#844 Envy is Ignorance

Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think most of us feel envy from time to time but may I suggest that in the very moment that you envy someone stop and ask yourself if you'd really like to be that person; to trade lives entirely with them.  I mean seeing the Kardashians and being the Kardashians is two entirely different things.  A friend of mine (and of Bill's) told me a great saying he learned at a meeting; "Don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides."

This is one reason envy is ignorance" because you don't know what you don't know.  You only have to look at the tragic endings of greatly admired people like Marilyn Monroe and Robin Williams for evidence that the inside/outside thing has deep meaning.

Emerson also meant that envy is ignorance because when you envy someone else you're ignorant of the depths of your own soul and to know and trust one's self is to be close to God.

The second part of the aphorism, imitation is suicide, needs no explanation by me.  The more you examine your life, the more you realize that you can only be the best version of you and for me, getting happy with that means true enlightenment.

I bring Emerson to you today because on our birthdays and on the New Year many of us reflect on the year that's past.  Too often we see our foibles and blunders in 4K, 3D, IMAX footage while we take some of our accomplishments for granted.  It's like walking into The Uffizi Gallery and noticing that a Caravaggio is slightly off-kilter. 

A lot went right for you in 2018, didn't it?  Think about the victories for a moment.  (Don't worry about the losses; you don't need to think of those, they will come roaring in as soon as you think of the victories.)  You had some moments; didn't you?  Chew on those for a while and as you reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019 and think about these three words; Stop, Start, Continue.  I use this exercise in my goal setting and life planning workshop.  Going into the New Year, what activities and habits would you like to stop, start or continue?  There is definitely some "continue" in there.

Look at the year ahead, and trust yourself as Emerson suggests.

I, for one, don't want to keep up with the Kardashians, I just want to be a slightly improved version of Frank in the coming year.

(For information about my upcoming seminar click here)


I wish you a Happy and Healthy 2019!

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Frank SommaComment