With the world being influenced by a slew of marketing gimmicks we are brainwashed into thinking that we are incomplete without possessing the product we are seduced by. Obviously lack of funds is often the one single reason that we cannot posses what we crave for. However the pain is made worse when we notice our peers or friends or acquaintances possessing things we craved for. This added pain is an outcome of jealousy; the feeling of not merely craving for what others have but more importantly the hurt that he / she possesses it. Jealousy is a self inflicted pain that we carry around with neither a cure in sight nor the possibility of not adding to our pain.
We become jealous for 2 reasons.
We ignore or discount our own blessings.
Almost all of us are guilty of taking all what we are blessed with for granted. This means that we simply discount the value of our blessings and never ever value it till we are deprived of it. A simple example is good health. It is only when we stub a toe or sprain our ankle or suffer a fracture that we realize what a blessing it is to have good health. In a similar way we do not realize the value of the intangible blessings we have like the love of a family, the liberation got from our education, the freedom of speech and much more because we are in a democratic set up etc.
We are however equally quick to outrightly discount our tangible blessings; be it money or possessions because when we look around there is always someone who has more. Be it a mobile or a car or a house, ideally we would want to own a version higher than what we are blessed with.
We focus on others and selectively choose to highlight what they are blessed with.
Look back at your school days and recollect the times your parents compared your marks of each subject with the marks of the person who scored the highest in the respective subjects. You would have hated the fact that this was done and you found it unfair that toppers marks were used to gauge your performance and possibly also suffer the ignominy of being berated. Now pause for a moment and ask yourself if you felt jealous about a colleague’s lavish lifestyle or her wardrobe or their swanky new car etc. Do you have similar jealous feelings for some else who owns a roaring business or has a enviable social life? Have you ever paused to find out the price they have paid for those trappings of success that you are jealous about? Are you aware of the undercurrents of worries, possibly hurt and worse still fear and loneliness that could possibly be a hidden part of their real life?
Jealousy can be overcome by simply being grateful for what you have and by focusing and proactively going after the innumerable opportunities life gives us to aspire, perspire and acquire what we want.
- If you were to suddenly inherit USD 10,000 what would you splurge it on? You must use for at least 5 different items or purposes. Now ask yourself if any of those purchases were subconsciously dictated by a desire to own it because someone else known to you has it or because of the snob value associated with it. Is there any item you plan to purchase that is purely to indulge in a personal passion or yearning.
- Can you identify 5 things which you are certain will make you happy. The cost should not be a limiting factor in deciding these 5 things. For each of these things can you be very specific as to color, features, measurements etc. e.g. don’t simply say ‘ I want a car’ but specify the make and type and features of the specific model you crave for. Now that you have written it for what worthwhile causes will you sacrifice these indulgences without a trace of regret.