All of us at some point or the other in our lives had felt envious of someone or the other. Even Isaac Newton, arguably one of the most intelligent people ever to have lived fell a victim to this useless emotion. It is said that he had invested a part of his wealth in the shares of a leading company in England. Apparently, the company was doing well and the share price began to rise. Newton more than doubled his money very quickly as he sold his shares and was very content with his decision. The sad part was Newton exited and his friends who too had invested continued to gain in wealth as the share price kept going up. This disturbed Newton no end and he kept feeling jealous that people less intelligent than him were becoming far wealthier than him. This burnt him continuously, and ultimately, he again bought the shares by putting a large chunk of his wealth and at that time the share was at its peak — the bubble burst and the share price collapsed leaving Newton at a huge loss of millions. This was a huge blow — the man who formulated the law of gravity could not understand the financial markets — and why just because he was envious of his friends making more money!
Warren Buffet has often said, “It is not greed that drives the world, but envy.” This is such a useless emotion and it drives one’s ego into taking all kinds of harmful decisions. There is absolutely no point in comparing one person with another — whether it is education, career, earning, wealth, skill and so on as each person is unique in the world and has taken birth to fulfil his / her own destiny. This comparison is useless and feeling envious is far more stupid! If you recollect the Mahabharata war, it was Duryodhan’s envy of the Pandavas that drove the Kauravas into one of the most disastrous wars of those times!
Envy damages relationships and disrupts our lives as nothing else can. Worst, it harms the one who feels it — when you obsess with someone’s success then your self-respect suffers which could result in sabotaging one’s own life or career! A mindset which is always comparing one’s self with others is totally destructive and disruptive — it does no good. There will always be someone who is better than you. All sports records are made to be broken, because it is nature’s law that things keep getting better, skills keep getting better and that is what evolution is all about.
The way to get rid of such useless emotions is to live mindfully, with full awareness. Meditation and journeying inwards and turning introversive helps one face the reality of one’s existence. Once you do this, you will never fall a prey to such useless emotions as envy!