Bench-Pressing Accidentally: on Jealousy and Hard-Work

Sacrifice. It’s an ancient word with a connotation that scares most people away from ever dispensing with its underlying idea.

Virtually everything that makes you better will demand a sacrifice. The act of choosing to work out is an intentional sacrifice. No one bench-presses twice their body weight on accident.

Whatever you choose to do: a sacrifice of time, attention, money, comfort…take your pick.

And virtually anything that makes you worse demands a sacrifice, too. This kind of sacrifice is much less intentional. If you’re the kind of person who stuffs themselves with KitKat bars all day then you’re probably unaware of the long-term consequences (KitKat bars never mention the long-term consequences of eating too many).

Of course we should be impressed when we see someone with six-pack abs. You don’t just wake up with six-pack abs! It takes a lot of work to get six-pack abs. When you look at someone with six-pack abs, you have no idea what that person sacrificed to get those results. The same is true for people with successful businesses and happy families. Which is why being jealous of what other people have is so toxic. Jealousy ignores hard work, neglects sacrifice, and is naïve to personal triumph.

The more you work hard on what matters, the less jealousy you will feel. You’ll have no reason to be jealous because empathy with hard work is a byproduct of hard work itself. The hard working are forever humble.

If you want to stop feeling jealous of what others have, get your ass off the couch and try putting in the work. You’ll run up against lots of brick walls, the same brick walls that successful people run up against. You will face delays. Setbacks. The unexpected. Incompetent people. Rude people. You will face your own shortcomings. Your own lack of skills and knowledge. You will realize how little you know about yourself and the world and the way people operate outside of your little bubble. All of this, and more, straight to your psychic inbox the moment you decide to work hard to change your life.

The cure for jealousy is a deep sense of empathy for those who’re willing to sacrifice the present for the future.

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