Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to overcome envy and free yourself to be happier

"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." Harold Coffin

Envy hurts - and it hurts you. Although envy is directed at others it turns around and damages the sufferer. To live with bitterness toward others just because they possess what you think you want is a travesty of what it means to be human.

We are happier when we can be pleased for others while counting our own blessings. Appreciating what we have, rather than lamenting what we don't leads to a much more pleasant life.

Envy is a type of greed. No matter what you achieve in life, there will always be someone to envy. No matter how rich, good looking, intelligent or lucky you are there is always someone who may seem to have a bit more. Really envy is a very targeted specific type of greed. Two people can envy each other simultaneously for different things!

Get better, not bitter. You can be ambitious and driven to succeed without being envious and resentful of others. Because no matter how much someone seems to have in life we are all of us temporary. Money, possessions, talents, looks and youth are only on temporary loan and life is too short to look at what others have to the detriment of your own well being.

The grass is always greener on the other side and someone else's life can always seem better. If you feel insecure a lot of the time then other people may seem to have a better deal than you. But rather than wasting energy in resentment, those without envy use their spare focus to play what ever hand they have been dealt to the best of their ability. Playing a poor hand well can only happen when stop wishing and start acting to improve our own lives.

Avoid envy caused by brain washing. We are conditioned to want certain things through the media and peer pressure but to really direct your own path in life you need to decide what it is you as a unique person, really want. You may decide it's very different from what you have been led to believe or what you envy in others.

Envy is about separation. When we envy others we work against them rather than feeling connected to people around us. Your success should enrich and improve the lives of other people. When we feel we want to improve the lives of communities and groups rather than just being out for ourselves these feelings of separation diminish. Your friend's success becomes your success and vise versa.

The best person to envy is the person without envy because they have something really worthwhile. But rather than envy them we can emulate them and learn how to relax more when relating other people to ourselves.


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