Yesterday I bought a lottery ticket. We’d discussed it during the day at work – whether you would bother working your notice period if you suddenly became the custodian of £38m. I doubt I would, but the reminder for me to purchase said unsuccessful ticket was the envy I was feeling for the people able to put their name on the waiting list for a brand new Aston Martin DB11.
Isn’t she pweddy?! (Say that last word out loud with the emphasis on the “e” as in sled. Oh, never mind!)
In Envy, Joseph Epstein joked that envy is the only one of the Deadly Sins which is no fun at all. Think about it.
- Lust – all the sex. Woohoo!
- Gluttony – all the food. Woohoo!
- Greed – all the things. Woohoo!
- Sloth – all the sleep. Woohoo!
- Wrath – all the complaining. Woohoo!
- Pride – all the happiness. Woohoo!
Envy – absolutely nothing but bad feeling. Or is there?
Aston Martin aside, I’m not a very envious person. Most of the envy I feel comes alongside jealousy, the difference between the two emotions being that with jealousy there is a sense of loss where something or someone has been taken from you whereas envy revolves more simply around wanting something you can’t have.
I’m not generally envious because I’m happy with my lot for the large part, but it is easy to see how the two can often come hand in hand when you can’t have something because someone else has taken it from you. I’m not missing a piece of my jigsaw, just someone to do it with, as it were.
When I have been envious, the question I ask myself is how someone got the break that I didn’t, especially when I think I did a lot of the ground work that they had also done and yet they get the credit for those actions and I didn’t. I’m not saying someone took credit for what I did, but that we did the same things and their efforts were recognised and rewarded but mine weren’t.
I actually think that’s a great question to ask once you get over the negative feeling and start to concentrate on what you are in control of. It can help you learn lessons from the bad stuff so that maybe you can take action to being able to afford the Aston Martin on merit, rather than leaving it to a 1 in 116,531,800 chance.
Is to learn
Oh the heart’s a heavy burden
So I take (I take)
I don’t wait (don’t wait)
Nothing ever is for certain
And I hold my hands up high
On my knees tonight
I will live and learn my lesson here tonight
Learn My Lesson by Young Guns