Recently my best friend (who is also an author), and I have started discussing envy. Now that our first books have successfully launched and we’re undertaking our next works, it seemed like the perfect time to have this discussion.
The Oxford Dictionary defines envy as: “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.”
Not to disagree with Oxford, but the above definition misses what I think is the true root of envy: lack of action, authenticity, and choice.
For me, envy always rears its ugly head when I deliberately sabotage my creativity by doing everything but writing (suddenly the need to clean every bathroom in the house takes on great importance.). It’s times when I am not being an authentic creative being, that I get envious of others’ success. When I know I have chosen not to schedule my writing. When I have wasted my precious time on aimless pursuits. When I turn my back on my passion.
Because it’s the times when I can look in my heart, and know I am giving 100% to whatever creative endeavour I undertake, well, I am probably more excited for someone else’s success than they are.
Somehow over the years, our culture has become one of competition as opposed to cooperation. Society tells us there is limited creativity to go around. And if this person is successful over here, well then, that person can’t possibly be successful over there. And to me, that is the perfect breeding ground for envy.
I believe every human being is a well of creative possibility.
All we have to do is tap into it and ask:
Am I giving 100% of myself to this endeavour?
Where have I failed and what could I do differently?
Giving yourself 100% to your writing doesn’t automatically mean you become a New York Times Bestseller over night. But it could mean you are on your way.