“Don’t be envious.” – Random guru.
I say, get green with envy!
First, envy is just Admiration’s ugly sounding cousin, and we’re all fine with admiring someone. Regardless, think of whom you envy, what’s their life like? Who do they hang around? Who do you want to hang around?
When you get the answers to this, you start knowing a bit more on what you really want without the surface level resistance of saying that you don’t want anything at all, or that you want something (ie. money) you think would get you what you actually want (ie. respect).
Envy also helps you get away from unrealistic goals.
If you come up with a goal to make a billion dollars feeding the homeless, that goal might not be very realistic, considering there’s no billionaires that got rich feeding homeless people. You’re more likely to be like Mother Teresa feeding homeless people than becoming a billionaire.
Envy is your secret to a grounded reality in what your goals could be.
Also, when you do notice whom you envy, you can start to ask yourself why you envy them. For example, your “goal” could be to “make a million dollars.” But if the person you want to be the most is a movie star hanging around cool people, you may realize you don’t care about money as you do fame. And you may discover you don’t even really care about the fame, but the ability to hang around cool people that elite movie stars get to connect with.
Envy can obviously be bad for people that don’t use it correctly. However, Envy does 2 things wonderfully well:
1) Establish what you really want. As it’s easier to admit you like the idea of someone else’s life without your self-imposed restrictions / limitations.
2) That your goal is possible. Since someone else is already doing it, you know it can be done as opposed to some goal to make 1 billion dollars and party like a rock star, considering those 2 things don’t seem to go together in reality very much.