How to instantly reduce your jealousy

For those of you who suffer from jealousy, there’s something I want you to notice: the cherry-picking of evidence.

When we’re jealous of someone, we isolate a single element of their life and focus in on that. We ignore or dismiss any trade-offs or other areas of their life that might contradict our desire to be them.

Let’s say, for example, the guy at your work is making a lot more money than you. You’ll focus in on that financial success, but fail or refuse to observe that he’s had to sacrifice connection with his family in order to make that money, or perhaps that he’s neglected his health.

It’s just not possible for a human being to get it all right.

Life is like spinning plates; the more attention you give to one, the more others start to fall. Everyone has limited time and energy and mental bandwidth. Perfection is impossible.

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos are all billionaires… they’re also all divorced.

Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., and Macaulay Culkin are all famous… they’re also all recovering drug addicts.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps battled depression. Comedian Louis CK was cancelled for his sexual practices. Former President Barack Obama clearly suffered accelerated aging during his time in office.

If you can come to see that there’s always a trade-off, that there is no perfect life that has all of the good bits and none of the bad bits, you’ll realize that you’ve already chosen your trade-off.

You’ve got to compare the trade-offs rather than getting jealous of the cherry-picked evidence.

Is their overall picture one that’s better for you than your current situation?

If so, get inspired: admire it, learn from it, adopt their trade-off decision making. ACT on it!

If not, acknowledge and move on, safe in the knowledge that overall you’d rather be you.

For more on this topic, check out my video “It’s OK to be Jealous”:

One Response

  1. You can apply this style of approach to any form of overthinking: challenge the truthfulness then convert it into some form of action

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