How to stop being jealous

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I used to be pretty jealous. I used to actually joke that I was just a “jealous guy,” as if that was part of my makeup.

And the truth is, it’s easy to feel jealous when you’re young and everyone is going through the same experiences — same classes, same grades, same clubs — but some people are objectively better than you.

DAMN! I sucked at a lot of things.

In junior high, one of my friends had way cooler clothes.

In high school, I got the lowest grades on my math tests in the entire class for the whole year.

And early in college, I saw guys who were much better with girls.

The good news is, things started to change. Once you get into college, you’re not all taking the same classes. You start branching off into different paths. Maybe you get a little better with girls or guys. Now, if a friend gets a huge accomplishment, I feel HAPPY, not jealous.

But I have to admit…sometimes it still gets me. We still find a way to judge because it’s in our nature to compare ourselves to others. And often, we do so in very twisted ways. 

We check our newsfeed and wonder why we’re stuck in a cubicle while our friend is posting pics from Aruba.

Even if we’ve made it, we still compare. Did you know that most millionaires don’t consider themselves rich? Why? They’re comparing themselves to people above them, not below.

So when I got this question from Matthew R. on jealousy, I wanted to take a few minutes to respond:

“I’m almost 23. I can’t help but compare myself to people in the world who have had great success. And when I look at all of them (yourself, Ramit, included) I feel they were on a much better trajectory at 23 than I am. Compared to people I know, I’m doing much better. But compared to the best, I’m behind. What can I do to resolve this? I realize that’s an incredibly broad question.” – Matthew R.

 

Watch this video for how I handle jealousy:

 

Once you’ve watched the video, leave a comment. What makes you jealous? (Be specific.) How do you handle it?

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138 Comments

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  1. Hi Ramit,

    I like that you actually talked to the people you were jealous of, who told you that you should become the best at what you love.

    Then, if you’re not willing to become the best at whatever it is, or “pay the price” to reach the success of the people you are jealous of, just let it go.

    I’ve been reading up on Stoicism lately and they had some quite advanced things to say about this topic. I’m quoting Epictetus below:

    “You are unjust, then, and insatiable, if you are unwilling to pay the price for which these things are sold, and would have them for nothing. For how much is lettuce sold? Fifty cents, for instance. If another, then, paying fifty cents, takes the lettuce, and you, not paying it, go without them, don’t imagine that he has gained any advantage over you. For as he has the lettuce, so you have the fifty cents which you did not give.”

    This quote is in the context of not being invited to some special dinner or receiving some honor that someone else received. I like the lettuce example because it changes the mental framework a bit.

    Good post.

    -Dale

    • True, but sometimes the lettuce is given away freely. In addition, quite often we aren’t the customer buying or considering buying the lettuce, but we are the lettuce vendors children comparing ourselves to our father or mother’s competition.

    • Wow, amazing quote, Dale. That is so true. If anyone has some measure of success that we do not, it’s because they have sacrificed that which we were unwilling to part with ourselves.

    • @Reginald

      I’m not sure what you mean.

      @JJ

      Thanks. When we view the profiles of success people in magazine, we rarely see all the the things they gave up to get there.

    • I used to be very jealous about anything and everything. Why didn’t I get that item/service? Why don’t I have the same amount of food as that person? Why is she talking to other guys? Why don’t I get that response? Etc, etc, etc.

      I found that being jealous was stupid, in the way that it doesn’t get you anywhere. You put a negative connotation when you think of something that makes you jealous.

      I still get jealous from time to time but I put myself in the mindset of, how can I achieve what they achieved? How can I get that? What can I do to do be as successful, with jobs, money, women, etc.

      I put my mind in a positive state when I get jealous and now I take the jealously and use it as a fire to ignite passion in myself, to try and achieve what others might be achieving; systematically going through the process of seeing how they did it and how I can take that and put it to use in my own life with my own goals.

  2. Here’s another point, don’t waste time trying to bring down others who have found their passion and success. Spend your energy on yourself and doing what you love.

  3. I have friends who live and travel all over the world, and think nothing of flying to other countries for a few weeks of vacation. That makes me jealous. But, they all live lives they love and do work they are passionate about, so I think I found my answer there.

    But also, seeing people at work who are doing the same things I’m doing, acting the same way I do (seemingly) and getting promoted time and time again while I feel stuck. Happy for them, but at the same time jealous and frustrated. Time for a change.

  4. Hi Ramit,

    I really liked your post today. It made me think about how much energy, tears and anger I have spent on being jealous.

    I have two older sisters who both are very successful (like how I see them).
    They both got amazing grades during high school, completed their studies within the shortest time period possible and have found their dream jobs. I often think that my family believe they are the smartest and most intelligent, while I on the same time is not. I want to do everything as perfect as them, but ends up burned out quite often since I’m putting way to much pressure on my self in order to achieve what they did. I’m almost finish with my studies, but have still (almost) no idea what I am going to work with and feel often very blue when I compare myself with my sisters. I think they both did a great job and I do look up to them, but I often also envy them for being so confident and focused on their goals.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will try my best to find my passion, work hard on that and be satisfied with what I can achieve.

    Greetings,
    Sara

  5. What makes me jealous is the subjective ways in which people are treated differently across the board. You see this from salaries offered for jobs for two different candidates with the same credentials to how people in restaurants serve your food. The funny thing is people will do this when they have a perception of who a person is and also when they know who a person is. I think the difference is what makes me jealous and what also inspires me to become that person that people know to obtain the preferential treatment even if its not genuinely given.

  6. Hi Ramit,

    I used to let jealousy lead my thinking astray. It’s easy to compare yourself to people who have more than you, who are more successful, are on a better trajectory, etc.

    I did two three things that helped immensely that actually helped me conquer what I call the naysayer inside. Here’s what I did:

    (1) I was completely honest with myself in terms of where I was at on my “trajectory” and what I “really wanted”; I think that honesty is the first step and I had to acknowledge and accept where I was at.

    (2) Every time I thought up an excuse as to why I lacked something, I called myself out and came up with the real reason(s) why I wasn’t successful in that area; This was eye-opening for me.

    (3) I educated myself by researching people who I thought were successful and started to learn why they were successful – what choices they made, their mindsets, their motivations, and what kind of strategies they utilize(d) to get to where they are and to continue to succeed in their chosen endeavors.

    What I realized, is that it boils down to making choices. Someone can choose to use their time to take action starting from wherever they are at life in order to succeed or they can use their time to make excuses and let their inner naysayer(s) talk them out of their goals and dreams.

    This is a really good topic to discuss, as I found that even successful people have their inner critics trying to talk them out of achieving their goals.

  7. Ramit, this did nothing to stop my envy, kidding aside, I am so happy for your success! You are a great Master!

  8. I get jealous of those more successful than me academically. Life kept me from finishing college and though I plan on finishing it won’t be soon. I have achieved all my other goals and statistically should be very happy. I have the best husband, two beautiful kids and my dream home in a picturesque town. I have the blessed opportunity of staying home to raise my babies but feel empty at times because my dream job is just out of reach. I have a bountiful life and shouldn’t envy others as I don’t know what they feel they are missing in their lives. My success is defined by me only, not by others but I deeply admire those who have had the opportunity to complete their degrees and move forward with that respective chapter of their lives.

  9. The way I do it is looking at jealousy as motivation…. I know what my goals are, I just keep on working to get it

  10. Women who have gone to top graduate schools, have jobs that allow them to travel/live abroad, and still have great careers. I am working on that top graduate school thing!

  11. Thanks for this – It’s so easy to get jealous with everyone posting (mostly) about their successes.
    One can’t help but to compare himself but in the end I put out just as much and have a similar amount of success and I’m sure I put out the same posts that make other people jealous.

    It’s great to have this put into perspective

  12. I thought first that I was going to say “very thin girls” but actually it ain’t true anymore. I get jealous at cute couples laughing together. I handle it by blessing them to bring more love in the world (because actually I am not jealous at THEM, I am just scared that this is not coming soon for me).

    • I appreciate how you noticed your connection between jealousy and fear here – it takes a lot to recognize that and even more to admit it. Cheers to you, girl!

    • Guys feel the same way sometimes. I actually switched schools because the public display of affection was too much for me to handle without being too jealous to see straight.

      BTW – I’m 26, graduated, and have more success with relationships than before, but still struggle with this.

  13. I’m jealous of people who have more self discipline than I do. They get so much done!

  14. Jonathan Atkins Link to this comment

    Jealousy is bad in the context of envy… I see other people that have what I want and I seek to attain what they have by doing the things they’ve done and trying to learn how and what they do. Jealousy that leads to action though (more like coveting) is a positive thing to me. Aspiring to do the things someone else is doing can be a positive result if it causes you to work harder, try more things, etc. Ultimately just being happy someone else was able to succeed is best, then hopefully people can extend the same to you as you succeed.

  15. Jealousy is something that I experienced more as a teenager/ young 20′s than now. It was easy to compare myself to my friends who were given better opportunities and feel like I had to work harder and longer to almost catch up.

    Now I feel like that extra work and what I learned by doing it has given me an edge that my friends just don’t have. I have confidence and grit. These characteristics can’t be purchased for you by your parents. They may have had a head start even into our twenties. But now I’m making bigger gains in every area of my life and they are hitting plateaus. Or they hit their ceiling 10 years ago and haven’t make progress since.

    Don’t worry about the people who seem like they’re ahead of you. If you want to you can achieve what they’ve done and more.

  16. I’m jealous that there many people out there who don’t have to deal with the personal issues that I have to deal with.

    I’m jealous that many people are more successful than me but may not have been if they had to deal with the issues I am dealing with.

    I’m jealous that there are so many people who have the motivation and determination to achieve their dream.

    But more than anything else, I’m jealous of those people who were able to use their frustrations with their situations to fuel their motivation. My frustrations only seem to fuel my apathy because there’s no point in exerting myself when I fail every time.

    I’m making progress, however slowly, and I have your blog to thank for that in a big part.

    • Although – once, I had a terrible terrible year and a psychologist said to me – if you learn to deal with this now, you will be ahead for the rest of your life as unexpected/bad/unplanned/painful things are always going to happen, and once you have mastered some techniques for keeping the mind and body under control whilst they past/dissolve from your system, you can use that framework in other areas. I sometimes get jealous and think if x, y, z hadn’t been that way, I’d be here there and the moon but they did/ir was that way, so now I seem to cut myself from bad events/dead ends/painful experiences much more easily than before. And at least you actually are dealing with your personal issues. Perspective hey??? Everytime a mishap happens now, I think – is this really that bad? Job hunting – just a minor inconvenience now, not the drastic injustice I once thought.
      Also, some people’s personal issues you might be surprised at – different to yours, but may still be there.

    • I feel in a smiliar way. I think the one thing I’m most jealous about is the support other people get from their family and friends, and how they know how to fight for their own success without looking at what others think.

      How do you become independent from the opinions and negative thoughts coming from people around yourself who are – more or less consciously – pulling you down?

  17. Hi Ramit, I am not typically a people person. I can function, and be actually very sociable but, I don’t like it and it severely drains me. I’m jealous when I see successful business people (or what I perceive as successful) at mixers or at work because I often see how they interact with others and it seems they are popular or people like them. I think it has a direct affect on their business and success and I try to emulate that energy because I want the results. My strengths lie in analyzing things, building or maintaining systems, and seeing patterns. I get jealous and think I won’t be successful without the people power.

    • My sentiments exactly. Right now, I’m working on finding a business partner who possesses the vital people skills I seem to lack.

  18. How I deal with jealousy?
    Exactly like you said, Ramit. By focusing on my own passions and projects. I have been doing this for almost 1 year, and now I’ve got my friends telling me how inspiring my pics on Facebook are!

    What makes me jealous?
    The same old things – holiday pics of exotic locations on my friends’ profiles, someone purchasing a new gadget or car etc. But, now I can watch my jealousy creep up on me (thanks to Leo Babauta), and dismiss it by thinking about the things in my life that I am grateful for.

  19. YOU make me jealous, dude. But you’re a bad ass and I read your newsletters and have your book. (One of your newsletters reminded me that I also own the 4 hour body book and I brushed it off and have lost almost 20 pounds in 5 weeks. So thanks for that kick in the pants too.)

    Your email reminded me of something I read about in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath” about “relative deprivation”. People in “happy” countries commit suicide more often than people in “unhappy” countries and it’s theorized that it’s because if you’re depressed in a country where most people are happy, like Sweden (or was it Switzerland? I’d be happy in either…), then you compare yourself to others and it makes you feel like crap. But if you’re depressed in say, Germany, then you’re pretty much like everyone else, so it’s no biggie.

    So maybe the groups we run with throughout our lives need to gradually change. Maybe we need to hang out with people slightly better than us to give us the motivation to be better ourselves. As we get better (richer, thinner, happier, sexier, better dressed, etc.), we gradually progress to a new group of folks where we have just the right motivation to get better but we don’t feel that “relative deprivation” and give up entirely (or take for granted our personal accomplishments). So if you’re worth $1 million bucks, maybe hang out with people worth $1.5 million bucks. But once you’re worth $2 million, maybe you should hang out with people worth $3 million. (Stupid analogy, but you get the point…)

  20. Hi Ramit!

    I watched this video and it was very insightful/helpful. But what about how to handle others being jealous of you? What is the best way to handle the negativity and their feelings of envy especially when it is the pink elephant in the room?

  21. Hello Ramit,

    I have moments when I think another person(s) has something or a position that I desire. My typical thoughts are to look to what I can do in my field to differentiate myself and earn the value I seek.

    I consider a few questions:
    How can I become more valued. Are there some general skills I am missing. Are there highly complex and technical skills required to achieve the level of success I seek.

    Where do my skills and experience create increased value. There are skills that I possess in abundance over other individuals – how can I use these skills to enhance my position and performance.

    Who do I know that possesses the position and skills that support who I seek to become.
    Who should I include in my network. What can I offer specific people when they join my network.

    How much time do I have to invest in improving my skills if I remain with this company. If the view is set – it might be wise to find a new place to develop at another company. However, if I am still practicing new skills it might be reasonable to hone the skills before launching into my next phase.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. You help me see the value I bring and where I can focus on improvements.

    Kind regards,
    Dawnette

  22. I get really jealous at when I see some of the most meanest women I’ve eve rmet, end up with the good guy husband/family/ home/ life I’ve always wanted. I’m nice and I end up with jerks. But, then I remember that I should be happy that she found someone who loves her and appearances aren’t always reality……

  23. Get on Youtube and watch video of people who have become successful through perseverance. You ‘ll stop being jealous of them and that energy gets directed to copying their success. Jealousy is just human emotion triggered by a lack of a roadmap or a focus on getting to where you want to be. Anytime you lose focus that energy transfers itself into jealousy. Stay focused and you wont get jealous.

    • I get jealous of successful creatives who are doing what I want to do, or moms who look so put together (nice clothes, super skinny) , but then I remember it’s really a big illusion and media sensationalists want you to think that successful creative hit it big overnight, without much work- and once you read their interviews, you realize it’s not “overnight success” but years of hard ass WORK. These put together moms have the best stuff, look great- and sure I can’t afford it, but are they really happy? I try to remember that I need to look at ME and ask if I’m happy with myself. It’s a battle everyday not to buy into this consumerist mindset that buying everything will make me happy.

      Ultimately, it’s good motivation to remind me that I can be successful on my own terms- I need to work hard, work smart, and persevere.

  24. Ramit-

    You used to get under my skin immensely. Buts it’s all good- we’re friends now.

    You see, years ago, I thought I was doing better than virtually anyone else I knew around my age until I discovered your blog. You wrecked my world (well, not quite but you did get my attention.)

    When your book came out, I had already automated my finances nearly identical to the way you laid it out (before I even knew of your way of doing it.)

    In fact, lots of stuff in your book I already knew about.

    It really irked me because I thought I could’ve written the book myself. (Anyone smell arrogance?)

    So I tried to copy you, bought Earn1k and strongly considered dropping the 12k to go to the top of the class.

    It didn’t work. It just wasn’t me.

    But still virtually every email from you evoked deep jealousy.

    I hated it but it went on for a few years.

    Finally I came to the realization that I would be jealous of everyone and unhappy with myself unless I followed my own passion instead of trying to copy others.

    So four months ago I took the plunge, quit my job and am now pursuing my own passion in real estate.

    Now it doesn’t bother me how much success you or anyone else has- in fact, I find that it inspires me and fuels me on!

    -Blake

  25. Hi Ramit,

    I wouldn’t have expected Jealousy to pop up as an IWT topic, but it makes sense—this is one of those negative emotions that successful people have to learn to shed so we can like ourselves more, and enjoy the success we acheive. Three ideas:

    Keep in mind the following: Comparison is the Root of ALL Unhappiness. I hate this trite little maxim, but the longer I’ve considered it, the more I believe it’s true. A world-class pianist will compare herself to the guy who can shred a jazz solo. The driving a Bentley compares himself to the guy on a Harley. We compare ourselves to people we don’t even know, and probably wouldn’t even want to share lunch with. Much of the time it isn’t sensible, but these are EMOTIONS. Still, understanding the source helps empower us to effectively deal with it.

    Dwelling on it sucks the life out of us. If it’s someone we value or have to deal with on a regular basis—friend, family, mentor, neighbor, coworker—congratulate them. Quickly and to the best of our ability. Learning to praise people helps scrub jealousy from us, and improves our relationship with the other person. Even if it’s someone we don’t want anything to do with. Think about it: How many other people are going to take the time and energy to say anything more than, “Congrats” through clenched teeth? Even coming up with, “I know you’ve wanted this for a long time and I hope you really enjoy it” costs you nothing, and doesn’t say you’re happy for them. And like Ramit pointed out, it could open a door if you wanted to pursue asking them about it.

    Last, this is also something I do every November prior to Thanksgiving. When I’m really getting hammered by jealousy, I start making a list of things I’m grateful for. Hands down, this is the best way I’ve found to get my head centered again. I’m not a world-class pianist, and I tend to bumble my way through a solo, but I’m grateful that I learned to play for my own enjoyment. And that my wife likes my playing. And that my three-year-old dances like a princess when I play.

    And so on. Like Dale pointed out at the top, it’s all about changing the frameworks—the mental framework for sure, but also the emotional triggers that can set us off.

    Good post, and good to get me thinking about gratefulness this morning.

    Steve.

  26. Ramit, this post sparked a light bulb in my head. Passion = Success.

    I’m an engineer by trade, and while I’m good at my job and enjoy what I do, my real passion is in the study of personalities. Reading MBTI books, forums, etc. and observing people is my idea of fun. It’s just unbelievable how much disinformation is out there, too!

    Until I watched your video though, I never equated that passion with the road to success. Raised in a family of engineers, I’ve been somewhat brainwashed into sitting in a cubicle for life, which is *not* my passion.

    Thanks, Ramit :)

  27. I am so jealous of people. Period.

    I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t care what industry someone is in, where they live, their positive habits, I’m jealous. I’m jealous that people get opportunities in an industry completely unrelated to mine, I’m jealous of people who are successful in my own industry! I’m jealous of people who are putting in the same effort as me at the same things and have a bigger payoff for no discernible reason….

    I’m also jealous of the people who just don’t care– who don’t have jobs, who scrape by and who do nothing and enjoy doing nothing.

    I know I’m a jealous person, but I like to think that it helps motivate me to continue to do my best, to search out the “big wins” and never throw in the towel (just maybe try another tactic).

  28. I’m jealous of people with financial freedom. I made some dumb decisions in undergrad that landed me a pretty large amount of debt that I’m working to pay off. The best way I’ve found to manage that jealousy is to only compare myself to myself.

    Every time I look at someone else and think how much better they are than I am, I look back at where I was a month ago, a year ago, 3 years ago, and objectively judge whether I’m in a better place now. When I can show myself that I’m making progress, it’s easy to admire now-Jess in comparison to then-Jess. It’s also more constructive because I can only control myself, I have no influence over other people’s situations.

  29. I’m jealous of people who come from a lower station in life and become more successful than I am. Whether they were poorer than I was, less educated, or immigrated from a third world country and, through their persistence, intelligence or ‘hunger’ do better in some way, I become jealous of them.

    Part of it, is that it breaks my”snowflake” syndrome. I don’t have the excuse that “well he was born rich!” or “he had a 180 IQ” or whatever. That person legitimately beat me (or is beating me) and I’m not keeping up.

    On the flip side, I also derive a lot of satisfaction when I am more successful than others who had a better lot in life (richer, smarter, etc), or when they fall from grace “Mayor of Casterbridge” style.

    I am a petty, petty man.

  30. Gregory Magarshak Link to this comment

    It’s a sucker’s game to ALWAYS compare yourself to those above you in a particular area. You are ignoring all the factors that went into play — they could have gotten lucky at any number of steps, and many other people could have NOT gotten there. You are ONE person, and you are trying to get to a place which is the end result of MANY people trying, and VERY FEW OF THEM making it.

    Instead, set your own goals, and know why you want them. Take care of your needs first, then you can work on your wants without compromising your needs. It may take longer to get there, but you’ll get to keep your integrity the whole time.

  31. I felt jealous driving in on the way to work today. My car is ten years old and is broken down every other month.

    I get jealous when I see someone, particularly a female driving a new vehicle. First I think, she has a husband which helps pay for that vehicle. Then I think she has a job which she can afford to make the payments and finally I think she has the credit to allow her to get such a vehicle. I don’t have a husband, well paying job or credit; thus, I am jealous.

    By the time I get to work,I realize- I want what I have; therefore, I have what I want. I have all that I need to get what I want.

  32. I still struggle with jealousy from time to time. The thing that gets me the most is that it seems like there’s a “boys club” online. There are those A listers who only seem to interview, collaborate with a certain group of people while the rest of us are trying to get noticed by that group. In the last few months I’ve realized that those relationships were built over time and through mutual connections. I now focus on building my own network, I focus on the “third tier” as Chase Reeves out it and have made some amazing connections and new friends.

  33. your knowledge , of course.

  34. My best friend and her husband just started out on their own but with the backing of a large company. They sell a product and the large company takes care of all the documents, legal stuff, product, marketing… etc, kind of like a franchise but without the large investment on their part. Its so frustrating because my husband and I have started our business 3 times and failed in the last 5 years. We now feel like we have it right and are prepping to launch again in April. My jealousy comes from the fact that we have worked so hard and failed multiple times. We have taken our lessons and moved on but the past 5 years have been very hard. They on the other hand have it so easy and are attaining success so much faster and easier. She is my best friend and I am so very happy for her but I cant help but also feel jealous. She has always been this way. Everything just comes so easy to her no matter what it is.

    • How do you know she hasn’t failed in the past?
      How do you know she has always had it easy, or if previous “failures” helped her to meet the right people lo launch her business?

      People tend to look only at the end results, but they oversee the whole process.

  35. Interesting post, since just two days ago I was hit by a wave of jealousy when I stumbled over the facebook profile of a high-school colleague. While she is a smart person and she also looks awesome, her path in life was pretty much set by her circumstances: her parents shipped her to law school, she used her parent’s connections to find a nice position when she graduated and she married some big-ass lawyer. I was like, “Well, great, here I am busting my ass to move forward and this girl gets it all handed to her on a silver plate. Life is so unfair!!!!!!”
    The way I handle this is the following:
    1) While not rejecting these feelings of jealousy, I try not to dwell on them. I’d say to myself, “Ok, this feeling is normal, now just let it pass. It makes no sense going down a spiral of hatred or self-pity.”
    2) I’d also question myself: “Why do I even care? I have my own goals to pursue- the only thing that matters is how happy I am with my life and if I am on the right path. ”
    3) Finally, I’d try to cheer myself up, thinking about what I acomplished this far my life and evaluating if I am, from an objective point of view, moving in the right direction.
    Sometimes, it also helps remembering that the target of my jealousy is also a human being. Going back to the example I gave, this woman is actually a very nice person and, really, being jealous because she made the most of her circumstances makes no sense. And besides, I know nothing about her struggles – we all have to fight our own battles.

  36. What makes me jealous:

    Successful men younger than me making 6 figure incomes. I also get jealous of other guys being more successful with women. I’ve had success in both of these domains, but have trouble sustaining it and maintaining it.

    How I handle it:

    I handle it by learning from my mistakes and working on making myself a better person from the inside out. I’m 33 just starting to have the experience of being excited about my friends success. Previously I was always just more jealous. Now I have more space around my jealousy and am starting to become curious and wanting to learn and understand how these guys got to where they are.

  37. What makes me jealous is seeing others my age living a life they really enjoy. That doesn’t mean they make more money either. My one friend owns his own business, he blows glass for a living. He works when he wants and sets his own schedule. We make about the same but I have a 9-5 working for somebody else. The freedom and enjoyment he has is what makes me jealous.

    • Oh and how I handle it? Well I’ve been working my butt off trying to open my ownbusiness. I’ve been talking with investors and the local SCORE chapter to see how I can get where I want to be. ..

  38. Different people have different needs. The jealousy will always be a part of who we are as humans, however when you see things from a different perspective and being thankful for what you have. Jealousy/Envy triggers something in us because we believe or know that what someone else has is of value and most people want value in their lives. I handle it by being thankful for what I have and work towards goals that will get my needs met.

  39. Ramit,

    Thanks for the blogpost and video. It’s endearing to see that even a very successful person, like yourself , faces the same challenge that I do(Don’t we all love it when others have the same problem that you do?)

    The top 3 things that make me jealous are :

    3) Colleagues being promoted at work, when I feel I have done a lot of the hard work( I used the adjective “hard” and not anything else like “dilligent” or “effective”) and I deserve a lot more.

    2) Rich friends. Need I say more?

    …and the #1 thing that I am jealous of is…

    1) The ability of successful people to “discover” a niche in a well explored field and master it. This creativity, intelligence and perseverance in thought leaders is what I am most jealous of.

    How have I been dealing with it before September of 2013? By spending time and energy finding stuff which no one is doing and pursue it , just because of the lack of competition in it. Lame, I know!

    How am I dealing with it after September 2013? This is actually amazing. I figured out what I love doing (Web development, psychology and hypnosis) and I am working hard towards it. Not a single fuck was given about what others were doing, because I kept my creative mind so busy that I was happy and never looking at others. I feel that’s the most helpful way. Is to keep yourself creative.

    Again, thanks for a very insightful post!

    Cheers,
    Vybhav

  40. Great post Ramit. All we have to do is find our passion and work hard at it.

  41. I had to get rid of the idea that I learned as a child that life is magical: “when something good happens it’s luck, when something bad happens it’s karma.” This isn’t true. Success comes from hard work and life throws curve balls that aren’t a judgement. When I feel jealous I ask myself if I’m willing to work as hard as they do to get the results they got.

  42. I went to a great college but majored in communications when I should’ve majored in Econ or finance (at least that’s what I’ve told myself ). So I feel like breaking into banking is tough because of that. So I get jealous when I see friends or people my age (29) or younger doing well in the finance sector. I’m working on this feeling and it’s getting better.

    • Same here. I really do enjoy my job and I’m great at it but it doesn’t pay as well as a position in finance unfortunately. But instead of trying to work myself over to a sector I doubt I’ll enjoy, I’m working on establishing a second source of income which will pay just as well or better!

  43. Marie Selarque Link to this comment

    I am not jealous per say but I get “hurt” when I see people who work a lot less hard than I do get advantages that I don’t get. And then I ask the question why them and not me? Then I try to see why those people who seems less knowledgeable, less hard working, less committed get the “thing” I need to make my life better. For instance I have a friend/student who became a trainer herself. A good trainer. She has real estate, a training center in her second house, she has no real need to work. I need to work, have no real estate, no training center. She was gifted a house and property for free by a woman who lives nearby. The only condition is to make it a dog related. I know the lady as well.
    So why my friend and not me? So I decide to not feel envious and rejoice in my friend’s happy outcome. She may involve me somehow without me having the headache of managing property. But I really don’t know how to manifest the good things to become real in my life.

  44. What an awesome topic! I used to be jealous about everything all the time. I am super competitive and I don’t like people being better than me. I had to train myself to be happy for other people. Now people tell me I’m doing well buy I feel like I’m at a C in life where I could be at an A. Im an overachiever.

  45. […] blogpost is inspired by an article I just finished reading, titled “How to stop being Jealous” and it included a video of […]

  46. Hey Ramit. I really love your advice! I’m also easily jealous person. Especially when those persons are in position I badly want i.e. prettier, make more money, having some blessings or talent “just like that” while I have to exhort efforts to get the same.

    I think I have reduced jealousy now pretty much by thinking that jealousy and envy = scarcity mindset. It’s like exposing mind to “I’ll never reach the same” negativity.

  47. Andrew Williams Link to this comment

    I seldom suffer real jealousy these days. I used to – I struggled with social interaction when young and despaired of ever getting anywhere in life. I had a poor self image and, while I was very clear on all the things I did not know, I was blind to the things I did.

    My jealousy issues evaporated when one day, while my boss was out of the office, I took a telephone call relating to a data protection question. I took details, answered a few questions and promised someone would call back. I felt pretty bad about not knowing all the answers – until one of my colleagues said how glad she was that someone else in the office could deal with those calls. Data protection was confusing to me – apart from my boss, everyone else in the office was practically terrified at the thought of dealing with a call on the topic.

    I suddenly realised I was good at something. Not the best, but far better than I’d given myself credit. And other people were in awe of that. I’d envied my peers for their abilities. I’d never realised that they envied some of mine.

  48. I get very jealous of people that I perceive as having better careers than me. I’ve been very deliberate about finding what I really love, and haven’t done so yet. I feel like I’ve been successful at each step, but the net is that I’m not as far in salary or title as people who’ve stuck to one thing since college. As a result, I can become resentful of those people, even though I know it’s childish and not helpful.

  49. Hey Ramit,
    Thank you for your post! I hadn’t realized before now that I was actually jealous about two totally separate things in my professional life. I am a second-year public middle school chorus teacher. This job has no upward mobility, low pay, and a good deal of hours. I realized that I am jealous of others for earning more money than me, but I am also jealous of other chorus teachers who have choirs better than mine. To deal with my money jealousy, I actually bought IWTY and read it and now I am saving more than my friends and am actually moving states and getting married with my savings! As far as my choirs are concerned, I realized that I was comparing myself to teachers who had been teaching for 10, 20, and 30 years longer than I had. To deal with my jealousy, I started reading more method books, keeping a reflective journal to keep track of strategies that worked and didn’t work, and watching videos of master teachers in their own classrooms. I can definitely tell a difference in my life! Whenever I get jealous now, I tend to watch a masterclass, read something, or lesson plan and think to myself that it will all be worth it when I am that 30 year teacher with amazing choirs that new teachers look up to! Thanks for posting!

  50. Raphael Soares Link to this comment

    I feel jealous when I see people around me evolving and I feel I´m not.

  51. I like the word picture of the pie. There is enough pie for everyone and each one will be successful in our own way. The temptation is to see what someone else is successful at and try to be successful in the same way. My challenge is being confident in my passions and pursuing those passions into successfulness.

  52. You already said it, Jealousy is not a productive emotion. I’ve matured & moved away from being jealous. I’m often angry, but I’m working on that too…as it is more destructive than productive. How do we measure success? Humans compare to one another, but it’s about internal worth not competing with your friends. I agree, there is unlimited abundance in this world. More than enough for all.

  53. I might be in denial, but I don’t believe I get jealous. I do notice inequality, for example, some lucky students have wealthy parents who can pay for their college, while the majority of students will be saddled by student loan debt. This doesn’t make me jealous, it makes me inspired to work towards a solution that would broaden access to higher education for the majority. I am also keenly aware of my blessings; maybe that’s why I don’t feel jealous. I might struggle to pay bills, but there is peace in my neighborhood and country, and unlike billions of people in the world, I have enough food for me and my child. When I want something I don’t have, I just try to figure out a way to get it. It may take a while, but so far that method has always worked for me.

  54. Hi Ramit,

    I liked your comment about other people’s success not taking away from the pie, and about mastery. However, I am skeptical of your equating that with “passion”. I am currently reading So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport, after hearing about it in your Finisher’s Formula course, and so far I am agreeing more with his theories on passion. If you find “your passion” early that is great, but otherwise it is more important to gain mastery at one of the (many) things that you would be content doing, rather than spend lots of time trying to find “your passion” (which implies that there is only one correct choice).

    In practice I have found that one technique to get rid of jealousy is to realize that sometimes the thing you are jealous of is something you have chosen not to pursue. For instance, as a teenager I didn’t like NPR’s show “From the Top” because it was basically pointing out that all these other teenagers are better musicians that I am. (Actually I still don’t like that show.) But at some point I realized that I didn’t need to be jealous of them because that wasn’t my goal anyway and I was spending my time on other priorities.

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

  55. My best strategy so to remind myself that
    1) my jealousy is a clear and visible emotional sign and driving force to do better at my chosen passion, and
    2) if I’m jealous of someone else’s success, then it’s probably because what they’ve done is something I wish I could have done – and that means I’ve identified someone worth modeling … How can I learn from their success?

  56. i am jealous of ppl who know what they want in life and have the balls to follow their dreams, ppl who are willing to go broke in order to get where they want. 5 or 7 years ago when i was at college i had many colleagues who where aspiring actors, filmmakers, artists, designers and entrepreneurs, now they are very successful and most of the things they dreamed they have accomplished, they seem to have enjoyable life. when i think about they really worked their ass off to get where they are, while i am 100 years late!!
    they deserve what they have become, but i am just jealous i wasn’t that determined in the past, i was lot (partially still) , and i could ‘ve become way much better if i pursued one thing..back then i didn’t want to settle for one thing , i wanted to try it all

  57. This is 1000% my issue. I see my best friends buying homes, brand new cars, getting job promotions and having lavish weddings; none of which are things I can afford. Part of it is a situation they do not have; I had a child 6 years ago, and they’ve been able to achieve their success in that time, while all of my dollars go into rearing a human. Caring for a tiny being is no joke – I spent $12K on her preschool tuition last year. Fortunately public school is free; but aftercare isn’t! It’s tiring to see all of my friends appear to surpass me by miles. Meanwhile, I’m working full time, working my business part time and doing child duties. I feel that eventually we’ll be back on the same plane – they’re starting families now, too, so they’ll know very soon why I am where I am, and maybe by the time this kid is in middle school I can buy a car that doesn’t break down and quit renting (if we choose to by then). But I sometimes get so jealous I cry. I know that one of my friends has been fortunate to come from a bit of money with a husband who had a trust from a childhood accident. They have a car loan & a mortgage, but no other debt. Meanwhile, I’m $50K in the hole from undergrad.

    When I hear about their success, I’m happy for a moment…until jealousy kicks in & I’m SO SO angry at myself for not having what they have. It’s made me consider whether having these friendships is worth my heartache. I love these people dearly, but my insecurities about my future just weigh me down so much that it can make me miserable.

    I’m just happy to know I’m not alone in this, and knowing that action is the only thing that can conquer doubt. Thanks, Ramit.

    • Interesting, Dayna. For so many years my husband and I tried to children and couldn’t. The 4 bedroom house we purchased, the sensible cars we owned–it all seemed to mock our inability to create a family. What good was success, even, if there was no family to support? Did I really give a crap about a nice car when I didn’t have a baby to strap into it? Hell no. I was so insanely jealous of anyone that had a child. Jealous that they had something I did not, which seems like should so basic and easy. I was also jealous they didn’t have to deal with deciding on how to proceed. Stay child-free? IVF? Adoption? There are significant ethical considerations with IVF and adoption. And yet I couldn’t bring myself to stay childless. And the price of IVF and adoption… well, let’s just say we put almost 6 figures into creating the family we have today (1 child thru birth, 2 children thru adoption). I just think it’s interesting I would have been so jealous of you (not really knowing all you’re going thru), while simultaneously you would have been jealous of me (not knowing all we were going thru).

  58. (1) Remember that you have competitive advantages too.
    (2) Don’t despair, get curious.
    (3) Enjoy the process of improvement, not your “rank order” in the “game of life.”

  59. Hey Ramit,

    Not the question you were asking but perhaps you’ll find it interesting anyway.

    Whenever I find myself irrationally jealous of a complete stranger (e.g. that I read about in an article), I now recognise this as a sign that this person is doing ‘what I want to do’ and so is helpful as a guide towards what I truly want to aim for in life.

    Furthermore, by examining what they did to become successful, it will help chart a course for me to get to where I want to be.

    I have a number of friends who are aspiring/published authors. I notice they’ll easily rant about the poor writing in the wildly successful 50 Shades of Grey. Presumably it isn’t a literary masterpiece, but I wish they’d analyse and put into practice what EL James did well. She didn’t waste her time putting together random musings and occasional “writing tip” blog posts, all linking to other blogs of a similar nature. She found and engaged with a hot & ready ready audience in the fan-fiction forums before she published.

    People should stop being jealous and work out what the people they envy have done to get to their position!

  60. Growing up, I lacked so many advantages that I saw other kids had. Oldest of 4 with HS level parents in a 1,300sq ft house, there was no place to sit that couldn’t see/hear the tv. I was so jealous of kids who went on summer vacations and had their own rooms…with a desk. It was difficult not to feel jealous., even through college. I struggled to graduate, but found a job in a market I like.
    I recently reconnected with a female colleague from HS who I thought had it all. Sure, she went to an Ivy League school and graduated early, but five years out of college, we were in similar positions even with different backgrounds. I would probably be very cocky right now, except my sisters work as waitresses. Same background, different positions.
    Now, I am fighting those old jealous urges while reading The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. But I know that now, at 30, I am completely responsible for chosing my path. I can chose to do things that excite me or I can fall into a rut, but it’s up to me.

  61. Hi Ramit
    I am not usually a jealous person, I usually satisfied with my own life, but when I compare myself with my married cousins and peers, I think I should be married as well, and I feel jealous of that.
    I handle it by thinking I will do that sooner or later, and it doesn’t matter what other people have, which is matter is how they feel! and I feel peaceful and happy about what I have got in life.
    Thank’s Ramit just last night I was thinking about that.

  62. Great topic, and your comment about asking successful folks how they did it brought to mind this article I read recently in Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/6-habits-of-remarkably-likeable-people-2012-12. Asking somebody how they did it is essentially admitting vulnerability. Ramit, I would imagine that the folks you asked liked you better for the asking. Quote below:

    “Everyone is better than you at something. (Yes, that’s true even for you.) Let them be better than you.

    Too many people when they first meet engage in some form of penis-measuring contest. Crude reference but one that instantly calls to mind a time you saw two alpha male master-of-the business-universe types whip out their figurative rulers. (Not literally, of course. I hope you haven’t seen that.)

    Don’t try to win the “getting to know someone” competition. Try to lose. Be complimentary. Be impressed. Admit a failing or a weakness.

    You don’t have to disclose your darkest secrets. If the other person says, “We just purchased a larger facility,” say, “That’s awesome. I have to admit I’m jealous. We’ve wanted to move for a couple years but haven’t been able to put together the financing. How did you pull it off?”

    Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability. People may be (momentarily) impressed by the artificial, but people sincerely like the genuine.

    Be the real you. People will like the real you.”

  63. I get jealous of my female friends who are married and have children. Why? Well, that’s my ultimate goal, to have that kind of family – husband and children.

    I’ve found that I am more happy for them now than jealous because I’ve realised that many people are comparing their life to mine. I run off and do weird, exciting or even useless and mindless things because I can. No-one is depending on me to be “stable”. I’ve learned to enjoy what I have while planning for what I want. So while I do foolishness I’m also saving, ensuring I develop professionally, socialising etc. I’ve found a balance which makes me believe I’m going to end up in the rightest place at the rightest time because I’m allowing life to happen as I give it nudges in the direction I want it to go.

    I’ve also started to notice (aka actively pay attention to) people who didn’t have the fairy tale path to happiness, but ended up annoyingly blissful anyway. So now I realise we don’t all have to take the same path. I’ll get there when I get there, and I’ll have SOOOO many stories to tell about the ride!

    I’ve always been a late bloomer anyway. Greatness takes time!!! ;)

  64. Hi Ramit,

    This is a great video. Asking people about their success has been on my mind, but I always thought there was a secret, like you did. Like you realized it, I just realized it too. Those three pieces of advice are what I learned on my first corporate job (I am still there).

    I’m never jealous of other people’s successes, but I do wish that I was at a higher paying job (or receiving higher pay) given my recent graduate degree and experience. I always tell myself my time will come, but I want it to be immediate so I can save for retirement and pay my bills. Nonetheless, I’ll always work hard to achieve it.

    Thanks for giving great advice, Ramit.

    John

  65. Just to add, I believe we all have some attribute(s) that others would be jealous of. Sometimes we just don’t appreciate or even recognise how awesome we are because we’re too busy staring at others.

    So take a moment and record a life curriculum vitae of sorts. Accomplishments, skills, talents, volunteer acts, your little brother who wants to be just like you. Ruminate on that a while… I’ll bet you’re jelous-worthy too!

    Now carry on and become awesomer!

    (I’m so awesome I make words up lol) but you got my point.

  66. Hm… I have often compared my work skills with experts, and strived to learn from them, much the same as rich people compare themselves with richer people. I’m also competitive with my team mates.

    I’ve experienced my fare share of professional jealousy as a result of my skills, with results such as being kept out of the loop, sidelined, nasty personal politics/attacks behind my back or being pushed to take on responsibilities outside my remit or above my pay grade which someone else was responsible for.

    It was an eye opener for me to find myself jealous of someone working for me. An opportunity for personal growth.

    I think jealousy is the flip side of the anxiety that people, especially over-achievers, feel when they compare themselves to others. I think the answer is the same for both – lower your expectations of yourself until you find a happy place where you feel comfortable with yourself and your achievement/status/money/sucess/etc. You will then feel neither the anxiety of not matching up, nor jealous of those who have more than you do.

  67. I guess I never considered myself a jealous type. If someone was doing well I would be excited for them, but if I thought I should be doing better than them I would look at my level of activity. Am I spending my time in activities that will make me better? Am I thinking about being better but never taking action? The answers were not always comfortable, but it helped me make changes in my activities or re-think my goals.

  68. Ramit,

    My jealousy is towards friends who are naturally interested/good at a profession that makes a lot of money. I get green thinking that “all they have to do is just follow what they already love”, and they’re automatically rewarded with a high salary. For someone like me whose interests and talents are in a lesser-paying field, it feels like I have to choose between happiness and money.

    You’ve taught that this can be overcome by becoming successful enough in my field so that eventually I will make the money I want, but it still stings knowing I’ll have to work twice as hard to reach a salary that others get in an entry or associate-level position. Hopefully I can find other rewards in my own passion that will allow me to overcome the money mentality.

  69. Being an artist, this is a regular struggle for me. There’s always somebody better than me, and somebody not better. I seem to feel more jealousy when I see somebody who I feel is less talented than I gain success. Observation over the years has revealed to me that it was more about their personality or schmoozing skills than actual talent, so I’ve been working on improving that, while at the same time improving my own artwork at my own pace, trying not to compare it to others. The only person I really need to impress is myself.

    • This has also frustrated me for years – seeing other creatives gaining exposure, press attention, etc. when their work is mediocre.

      I recognize well enough that their personal marketing (or schmoozing, or blagging, or whatever you want to call it) is far has been better than my own, but still feel resentful that:

      a) they don’t deserve their success as an “artist”, but as a “manipulator/schmoozer/etc”.
      b) given their relative lack of artistic talent it’s a form of dishonesty to promote themselves as successful “artists” – again fuelling my resentment.

      I guess what this comes down to is not so much jealousy as resentment.

  70. It used to make my blood boil when I would see people accomplish things (especially in career) when they had a leg-up via family or connections. Particularly, if I perceived that I was just now learning things that they had been exposed to their entire lives.

    It still gets me a little fired up, but I just remind myself that I was given one life and one pedigree and if I put in the though and effort now, I can have asshole kids with a leg-up!

  71. I always end up feeling exactly the way Matthew did. Any successful person I see on TV I start thinking at why am I not that successful. Especially prodigies under 20 who’re so talented and successful whereas am doing a regular job with nominal salary. I feel I don’t have that kind of talent to even be successful otherwise I would be successful too.

  72. To be frank, when I was a little boy, I get pissed off whenever I see boys of my age have better things than I have. But not anymore. The “word” jealousy doesn’t exist on my mind anymore , as I’m an adult now, and I do know my limitations and see things in a very different perspective, so to speak.
    If you read the ‘TEN COMMANDMENTS” and follow it diligently each day , you won’t be having this so called “jealous” feelings towards your fellow beings – believe me!
    In short, one has to be happy of what one has , and try to lead a simple, yet challenging life so as to lead a happy and successful life. As the saying goes, “you are what you think you are”.

  73. I get jealous when i notice my friends going through a smoother transition in life compare to myself or when positive changes arw happening to them (and sometimes i think they dont deserve it) and here i am making an honest effort and nothng happens, at least not much or not as fast

  74. I think I was very fortunate to come from very humble beginnings in a foreign country and marry into a family and a world with all the things people *think* they want – money, celebrity, millions of admirers… don’t get me wrong, I know many very happy, very wealthy, very famous and very successful people. Hollywood is NOT only superficial, egotistical jerks… there are so many gifted, creative people here from all over the world who are living their dreams and their joy is infectious. I also know many miserable ones. And back home? It’s the same. It isn’t the “trappings” that make you happy, it’s living the life you want to live. The billionaires I know on their fifth marriages with kids who hate them and no time to repair those relationships are not happy. The motor mechanics I know who have “enough” and feel good about the honest work they do each day are happier. I’ve been blessed to see both sides and realize you can be happy or miserable rich or poor – do you have what matters to you? Do you do what makes you feel good? I’d rather have just enough and live how I want than be a very lonely billionaire, and I only know that because I’ve seen both. I haven’t felt jealousy in years… my life is mine, I live according to my values, and I suspect I will never have a mega-mansion or a star on the walk of fame but I truly could not care less… mega mansion? More to stress about. Star on the walk of fame? I’m a superstar to my husband, my toddler, my family and friends and my dog… their opinions matter to me, the opinions of strangers don’t.

  75. Ellen Greenlaw Link to this comment

    So true Ramit, envy hurts only you ( or me when I am envious). Whenever
    I feel jealous I repeat this truth often to myself and then stop comparing
    myself to others. Comparison kills joy. I do, think or indulge in something joyful.

  76. getting jealousy of some one because of what one has that does not help instead seek for help of to attain it or the knowledge to achieve it. In that way you will be proud of what you become.

  77. joshua audu anyor Link to this comment

    IN LIFE IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS LADY OR WOMAN NEITHER BUSINESS MAN FIRST STICK TO YOUR DREAM,AND ALWAYS ENSURES YOU FIGHT TO GO BEYOND YOU ENEMIES TOTAL CASH FLOW .FROM THIS POINT THEY WILL STOP JEALOUS THEM SELVES

    good lesson

    joshua Uganda ,east Africa

  78. Hi Ramit,

    This hit really close to home. As a blogger, it’s SO incredibly easy to compare your blog to other blogs. Hearing that a blogger has hundreds of thousands of people on their email list is intimidating as hell. It makes me wonder if I will ever get to that level. Even more, it makes me question my own abilities.

    Then, you mentioned in your video that you have been blogging for over ten years. That really helps put things into perspective. In 2013, I finally started to take my blog seriously. In less than a year, I went from 50 visitors per month to over 8,000 visitors per month. If I take that increase and project it out another ten years, it is very possible that I will have a top blog as well.

    As you point out in the video, there is no secret formula to building a successful anything. It takes passion and consistent practice to become the best. Then, you let people know about your success. People just don’t like simple answers. They constantly seek a magic bullet instead of working on their craft.

  79. Thank you SO much, Ramit, for posting this and increasing awareness on this subject. Jealousy is, actually, a debilitating feeling to have towards others; I speak from personal experience.

    • I always post at the beginning of videos, because I get way too excited about the subject matter.

      You’re right! There’s more than enough pie!

      …and there is more strength bringing people together than pushing them away, by such an unproductive emotion.

      Great post!

  80. I wasn’t jealous when I was younger, but then, I was on a great path, scholastically, athletically and romantically. But as time went by, I lost some of my competitive edge; I didn’t grow to 6′ 2″ or higher, so pro football became a fond, relinquished dream. Some friends didn’t stay friends as competition loosened their loyalty to the brotherhood. I made some poor choices-smoked for a number of years, rushed into a marriage that needed more maturity before it should have started, picked a good career, but might have been more satisfying had I made different moves.
    It all has been great so far, but might have been spectacular and I’m directing my attention and efforts that way now, partly fueled by Ramit’s iconoclastic attitude, which has spread to me.
    Along the way, I started to become jealous of some who were showing signs of ‘greater success’, even though it was often an illusion. It took me years to realize that my jealousy was over those who I felt were of poor, or dishonest character and I chafed at their apparent prosperity.
    I now realize that I cheer on the truly successful, and that they deserve my respect, because their success is usually founded upon their contribution to the world, or the Karma bank, OR it’s because they produce value very effectively. They are to be modeled, not envied. Thus, in my own good time, I shall claim a bounty of resources and redirect them to the noble purposes that are dear to me.
    Here’s to the successful!

  81. I used to have a dog who was a barker. He would look out the window and bark at anything that went by. If a person walked by my house, my dog barked. If a bird landed on my lawn, he barked. Crazy, non-stop, panicked barking. But I noticed that when we were out for a walk, he hardly barked at all. On a walk, he was often quiet and even calm. He didn’t really care about other people or animals because he was too busy just enjoying the walk and focusing on where he was going next. Once he was in his happy place, he wasn’t concerned about others encroaching on his territory or getting something that he wasn’t getting. Smart dog. I learned from him. I now realize that when I have feelings of envy or feel general bitchiness towards someone else (my own version of barking) that these feelings are not a result of external circumstances but are a result of my internal discontent. They are now just a helpful signal that I am not in my happy place, that I may feel a lack of control, and that I need to realign my life with what I really want.

  82. Love this topic. I’ve done a lot of work with envy in my personal relationships and often find that envy is a marker of my own care about something that I want. Lately though I’ve been struggling with jealousy of people who seem to be more successful/popular/etc in my very specific and small career. As you can see here: http://erinina.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/yes-to-envy/

    Any advice?

  83. Great solution, Ramit.

    I am also one who is envious of others and it’s true that being more successful can help people to remove all that envy.

    But one thing people should note when they start to climb the ladder of success, make sure to control your arrogance because I think it’s easy to look down on others when you’re on top,

  84. A great question and thank for the thoughtful answer Ramit!

    I think my strongest jealousy comes when someone who I feel equal or inferior to me, whether justified or not, achieves something that I desire while I feel stuck at “I cannot do this” belief. Most of the time, I would lie to myself and say “I don’t really want it” and bury it down until the next event trigger the jealous feeling again.

    I like the advice to accept jealousy as a normal feeling and to consciously ask myself if jealousy a useful feeling to move forward.

  85. What makes me jealous is not necessarily seeing people travel or buy things, but seeing people who you can tell absolutely love what they do, DOING it and LOVING it. It’s an expression that’s distinctly different from someone just posing in a picture on some rented yacht off an island.

    You can see it in how they post about what they do, how they promote it and the fire their voice when talking to people about it.

    THAT specifically is what I’m very jealous of. People who have seemed to be very close, or have already found their path and are fully throwing themselves into it. Because it’s what I’ve been working towards. I may be close myself, but it still registers as a real emotion. I’m just on fire like I want to be yet.

  86. As someone who seems to have consistently made the wrong calls, I am jealous of people who seem to have made the right decisions.
    ‘You live & learn’ starts getting old pretty fast, & worse, I’ve started second guessing myself.

  87. Great post Ramit, very inspiring. I have a follow up question: how do you handle jealousy from your family and friends? I have a good job and try to do stuff on the side, have a successful wife (so combined we make a very good living), have a kid and a second on the way and we still manage to do pretty good on the social side. But some family members don’t seem to be able to cope with this and make below-the-belt comments. If this was a friend I would have let them know pretty direct but family is different. Do you have any tips for this?

  88. I would not call myself a jealous person. I learned to used negative emotions in a positive manner. When I see a friend accomplish a milestone I am genuinely happy for them – even thrilled for their success. When I begin to feel what I call “wishful thinking” the the following thoughts:
    1) What is it I don’t like?
    2) Does this event require a pity party for myself (if it does, I allow myself between 5 and 15 minutes) Everyone deserves to whine every once in a while. Go to a quiet place, vent, then come back to the real world and get back to work.
    3) They worked hard to get to where they want to be, how hard am I working to reach my goal
    4) Did they a) begin before I did b) have more training 3) become more disciplined? In other words I study what they did to get their success
    5) What am I doing that they are doing and what can I do better? Then I figure out ways to implement what I discovered. Usually it’s just a matter of adjustment….tweaking something or getting rid of something I’ve been holding. Sometimes it’s an emotion which is holding me back so I have to find ways to either get rid of it or work around it, turning the negative into a positive.

  89. I get jealous the most when my friends post up photos of their exotic holidays or even social get togethers that include all of our mutual friends. I guess it’s because those things highlight what I love most to do but what I feel like I’m lacking. And these bouts of the green eyed monster do tend to come out when I feel less than happy about where I’m at in my life. The way I used to deal with it is by ignoring them and ‘getting on’ with things. So I eventually get over it but it doesn’t leave me with any particular notion that I should be happy for their success. This needs to change.

  90. As a younger man I would get jealous when I saw others who head less drive, training, or time then me in my jobs but when promotion time came they were always picked.

    I would almost always look for another “fair” job where my talents would be appreciated. I never found it ramit.

    I went back to school and got a business degree and began running my parents restaurant. I knew it would never be mine I opened my own and it small but growing. Fuck bosses they are biased on everything I want to work for myself.

    I am going to set systems up automate the cash management, and time schedules then hire a store manager. Then I am going to open another business automotive related because I love working on my rides and I can justify it to my wife.

  91. Gemma Regalado Link to this comment

    First off, love the new look site – infinitely better than before.

    Great video, too. It’s important to feel jealous because it’s a marker for where we want to be, and the best way to get to where we want to be is ask how others managed it, rather than bitching about it. I know I’ve been guilty of that myself in the past – and perhaps even today.

  92. Hi Ramit,

    Great video. I think it’s just about identifying where that jealousy comes from. You’re right about it being a negative emotion however it tells us something very important. For me i recognized it as a trigger. My friend has something I want. Success, greater wealth, a better body… Instead of sitting in it and feeling sorry for myself (and simultaneously damangin my relationships), i decide to think deeper and ask myself, “what does he/she have that I wish I had?”, “what am i doing every day to get there?”. Sometimes the answer was “nothing” in which case there was work to be done. No time to be jealous when you’re busy working on living your dream.

  93. I’m just jealous at pretty much everybody who has a wife and family. I’ve never had a good family. Mine was dysfunctional, but now I’m all grown up with not even a prospect.

  94. Hey Ramit,

    I have this problem of being jealous of people doing better than me for quite sometime now. Sometimes, i feel happy when good things happen to good people. But it just burns when you see good things happen to *bad* people and sadly there are plenty of them. Sometimes, I loathe myself and ask “why am I never good enough?” or “what is wrong with me that i’m not able to be successful?”

    The above video is pretty insightful. I liked that part where you said, ‘the pie’s constantly expanding and there’s a piece for everyone’. This, however, has not happened to me, yet. I’m still introspecting about what I love to do and many a times i see the answer running away from me. I’ve lost 7 years of my life in soul-crushing jobs and I just want to reclaim my life asap.

  95. Jealousy, not jealousy … It is not important.
    The main thing – to move forward.
    I’m not jealous.
    I can not wear other people’s faces.

  96. Hello Ramit,
    Thought provoking.
    The “Find something you love, become the best at it and let people know”, the key message has made an impression on my thoughts.
    Thanks,
    Girish

  97. Hey Ramit,

    Great answer! I feel jealous for many reasons that you illustrated, but the #1 reason for me would be seeing people whom I feel I’m better than, excelling more than me. I get envious because I know my self-worth and potential, and can’t fathom how someone is better than me at anything.

    I overcome it by making my jealousy a motivator. I learned early in life that the only way to benefit from envy is to do whatever is takes to ascend above the competition, then become the envied!

    Look in the mirror. Be honest about your faults. Ask people with non-biased opinions of you about your improvement areas, and work on them! The words may sting, but try not to be sensitive and be transparent. That helps me a lot.

    Thanks

  98. It’s very stupid but I often get jealous of people’s cars. I desperately want a large SUV or truck, but it’s hard enough to afford my small sedan.

    When this happens I try to remember how I approach the gym, where actually I do not get jealous anymore. A while ago I realized there is always someone stronger/bigger/faster, so there is no point in “competing” with others at your gym. Just focus on your system and good results will come.

    I try to remind myself of this mental framework with material things. There will always be someone richer, so there is no point worrying about that.

  99. It’s interesting… I don’t usually struggle with jealousy but experienced a huge bout of it yesterday (the day you released your post) so apparently we were on the same wavelength.

    In terms of when I specifically experience jealousy, it is usually at these times:
    -When I’m feeling insecure in an area
    -When I’m feeling hopeless (i.e. shame is telling me there’s nothing I could possibly do to ever be or have something different)
    -When I want something but feel I shouldn’t want it or that it’s inappropriate to ask for in a way that I see other people asking for it. (This usually revolves around wanting attention from people I love.)

    Here’s what seems to work:
    -Admitting to myself that I’m jealous.
    -Admitting to at least one trusted person who will be empathetic that I’m jealous (lifting the shame/isolation)
    -Being vulnerable to try something even when everything inside me is telling me that it will never work because of past failures.
    -Being vulnerable to express to the people around me what I want/need

    It seems to me that jealousy is wrapped up with shame/vulnerability/control/security/peace and needs to be handled delicately. Sometimes the best thing is to shield yourself from unneeded jealousy creators–different for everyone but usually involves social media, going to certain events, newsletters, etc. It’s OK to be honest with yourself when you can’t handle something and limit your exposure to the information.

    Learning and growing…
    Elizabeth

  100. I don’t usually get very jealous, however the one thing that has always ramped up my jealousy is how people get handed opportunities. Someone gets handed a successful family business, start a business with money from their parents etc.

    However I have come to realize that these individuals might not even want what they have been given, and expectations have been forced upon them. I am lucky to be able to achieve my own success on my terms, not someone else’s.

  101. I get a little jealous when I dwell on people who spent their first years out of school in an intelligent way, ie university, good jobs etc. I feel I wasted those years, but only because I knew no other way. I had no role models or teachers I would listen to. Those other people seem to have a great foundation.
    I am where I am because of those years, and I am happy, but I sometimes get jealous.

  102. I didn’t really become jealous until fairly recently. Growing up I wasn’t very jealous, but since I’ve graduated college, I’ve found myself jealous of people my age (mid 20s) who have careers and jobs in a field they actually enjoy and getting paid more than minimum wage.

    I know the easiest way to feel about about yourself is to compare yourself to others, and I mostly don’t. But when it comes to jobs, it feels extra frustrating because the employer is doing exactly that: comparing me to the other prospective employees.

    To make myself feel better, I just remind myself that all of the experiences I gain, no matter what position I’m in, are valuable. Also, I probably have more free time.

  103. For some reason, the music at the beginning and ending of the video made it seem like I was listening to an ad selling some magic cleaning device.

  104. For some reason, the music at the beginning and ending of the video made it seem like I was listening to an ad selling some magic cleaning device.

  105. When I was younger I felt jealous of those who had more magnetic personalities, more charisma, and attracted women more easily than me. I handled it by simply focussing on my own strengths in my own way.

    But the one I still have difficulty with to this day is a strong belief in justice and people achieving what they deserve. All too often I see people who show far less commitment, skill or effort being “unfairly” rewarded when others may be unrewarded despite doing far more or better work, at a higher quality or with more care or dedication.

    I see it in creative fields (the fame of well-promoted but talentless celebrities), in education (“educators” delivering expedient, robotic lessons yet being promoted due to seniority not performance), in retail marketing (mediocre or generic products becoming bestsellers purely by virtue of marketing), and in many other fields.

    What I feel is a combination somewhere between jealousy, resentment and outrage.

    The only way I have found to handle it is to avoid thinking about it and focus on my own strengths. But knowing that my own and others’ strengths have often been (and may continue to be) overlooked is something I can’t completely forget.

  106. I use to be jealous with other people who same education to me but they were more productive than me,

    then base on that reason the lealous it become me change of thinking change
    :of the way how to be smart at work

  107. I used to (sometimes still do) get jealous that I was not in medical school or. Getting my bachelors degree at my age like all my ex-classmates were. I felt like they had a better life but I was smarter and I deserved to be in their place. I would always say “I wish I was there” “I wish I could do that” ” I wish that was me”.
    I have since change my perspective to keep me from going crazy. I like to think that if I had made any different decisions when I was younger or gone or applied to any different school, that I would not be where I am today. I feel very blessed to be able to help people in my career. I also feel very blessed to have the friends that I have today and to have the wonderful family that I have. Using a “what if I wasn’t here” mentality helps me get through rough days and helps me not be such a jealous person.

  108. I have yet another analogy of jealousy. In sports if you lose a game, a bad sport is someone who is basically jealous that the other team won. A good sport is one who is elated that they learned a valuable lesson and will not lose the same way again. Life is the same way you can be happy for someone’s accomplishments and even ask a few questions on how they did it (and learn something) or you can revel in your own miserable sense of entitlement, it’s a choice!

  109. This has been a huge struggle for me over the past couple years when I realized that I had “wasted” the past 10 years of my life helping my now-ex get his career going only to be left high and dry on the other side.

    I went through a lot of jealousy, anger and disappointment in myself as much as in anyone else – probably more so anger disappointment in myself than anything. That often got directed in a jealous fashion – “why was his career going wonderfully while here I was, in my 30′s, with no career to speak of when all this time I could have…..”

    You get the idea.

    I then took a moment to realize that there was really only one person who could fix this. No one could change the past, but I had the power to change the future. This doesn’t mean I’ve eliminated all jealous thoughts, but when they start to affect my outlook, I remind myself of those two simple things: 1) I have control of my future, make it what I want and 2) I can’t change the past, so don’t dwell on it. Learn from it and move on.

    Sure, I’m still a little jealous of people who have more, are further ahead, etc, but I try to take a moment to realize how far I’ve come since I decided to grab the reins of my destiny myself, and then remind myself where I’m going and how I’m getting there. The jealous feelings tend to slide away and my confidence goes up when I focus on what’s important.

  110. I feel like jealous and worry are much the same in the fact that they usually give no value to your life. So why use them? Just focus on giving everything 100%. The rest will come.

  111. Can we highlight the point: SPEND EVERY POSSIBLE MINUTE FINDING WHAT YOU LOVE. This is the inner work that yields so much goodness. Great post, Ramit. <3

  112. There are a few things that get my sense of envy going–the latest smartphone, a fabulous car, public displays of affection with a significant other. But what usually snaps me out of it is asking myself what does it take to get that and what would I trade for it? For things, it easy; it’s like having a mental swap-meet. I like taking vacations and eating out, so a modest and reliable car is sufficient–I wouldn’t trade my fun money for a car payment.
    I also ask myself what is the downside that I don’t see. For example, Shirley and Bob might be snuggling in the restaurant but they probably fought over money or chores yesterday. Or with the latest smartphone, yes, I can do this, that, and the other thing on it, but man, my eyes hurt from staring at screens all day.
    Envy can be difficult when you don’t think someone has earned what he got…but then again, that lucky break might be the only thing he has going for him.

  113. Thanks for sharing this video Ramit,

    I feel much better now. Actually I used to be jelaous before too. When I looked at my happily married friends with kids, I was thinking what was wrong with me, why I had to bring up my kid alone. I also deserve to be happy. I didn’t have anything to do but keep working. Today I work for one of the world’s most attractive employers, and I can see many jelaous people around, though it doesn’t make me feel good. Everyone has something to be proud about, we just don’t appreciate what we have.

  114. OK, allow me to share with you all what it means to be whole. Wholeness. My wholi-ness. HA.

    Wholeness comes from having less and less and being happy about it. I am 60 years old and achieved this state of wholeness through the actualization of reduction. Yes, I am “rich” by our definition of richness but it is only meaningful to the extent that I HOPE I will be able to EAT, HAVE WALLS AROUND ME (no matter how thin, how well painted>>>>all they do is keep in heat or keep out heat)….I can go on and on, but ownership of stuff is the catch. The less you have, the more rich and whole you will be. I drive around in a 13 year old Honda 4-door and most people see us as poor folks when most of the time, I would guess that our net worth is more than the combined wealth of those in the same room. Yes, there my be MORE rich folks than we are but I would say that most of the time, they are wearing Gucci or Rolex watches and have not learned the lesson.

    We have reduced our material wealth by over 90% in less than 5 years and all we have now is cash, organic food, fresh air, and travel. We are better than ever in that we hope no one gets a whiff of how much we are worth. I grew up poor and lied about my poorness until it became clear that I was far happier with less stuff and fewer things that belie wealth. Now, we are happy to just serve others. Love and be appreciated for just US in human form offering our assistance whenever and however we can. No brag, just fact. Stuff is nothingness. WHOLENESS is having as little as possible and getting by.

  115. Mike Alcazaren Link to this comment

    Ramit,

    I am unbelievably jealous of the people that don’t get decision paralysis like I do. I over-analyze everything and leads me to way too much inaction.

    - Mike

  116. This used to be a huge struggle for me. Now it comes and goes, but for the most part, jealousy isn’t a huge problem for me anymore. I find that the more I stay away from my Facebook/Instagram feed, the better off I am. It’s a balance of being grateful for where I am and seeing others doing great things and using that as inspiration to know that is much more in store for me.

  117. I’m not great at office politics, but am trying to get better at it. Do you have any recommendations for improving your game without turning into a jerk? Especially if things have been said behind the scenes to tarnish your rep, how does one bounce back from that better than ever? Is it best just to gain what you can and then cut your losses and move on?

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