How to get what you envy in others

 

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Affiliate disclosure: I sometimes link to other websites that sell products. I currently do not have any affiliate relationships with websites to which I link. What that means is if you go to a website that I’ve linked to and you buy something from them, they will get all of your money and I won’t get a commission. I linked to them because I bought something from them and I liked it.  This disclosure will be updated as required.

A motivational speaker held up a $20 bill and asked the audience “who wants this money?” She asked the audience with increasing volume of prompting: “who really wants this money?” I really wanted the money.

So, what did I do?

I sat there. I just sat there.

Instead, someone else ran up and took the money.

I was envious of both the motivational speaker AND the person who had the chutzpah to run up to the front to grab the bill.  I’ve been green with envy many times. I’ve come to learn, though, that envy is just another word for nothing left to lose, to paraphrase Janis Joplin.

Staying stuck in envy is a wheel-spinning activity. A close cousin to worry, envy keeps you fixated on what’s right in front of you without any effort from you to take what you desire.

That activity was pivotal for me. Well, that’s why I went to see her, after all, was to get motivated.

Her point was that no one is going to hand you anything, but if you want something you are going to have to get out of your seat and get it yourself.

I’ve been getting out of my seat and working for want I want since then.

Who do you envy? Your answers will help you define your goals. You can go here, if you want to learn more about achieving goals.

But what if you’re on the other side of the envy and receiving a lot of hate?

Achieving your personal ambitions puts you at risk of leaving other people behind. Some people can’t seem to get over that hump and they never live the full life they dream about. Other people achieve greatness and forget about the shoulders they stood on which gave them a step up.

I can understand that latter category. People who do nothing but envy can put out a lot of negative energy. I did at one time. But there are some mindsets you can develop to buffer yourself from others envy.

In Maranda Pleasant’s Mantra Wellness (spring 2018 issue) is a short how-to guide to “learn to roll with the punches.” Here’s my version of the article’s suggestions:

  1. Learn to soft belly breathe to calm yourself from other’s negativity and envy.
  2. Others criticisms and feedback might be your best guide in learning what aspects of yourself need healing.
  3. Learn to roll with the punches or toughen your skin. When you put yourself out there, people are going to grumble under their breath, talk behind your back and troll your social media.
  4. Conflict is spiritual. You don’t think the disciples ever bickered? Read up on your spiritual saints and gurus and you will learn a lot about how conflict can develop consciousness.
  5. Speaking your mind can get you hated, especially if you put yourself in front of an audience who doesn’t agree with EVERYTHING you say. Unless you are building an audience of clones of yourself, SOMEONE SOMEWHERE is going to disagree with SOMETHING you say.
  6. Keep yourself grounded by surrounding yourself with those who, too, are getting out of their seat and going for what they want.
  7. If you can’t take all the negativity anymore, then hire a therapist or a confidential confidant with whom you can process how it’s affecting you. As a person with a platform, it’s a misuse of power to use it to get back at people who are filled with envy and don’t have all of what you’ve worked for. Take the high road EVERY SINGLE TIME, PLEASE.
  8. And if you fall off that high road, use it as an opportunity to build, rather than burn, a bridge by humbly making amends.

Now, who REALLY wants that twenty-dollar bill?

 

Hold on, help is available

tide will turnSuicide is a symptom not a set of instructions. But as it manifests in the illness of depression, it can masquerade as a command, which sounds reasonable to the individual who is coping with it.

I have learned a lot about the brain and how fragile AND resilient it is. One thing I have learned is to not say someone committed suicide. Someone dies by or from suicide or from complications of depression, just as you would say someone died from a heart attack or from cancer. Someone who is suffering from this illness doesn’t make a choice as the word commit implies.

There are many forms of depression just as there are forms of cancer. You might say in a general way a person is fighting cancer and then you might follow-up with what type of cancer. And depending on what you hear, you would have a reaction to it as you know certain types of cancer are more aggressive than others. Depression is similar: Some are low-grade, episodic and others are persistent and aggressive. While a person may have “killed herself,” ultimately it was the depression that killed her.

Along the same language lines, instead of saying “I am depressed,” we encourage people to express it as “I have depression.” People don’t declare “I am cancer” but that they have cancer. It’s a way for those suffering to separate themselves from the embarrassment that could be implied by saying “I am.”

Think about the illness of a cold. “I have a cold,” which has its own course and while symptoms can be managed, masked or minimized the cold can’t be cured, as opposed to a person’s experience of temperature cold. “I am cold so now I am going to get a jacket to solve my problem.” People are complicated and so many things are dependent on individual factors as to understanding the “why” of a person’s mental state.

suicide prevention logo.pngIt’s not easy; however, depression can be treated and managed. If you are struggling, force yourself to reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline, your local emergency room or the person sitting next to you. And if you are the person being reached out to, then access support to help your friend or family member by calling 911 and ask for a crisis intervention team.

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With treatment and hard work, we can make it through one more day. It is hard work to fight demons within and the demons without. But we can and will do it.

 

The more you say, the less they listen

Affiliate disclosure: I have linked to other websites which sell products. I currently do not have any affiliate relationships with websites to which I link. What that means is if you go to a website that I’ve linked to and you buy something from them, they will get all of your money and I won’t get a commission. I linked to them because I bought something from them and I liked it and it improved my life. Disclosures will be updated as required.

I mentioned only a couple of things (within a 10 minute conversation) to be of help to my young adult son. Did he welcome my advice? NOT AT ALL. Instead, he told me “the more you tell me to do something, the less I want to do it.”

Okay, then. So, my son isn’t open to positive suggestions. How is he going to figure out life? He is so young and there’s so much that he doesn’t know.

Perhaps, you’ve run into this dilemma, too, if you’re the parent, teacher or other adult-figure in a teenager/young adult life.

What is it about young people that you tell them “go west, young man,” and they go south?

Developmentally, rebellion is a rite of passage for teenagers. You will notice it in two categories: social non-conformity rebellion (hence, pierced lips, purple hair, etc.) and parental non-compliance rebellion (you tell them be in at 10 p.m. and they come in at 10:30.)

It’s a tricky balancing act to know when it’s time to allow a child to assume more responsibility for themselves. But, as soon as human beings are potty-trained is the time to allow natural consequences to occur, within a developmentally appropriate way.

The sooner a person has to clean up his/her own messes, the sooner s/ he is motivated to learn from them and find effective ways to manage his or her life.

So, fast forward to the teenage years. With peer pressure, temptation, and executive function not fully developed what’s an adult to do? The greater part of a relationship with a teenager is listening and to ask questions which are open-ended, affirming, reflective and provide a summation (OARS). Dr. John Coleman covers this in a modified way in his book “Why Won’t my Teenager Talk to Me?”

Some examples of how to approach not only your teenager/young adult but essentially anyone, include:

  • “What do you need from me” instead of “this is what you should/need to do.”
  • “Help me understand,” instead of  “you’re not listening to me.”
  • “I see you worked as hard as you could,” instead of “why didn’t you study more/work harder?”

Barring any significant health issues or outright dangerous rebellion, most teens are highly sensitized to the pressure of succeeding. As one teen told me: “I’m well aware of the importance of the SAT exams and when my parents nag me about it, it just causes me to feel more stress.”

Teenagers have a heavy work/school load and each of them has a unique approach to arranging the order of  tasks.  When parents give unsolicited advice, it can cause the stack to topple because teenagers are easily influenced by perceived judgement from important role models. So, instead of telling them how they should carry their load, ask them what you can do to help them carry it. And, if they tell you, “nothing,” then allow them autonomy. If the load topples, let it fall. You serve as the calm bystander ready to assist if asked.

Overcoming adversity builds confidence and resilience. Some of the best change makers, leaders, and inventors in history learned from daunting circumstances and mistakes.

As Thomas Edison said: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

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