Jealousy. Envy. Coveteousness. Call it what you want. It’s rooted in a lack of satisfaction with what you already have, and/or a resentment for what others have. Perceived scarcity driven by comparrison can eat you up inside, and drive negative feelings and behavior.
I’ve been there. Constantly chasing what other people have. And it’s a cycle that never ends.
Two key ideas stand out to me:
1) Go for it if you want it, just don’t complain
You don’t know what others had to do to get what they have. So drop the sense of entitlement, and put in whatever effort is necessary to reach your goals. I love how Howard Butt, Jr. advises us in this video to watch, learn, and sharpen our own game if want to achieve something. Those other people who you’re envious of, take them to lunch sometime and ask them about how they work, and glean whatever you can to help you perform at a higher level.
2) Don’t overlook your current blessings
Moses writes, “No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17, MSG). He doesn’t say why, but he does list this one in the Big Ten. I’ll venture to say that if I’m constantly looking elsewhere and comparing, then I’ll miss out on the incredible blessing that’s right in front of me.
Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
well-done work has its own reward.
— Proverbs 12:14 (MSG)
We all know the pinch of limited resources. Whether it’s a crunch for time, a shrinking bank account, or a competitive workplace, we often experience life dissatisfied and craving more. At The High Calling, we are Rethinking Scarcity, attempting to understand how both real and perceived scarcity influences our thoughts and behaviors. We also will explore scarcity’s influence in our decisions and how reimagining constraints not only changes the way we respond to our circumstances, but ultimately may change our circumstances themselves.