealousy is anger or hatred toward somebody whose only crime is succeeding where you haven’t.
How do you deal with it?
- Realize that people who succeed are NOT the enemy. Jealousy requires that we believe there is some pool of success that drains a little each time somebody succeeds at something. This is not true. The opposite is true, in fact; a rising tide indeed lifts all ships.
- Examine your strengths. If the area they succeeded in is a strength of yours, then think about what you’re doing and what they did. Could you improve what you’re doing based on how they did it? Or do you have a killer strategy that can take you somewhere else entirely? Whatever it is, knowing where you kick ass is key.
- Examine your background. Most of us are jealous of success because it’s ingrained. Mine came from a broken household where effort and achievement were treated as two separate things, where achievement is luck and effort is a waste without certain advantages. If you’ve been jealous your whole life, your childhood is likely where it came from. Is anybody who spent your childhood jealous, successful? No. The answer is almost always “not even close.”
If you can focus the energy you have being jealous into lifting people up, supporting them, and figuring out how you can improve yourself, you will soon discover how easily success comes to those who are willing to put the bullshit aside and work.
Will you be successful every time? Hell no.
You will fail. You will learn from those failures. Those failures will become your success if you keep going.
You will be a better person for it.