Avoiding the trap of envy

How easy it is to fall into the trap of envy.

You see a young painter who is doing sold out shows at the age of 13. In the media you hear about entrepreneurs who are making millions off their ideas. Authors who get a killer publishing deal on their first book, actors and dancers who never had to try out for anything.

It can all be deflating for creatives; seeing other’s success. Why wasn’t that you? What did they do to get so lucky?

Thinking this way becomes a cycle, where you’re too obsessive over other’s successes and end up missing opportunities to do the work or chance your own luck. By falling into envy you miss opportunities to succeed yourself.

So what can you do?

Focus on what you can do. Luck plays a huge part in success (more than any of us would like to readily admit), but we can still do a lot in our existing circumstances, no matter what they are. You can work an extra hour here or there, or reach out to someone who inspires you to help you out. You can use your experience and your resources and your ideas to move one step closer to the success that’s right for you.

Not everyone works hard, but that’s not you. You and I are real, we have to work for our victories.

The best part is that we have options! You can reach the level of success that’s right for you with enough hard work and a bit of luck. The luck comes through the work though. Nobody is going to hand you a certificate that says “World’s Greatest Anything” unless you put in the work and explore the world around you. Part of the right attitude has to be appreciating the success of others, because they worked for it and they saw their lucky opportunity and took it. You can too, when the time comes.

Your opportunities for success will look different than anyone else’s, it’s worth remembering that when you feel envious of other creatives. Do what you can today, keep doors open, explore your ideas and most importantly: do the work.