You’re older than that girl at work but shes’s done everything that you have yet to do. That guy has a better car than you could ever get. Your friends bought a house but you’re stuck in a crappy apartment.
I learned a long time ago to not be envious of what anyone else has. I didn’t learn because I was envious myself, I learned from observing and asking questions. You can search all day and find plenty of people in more favorable life circumstances–at least they seem favorable. I bet you can also find people in a worse state than you’ve ever been. Envy bites you every time because you have no idea what someone has gone through to get to those things you so desire. You don’t know how many years of education, sacrifice, networking, rejection, or struggle that person endured JUST to be in the position where you may envy them.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, we are all on our own path to the things destined for us. If you want it, do your own work to find the life coordinates that can lead you to it. Have no idea how to do it? Find a mentor. That person who has what you want? Ask them what they did to get it–hold the envy–you’ll be surprised at how much insight you can gain AND you’ll find out whether or not it’s work you want to dig into. You may be bothered by how much easier someone’s process was–I think we’re all guilty–but that goes back to my statement about different paths. That easier path may have one helluva storm up ahead, and you’ve just avoided it.
I’ve had enough of my own struggles that I don’t bother wasting time figuring out how I can experience someone else’s. That’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re envious. We all see things and think, “hmm, I want that”, but dwelling and consuming yourself with being upset about someone’s possessions is not healthy at all. Be careful what you wish for and be thankful for what you have no matter how little it may seem to you. That crappy apartment of yours sounds great to that homeless guy. Don’t use envy as your motivation for achievement. I won’t say that you should achieve as little as possible, but I will say that I don’t envy those who have more to lose than I do. I can’t lose what I’ve never had.