Author: Pramod Veturi, CEO, International Business
Jealousy is an extremely toxic emotion. When I was young, I had a lot of jealousy. Though others may not have noticed it, I felt it in full force inside me. But, over the years, I have managed to tame it a lot through some aggressive mental gardening.
Feelings of Jealousy build up within you when you come across someone who has something you value and wish you had more of. It could be better or more Skill, Wealth, Confidence, Success, Physique, Happiness, Family, etc.
Jealousy is futile because all it does is release negative emotions with no upside whatsoever. The person you are jealous of continues to possess whatever you envy while you end up more unhappy and miserable.
My perspective about jealousy shifted when I realized that I couldn’t be selective about specific aspects of someone else’s life to feel envious. I couldn’t say I want his success, his personality, or his wealth. I couldn’t be looking at that one thing that I value and ignore everything else about the person.
• I couldn’t be jealous of a colleague’s success at work while conveniently ignoring that the person puts in 60 hours of work every week.
• I couldn’t be jealous of a friend who was on a three-week Alaskan Cruise without knowing what the rest of his life was like- His fears, problems, insecurities, and everything else in his life.
• Or, I couldn’t be jealous of someone else’s wealth without knowing anything about the person’s life. How hard did he work or what sacrifices did he make to be in that wealthy state.
If I am not ready to compare every aspect of my life with the other person’s life, there is no point in being jealous.
Once I became comfortable with this perspective, jealousy stopped being a big issue for me.
Every person has his or her life to live, and I have mine. I certainly don’t want to be someone else. I am happy being me.