When someone has achieved something of worth—a job promotion, a new car, a new home, a chance to travel—we often say, “Boy, do I envy you!” We may actually envy that person or we may not, but we use the expression to indicate admiration. It’s a simple word, envy, but it’s dangerous to use it. Every time we do, we plant it deeper into our psyches. Using the word simply underscores the feelings we have inside—the ones we don’t express but which often control our actions.
If you harbor feelings of jealousy toward and envy of another, rest assured that it not only can hurt the person at whom those emotions are directed but can hurt you far more. Jealousy and envy are like a sickness, gnawing away at your insides and poisoning your mind. You need to rid yourself of those self destroying emotions.
As you master your way to the top, turn envy and jealousy of others into pride in their accomplishments. Instead of saying, “I wish I were more like him or her”, do something to be more like him or her. Why sit on the sidelines envying and being jealous of someone else when those feelings will never get you out of the dugout and up to bat?
You’ll find mastering your way to the top tough going if you are worried about what others are doing and how they’re doing. When you see someone who’s doing well—succeeding, enjoying what he or she has earned—look to see what you can borrow from that person. Maybe it’s a smile. Maybe it’s an attitude, a good word, a fashion statement. Before you know it, you’ve kicked your jealousy out the window, and you’ve got your own stuff together. Envy and jealousy are too big a load to carry on your back as you take the steps, one at a time, to the top.
THE GIRARD SOLUTION
Here’s how to tame the green-eyed monster if you want to master your way to the top:
1) Think positive thoughts about other people, especially those whose success is likely to invite envy. Like those people for what they are and—this is important—for what they are not. That way you’ll have little room in your mind for jealousy.
2) Vaccinate yourself against the infectious words, envy and jealousy. Think of that scar on your arm or leg as providing immunity from being jealous of others or being a victim of envy.
3) To get rid of a bad habit, you substitute a good habit. Do the same with the green-eyed monster. Replace the monster words with others. For example, in your thinking, replace jealousy with admiration, and envy with pride when you view the accomplishments and successes of others.
4) Meditate often about what you should be doing and not what others have done. If others are worthy, meditate on how you can be more like them, rather than resenting what they’ve accomplished.