Watching Our Friends Succeed

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on

I can remember the first time that I felt jealous and envious of someone. I wanted the toy that my friend had, and I felt like I just had to have it. I had loads of other toys, but I really wanted to have that one too. Does the fact that my friend have something that I don’t, mean anything less about me? Does it mean that I didn’t work as hard in school, or that I didn’t keep my room tidy enough?

Dear Finance Diary,

For some reason, it is hard for many people to have genuine joy and happiness for someone who succeeds. Behind every “congratulations, that’s amazing!” is the internal thought of “why can’t I have that?” or “why isn’t that me?”.

Even worse than an empty “congratulations”, is silence from those closest to us.

This happens in a wide degree of events in our lives: moving out, buying houses, getting engaged, having babies, getting promotions, winning contests/prizes, going on holidays, starting businesses, and more. There are endless events and milestones to be celebrated with our friends and families where joy and celebration should be shared!

It can honestly be hard to push aside our internal dialogue and to be happy for someone’s achievements, success and personal accomplishments.

But it really doesn’t have to be that way:

If you think about it for a moment, does your friend buying their first house take away the chance for you to buy a house? Or does a friend going on a nice holiday mean that you can’t go on a nice holiday? Does a friend starting a business mean that now you can’t start a business?

The answer is most likely no. You can still do whatever it is that you want, even if it means that someone else got there before you did. It doesn’t diminish any of your eventual successes or major life events.

We have a hard time seeing others accomplish things because it makes us feel inadequate for not having those same accomplishments. It makes us question ourselves, the path that we’re on and feel like we are delayed or off in accomplishing our dreams. Sometimes, it can even make us not like someone as we see them doing things that we wish we could do ourselves.

Everyone on this entire earth has a different path, and a different journey to get to there. It does not make anyone more advanced or more ahead than anyone else, you are simply at different stages in your journey.

Remember, Stan Lee wrote his first comic at the age of 40. Samuel L. Jackson acted for the first time at the age of 43. Vera Wang started in the fashion industry at the age of 40. Just because these things didn’t happen for them at 18, it does not make their eventual success any less incredible.

When it will be the right time for you, you will also have your moment to celebrate your successes. And you will want your friends and family to be there for you, just like you were for them.

Put aside your internal dialogue, and choose to spend the moment filled with genuine happiness and celebration for your friend.

Your time will come.


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