Using envy as a tool.

So I’m (re)reading Jenny Blake’s Life After College, which is amazing and should be read by everyone. Whether you’ve recently graduated from college, it has been decades since you graduated, or you never attended college at all, this book applies to you.  Jenny does an amazing job of guiding the reader through the fundamentals of a full and successful life that everyone knows but many of us often forget.

One of my favorite of Jenny’s principles is to use envy to your advantage. She recommends taking a look at the people that surround us and intentionally noticing what we envy about them. In my case, I really envy my husband for his humility, my friend Shana for her killer violin skills, and my mom for her creative mind, among many others.

Once we’ve discovered some great attributes or talents in our community, we can find ways to learn from those. I can watch my husband to see how his humility helps him handle conflict and begin to emulate that. I can ask Shana to coach me in violin. I can text my mom the next time I get stuck creatively. By tapping into the gifts of those around me, I can access the tools to improve myself.

What resources do you have in the people who surround you? What can you learn from your friends and family to make yourself a better person?


4 thoughts on “Using envy as a tool.

  1. I remember reading a similar sentiment in one of the Lousie Hay “Heal Your Life” books, but in my daily life I tend to forget it, and instead feel guilty if I get that twinge of envy (and that’s not useful OR generous). Thanks for the reminder, and for a post that contributes to our generosity of spirit.

  2. I have been extremely lucky to have wonderful and supportive friends in my life. One would literally give the shirt off of her back if you needed it. Another is super calm and cool in any situation, and never ever talks badly about others…ever. I think I subconsciously try to surround myself by really awesome people! 🙂 They have definitely made me a better person.

  3. WOW!… Going to look for his book!

    My daughter has Aspergers, she did not talk until she was 3. She is a quiet person at age 14. But she has an eye for things that others miss. She can find beauty in the worse places. Her pictures, drawings and writings are breathtaking.
    My oldest is 21, Smart as heck! Can fit everything he owns in his Yaris with room to spare. A true Minimalist.
    My kids inspire me! I envy them both because they both hold a drive that I did not have till my 30’s! So I am catching up!

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