Are you doing it right?
There are so many ways to live life. So many options for happiness, success, and delight.
Do you ever wonder if you’re doing it right? Life, that is. Are you doing life right?
My guess is that your answer to that question varies, like everyone else’s. Sometimes you feel like your life rocks, and other times – not so much. One of the ways that we get to evaluating our lives on the not-so-hot-so end of the spectrum is when we start to compare our lives to other people’s.
Last weekend one of my best friends in the world was visiting us. We had a ton of fun, lots of hiking and playing, and lots of rich conversations. One of things we talked about was envy, how it arises in us, and what we do when it comes up.
Honestly, I’ve never met anybody that envy doesn’t sneak in every once in awhile. It’s part of our human experience. But it can really sour an otherwise good life.
Even if you’re usually pretty content with your life, chances are, there are people you encounter who have a certain unfortunate effect on you. They make you degrade your assessment of your own lot.
They seem to be always traveling. They never have money problems. They have the perfect relationship. Their house is like a palace. Their orgasms make everyone in the neighborhood lose their WiFi connection. They have fun all the time. Everything is easy for them. They’re so hot, they constantly have to be watching out for poison apples. You know, those people.
Unfortunately, envy can cause us to disengage with the people that evoke this emotion in us, which makes genuine connection challenging and our presence diluted.
There are few tactics you can employ to deal with your envy.
1. Call it what it is. When you notice yourself feeling this way, identify it as envy. It can immediately reduce the bad feeling you’re having when you understand it’s a simple case of making up that someone else’s experience of life is better than yours.
2. Be grateful for what you have. Sit down and think about it, make a list if nothing readily comes to you.
Give yourself a break. Stop treating yourself like you should have a different life than you do. Your life is your life and their life is their life. Your lessons are your lessons and their lessons are their lessons.
3. Think about what is it that you think they have that you believe would make your life better than it is.
Be clear with yourself about whether that would really make your life better. Do you actually need that in order to be happy? Or is it just something that would inspire you to turn on a certain emotion which you could turn on anyway – with or without the thing you’re envious of ?
4. Get inspired instead of envious. – Tweet it
Envy amplifies your feeling of lack. It’s a bad feeling, whereby you’re focused on things not being good enough because of this idea/thing you think you need.
Instead, cultivate feelings of admiration and inspiration when you witness something you want to bring into your own life. You don’t attract it through feelings of disdain. Love that which you wish to grow in yourself.
5. Stop comparing yourself and your life to others. Catch yourself in the act and shift your attention to something else – no good will come of it.
See if there are scenarios that stoke your envy – like driving thru expensive neighborhoods, looking at fashion magazines, being around certain people – and, if possible, limit your exposure to these scenarios.
Ultimately, I’d like you to be able to drive through fancy neighborhoods and look through fashion magazines and use these images to stoke your enthusiasm and help you clarify what you’d like to bring into your own life. But as long as the net effect of being in such scenarios is to degrade your mental state, it’s better to stay away.
And, by the way, you ARE doing it right. Life, that is.
Scroll down to the comments and tell me how right you’re doing it. What are the things about your life that you are grateful for? I wanna hear it.