I remember when I first started getting into self-help programs. That “a-ha” moment made me feel incredible. As I read that first book, I discovered a person that truly got me. They really understood what I was going through. And they were so filled with great information, with wisdom and knowledge, with advice for moving forward … I wanted more.
So I dove in full force. I headed down to my local library and left with an armful of books and audio programs. I read in the morning, read before I went to bed, took books with me everywhere for those down moments in a day, and of course listened to audio tapes in the car and when I went out for my daily run.
I was hooked; I knew this stuff was talking specifically to me.
I remember one of the first audio programs I listened to by Tony Robbins. He talked about his youth, his upbringing, all the things he never had, and how he was determined to never live that life as an adult. He wanted prosperity; he wanted to do things he never could as a child. And he would stop at nothing to achieve his dreams.
In one of his stories, he spoke of his desire for a big, beautiful house. He “saw” it in his mind. And in reality, there it was one day, waiting for him in all its glory. He couldn’t afford it, but it didn’t stop him. He signed the lease anyway, determined he would do whatever it took to keep that house and all the significance it held.
He did. And the rest is history as they say.
We all know Tony Robbins today is one of the mega super stars in the world of self-help. I don’t know whom on earth he hasn’t touched in some way. He’s a giant in so many ways.
But that didn’t stop me from being a little envious. How could he just sign a lease and then live up to those expectations? How could he sign a lease on something before he even knew how he was going to pay for it? Was it possible? Did people do things like that? Why did I seem to have so much trouble if it was truly that easy?
I just wanted to pay my mortgage, pay off my credit cards, and maybe go on a decent vacation that year. That’s not much, right?
Why We Envy
Its human nature to want more. Its human nature to want what we don’t have. Yet once we achieve it, it might be great for a short while. But very quickly we find ourselves right back in the same situation, wanting all the more.
Remember that feeling you had at 15, a few months before you officially received your driver’s license? You looked at all the others around you, swinging those keys around their fingers, walking out to the parking lot, getting into a car and driving away. Instead, you had to hop on the bus, or worse, be picked up by your parents. Then one day it happened, and that magic piece of paper slid between your fingers. You could jump into the car any time you chose, and drive yourself rather than rely on someone else.
Of course that feeling was short lived. It was great for a moment, but then that moment disappeared as you realized you wanted more. You wanted your own car. Once you had a car, you wanted to trade it in for something newer and classier. You saw what your neighbor was driving and the desire grew.
It happens with material objects, but it happens just as easily with emotions, wants and desires too.
When I first started writing books, I naturally looked to the greats in the industry, comparing my future to what they already had. In only I could achieve their level of success; I would think this over and over again. Of course when it didn’t happen, I could often feel the anger and jealousy bubble deep down inside.
When I was building my first business, I looked around and found others in a position I too wanted to be in someday. I emulated them, I studied them, I did what they did. And of course, I didn’t achieve the same results. Why? I asked myself that again and again. After all, I did what they did, I followed what they were doing, in some cases I even looked like they looked. After all, if they found the magic “thing” that got them sale after sale, why shouldn’t my do it the same way too?
I stayed true to this path of copying, until I finally hit upon something big.
“Envy is ignorance.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mr. Emerson said it well.
If we become fixated on things we don’t understand or can’t have, that feeling of envy comes to life and broods until it takes over our being. It happens to the best of us.
So the only way to avoid it is to learn to recognize it early, and do something to put that feeling at bay. You can have anything you desire; but there will be a path to follow in order to get it.
When you feel that envy and frustration coming through, its simply because you don’t understand the road you are currently on. New paths aren’t always easy, and they sometimes have a tangled jungle lying in the pathway. But that doesn’t mean you can’t break through it and find it with ease. It just may take a little more work than the path that’s clearly cut.
The thing that you want, your biggest desire, your end goal all exists at the end of the road. Yet the path to get you from where you stand today to where you ultimately want to be may be long and narrow, filled with bumps and curves that can easily lead you astray.
That’s where the envy comes into play.
You can’t jump over the hurdles without knowing they are there. You can’t teleport from today to the end of the journey without facing the bumps and bruises it takes to get there. You have to make the journey all on your own.
What you can do is learn from them. You can use their words and stories as a roadmap for the journey along the way. But ultimately you have to take the first step.
Are you ready to start your journey?
Sometimes YOU are the very thing that stands in your way of success. You want it, you see it, you have the desire. But you simply can’t get anything done. You say yes to things that keep you too busy to move forward, and find yourself with more work than you could every accomplish in your day. How will you truly find the path that will lead you to where you ultimately want to be?
Maybe its time to have a new perspective. I’m offering a 30 minute coaching session to help you see your life and your Big Idea in a whole new way. What has you stuck? What is holding you back from your goals? You will be surprised at how much we can uncover in just 30 minutes … but you have to act today.