Envy the Enemy
According to my quick Google search, envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck. It’s a desire to have something that someone else has. We know it’s not good. We know we shouldn’t do it. But, man, is it hard to guard against.
Our hair, teeth, height, and weight … our car, house, shoes, and clothes … our education, job, income, and profession are just a few potential areas where envy may surface. It’s literally everywhere. And, there’s no escaping it, especially in leadership.
Why Should We Care?
As a leader, envy blinds us to what we DO have. In a constant desire to have the opportunities, resources, and compensation of others we begin to become ungrateful for our own situation. As we focus on what’s missing from our leadership journey, we miss golden chances to impact the people we are leading.
Envy is one of the most common ways to avoid remaining present. As we daydream about how things could be, what others have, and the future we want we are neglecting where we are right now. Envy robs us of our appreciation for the present. It’s not possible to be grateful and envious at the same time.
Some attempt to use envy as a motivator to funnel their energy and passion towards something they hope to attain. They try to pass it off as fuel towards a goal, which may provide significant motivation for a time. However, it can never provide the motivation necessary to accomplish any worthwhile goal.
The pursuits we value the most will be challenging and take a significant amount of time to accomplish. Our purpose must be driven by our own desire to contribute to others, not our pursuit of what someone else has.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Fighting envy is not easy. It’s everywhere, and no amount of previous accomplishment or success makes it go away. Many people are accustomed to looking outside of themselves for answers and guidance, but fighting envy is a strictly internal struggle.
Envy has the potential, and desire, to poison all parts of our lives. Be grateful for where you are, what you have, and who you are. This is the best medicine for envy.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com.
We would love to know how we could help!
I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.