The Envy Advantage

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Pigeon of Discontent, this week's exercise focuses on using envy to learn more about ourselves.

Where would Wes Mantooth be without Ron Burgundy? Salieri without Mozart?

Envy fuels some of the most entertaining, even if fabricated, stories of rivalry.

But envy doesn't just intensify things on-screen. In our real lives, it can serve as a major motivator to handle our sh*t.

Introducing your envy advantage exercise.

What It Is
A way to turn envy into a secret weapon.
Why We Love It
The people and things we envy often represent what we want for ourselves and believe we cannot have. By calling out what you envy and exploring its implications, you can find new motivation to go after what you want.
How It Works
Take 10 minutes and respond to the question: Whom do I envy and why?

Try to identify what you specifically envy about this person and why it torments you.

List out each specific thing and determine if it is:
A. Something you can't change (e.g., As much as I'd like to be, I'm never going to be a tall person).

B. Something you can realize with a little (or a lot of) effort.

If A, move on, baby! Why hold on to things we can't change?

If B, take a minute and list out one thing you can do right now to start realizing your dream..... 

....then, do a little celebratory dance.
But, wait, is envy really a good thing?

That comes down to how you define it. According to this New Yorker article, English is a "single envy" language whereas Dutch puts forward two definitions of envy. In Dutch malicious envy refers to having feelings of resentment and ill-will. Benign envy is about admiring what the other person has (even if you feel pissed that they have it) and channeling that energy towards your own achievements.

Shout. It. Out.
To Kenny Lao for his exercise tips! 
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Shankar Desai